Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Mobile Credit Card Processing

Credit Card Processing Services: Easy, Cheap And Necessary
By Joel Walsh

Your online business needs to accept credit cards. That’s true
whether your business is the next ebay or you’re just selling
your old collectibles on ebay. You’re simply holding your
business back if you don’t accept the payment method of choice
of the internet. Sadly, many people think they won’t qualify
for a new merchant account to accept credit cards, or that it
will be too expensive or complicated. That might have been true
a few years ago, but not anymore.

Why Anyone Can Accept Credit Cards

* Low cost. In the US, the cost of accepting credit cards is
around $10-$20/month in flat fees, plus a small percentage of
your sales, called a discount rate. For an offline business,
the discount rate is as low as 1.69% (lower for debit cards).
For an online business, discount rates are as low as 2.19%.
Yes, online businesses are considered riskier and therefore are
charged more. Still, 2.19% is much less than even many offline
businesses were paying just five years ago. Non-US business
will likely pay significantly more, but likely not more than a
few hundred dollars a month and maybe a 6% discount rate.
That's still a small price to pay to build a thriving online
business.

* No upfront fees. There are now merchant account providers
that charge nothing upfront–no application fee, no deposit.
(For US businesses only.)

* No minimum number of sales. If you sell nothing in a given
month, that's fine. Your account won't be cancelled so long as
you pay a small minimum fee in lieu of transactions (usually
around $25-$35/month).

* Low credit threshold. Believe it or not, qualifying for a
merchant account to accept credit card payments is easier than
qualifying for a credit card account. Even people who have a
bankruptcy on their credit report may qualify for a merchant
account (though they'll be in a more expensive higher-risk
category). The credit check only takes a few minutes. Just give
the representative your Social Security number or EIN and you're
done. For non-US businesses, the credit check might be a little
more in-depth, but not impossibly so.

Why You Need to Accept Credit Cards

1. Prestige. Admit it: you can't be a real business if you
don't take credit cards. At least, that's how the average
consumer or entrepreneur sees it.

2. Trust. Accepting credit cards means your name, address, and
social security numbers are on file somewhere with a bank, so
you're a lot less likely to be a crook. It also means that your
customers can dispute the transaction if you don't put out the
goods.

3. Sales. Online customers make the vast majority of their
purchases with a credit card. They are not going to change
their ways for you.

4. Western Union isn't enough. Bank wires offer very little
consumer protection, so no one trusts them for paying online.
Besides, most people have never used it before, and again,
they're not going to change their ways for you.

5. PayPal isn't enough. Some people simply don't trust it.
There are entire websites devoted to horror stories with
PayPal. Other prospective customers worry about having to set
up a PayPal account to make payment. Even a slight doubt is
enough to send many visitors to the "back" button. Don't leave
room for doubt.

Why Accepting Payments Online Is Easy

* Easy-to-use gateway websites. With most merchant accounts,
you get a login on a website of a "gateway" which lets you
manage your entire account with up-to-the-minute information.
It's very similar to online banking.

* Technical support. Most merchant account providers offer
telephone and email technical support to help you figure out
how to use your account, including how to integrate it with
your website. Tip: choose a provider with 24/7/365 technical
support over the phone–and that doesn't charge an additional
fee.

* Preconfigured shopping carts and web payment forms. You won't
have to do anything to your website if you opt to use a shopping
cart of payment form that's already been set up by your payment
processor. Just link to it from your website and you're done.

Why Applying to Accept Credit Cards Is Easy

* Online and telephone applications. You don't have to mail
anything.

* Fast. You can apply for a merchant account to accept credit
cards in the morning and be taking payments in the afternoon.

* No contract. Some credit card merchant account providers do
not require an annual contract (for US businesses). The
arrangement is strictly month-to-month. Of course, there are
still companies that will try to lock you into a year-long
contract, so be careful.

See how easy it is to take credit card payments? Don't wait any
longer. Apply for a credit card merchant gateway today. It's
easy to do, and your business needs it. Once you're taking
credit card payments, you won't be be just like a real
business–you will be a real business.

About the Author: Joel Walsh is owner of the website
http://UpMarketMerchant.com. Get more information about credit
card processing services: http://www.UpMarketMerchant.com
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