10th November 2009
Before you can accept credit cards, you must have merchant card
services, or a merchant account. Without this account, you cannot
accept credit cards from your customers - even if you use an old credit
card imprinter. You must have a merchant account.
When you start
looking at the available options for processing credit cards, you will
be astounded at the number of merchant accounts that exist. Of course,
different companies will offer different services, features, and fees,
and before you make a selection, you will want to compare different
services to ensure that you are not only getting what you need, but
that you are also getting the best deal available in terms of cost.
at least ten merchant card services to compare, and start by reading
consumer reviews of those companies. Of course, the consumers will
actually be business owners who have used the services. These reviews
can easily be found online, by typing 'reviews of merchant accounts'
into any search engine. If a company has a large number of unfavorable
reviews, you can mark them off of your list.
Next, check with the
Better Business Bureau concerning the services on your list. Find out
if there are any complaints, if they are members of the BBB, and use
this information to further whittle down your list of services. If you
run out of services, get a new list of ten, and start over. Usually, by
using consumer reviews and the BBB, you can avoid getting involved with
a service that is known for ripping off business owners.
obtain information about each service online in most cases. Read
through the information on the company's website, and contact the
company to ask about the contract or agreement that you may be expected
to sign. Read this information very carefully, taking note of fees that
may be charged, as well as what is required of you, in terms of how you
process credit cards. Always read the terms of service, no matter how
small that print is. Not all merchant accounts allow for online
processing. Some accounts will only allow online processing, but will
not allow POS purchases.
You will want to pay special attention
to the equipment that is required for processing with the merchant card
services. Some services can work with a wide variety of equipment,
while others require you to use their equipment. In all cases, this is
equipment that you must lease or purchase. It is always better to work
with a service that allows you to select your own equipment, so that if
you need to change services at any point, you won't have to purchase
Finally, you can use a service to select your Merchant Card Services. There are many services that cater specifically
to business owners, connecting them with the vendors and suppliers that
they need, and because the service wants your business, they will only
connect you with reputable and reliable services and vendors. Choosing
a service for your credit card processing doesn't have to be time
consuming or difficult.