11th November 2009
When you start looking at the different options available with
credit card merchant accounts, you can quickly become overwhelmed - and
possibly even confused. Often, the information is so confusing and so
overwhelming that important information gets overlooked. Here are some
questions that you need to ask when you are shopping for an account:
Proprietary Equipment Required? Proprietary equipment or software can
only be used with that particular processing company. While you may not
think that this matters right now, it can matter a great deal in the
future because if you decide to switch to a new account, you may be
required to purchase new equipment or software. In the case of
software, this is usually provided by the company, at no additional
cost, but in terms of equipment, this must be purchased or leased.
Type of Processing is allowed with the Credit Card Merchant Accounts?
Is processing available online and at the Point of Sale? What about
telephone orders and mail orders? Not all accounts allow for all types
of processing, and you need to make sure that you can process credit
cards in all of the situations where payments will be collected.
is the hold back percentage? Different processors have different terms
for this, but this is essentially a percentage of each sale that is
held back by the processing company - instead of being sent directly to
you or your bank account - to cover any potential charge backs in the
future. You need to know what that percentage is, and how long those
funds will be held before being released to you.
fees for credit card merchant accounts? As a sales pitch is made to
you, sales people are famous for telling you about one fee, then
telling you about features or other information, before telling you
about yet another fee. They essentially separate those fees out in
their pitch so that you don't notice just how many fees there are, or
what they are amounting to. Get a complete list of the fees that will
be charged for the entire service, so that you can see all of the
potential fees together, at the same time.
possible? If you will ever be in a situation where you need to collect
credit card payments without being at your place of business, you will
need mobile processing - not all accounts will allow for this,
especially if mobile equipment has to be used, instead of their own
proprietary equipment. Make sure that you find out before you make your
While these are often the most overlooked questions when
shopping for Credit Card Merchant Accounts, you may have additional
questions that you want to ask. Make a written list of questions that
you have before you begin your search, and make sure that you include
these questions on your list as well. Have that list with you when you
are searching for the right account - even if that search is online.