When considering opening an online merchant account to accept credit card orders, there are a lot of things you need to keep in mind. The best thing to do is learn all about credit card processing before you open your online merchant account so you can handle everything from the beginning rather than having to go back and make many changes.
The following topics are things you need to know about credit card processing online before you open an online merchant account:
Topic #1 Security
When it comes to making online purchases you need to be sure your customers feel as confident as possible that your site is secure and there is a very small percentage that any fraud will take place during their purchase. In general, the credit card processing software takes care of the security for the transactions; however you can boost security on your own website to reduce the theft of credit card numbers, hackers, and general fraud. Also, consider using additional secure measures like asking for the numbers on the back of their visa card or the four numbers on the front of their American Express. Doing so ensures that the person ordering has the credit card in hand, and more than likely this is the owner of the card.
Topic #2 Fixed Rates
Before signing up with a credit card processing company you want to make sure you will be receiving fixed rates for the life of the service. Many firms offer this so don't feel that this is not an option. When you set this up, it is important that you get this in writing to ensure your rates stay the same. Of course, your rates will rise if Visa or MasterCard increase what they charge for credit card purchases, but this should be the only condition. Don't sign any contracts without addressing this issue!
Topic #3 Bundled Rates
Be careful with bundled rate offers. Frequently, credit card processing companies will mention bundled rates and how they will save you money. This may or may not be the case, depending on your products and the average price you sell them for. Do some research on this topic in comparison to the types and prices of products you sell to see if it will save you money or not. For most businesses it costs more.
Topic #4 Confidence
Before you open an online merchant account, be sure you have complete confidence in the company that is handling the credit card processing. If for some reason you do not, even if you don't know why, keep moving on until you find one you do feel comfortable with.
Topic #5 Credit Cards and Debit Cards
You want credit card processing software that will allow you to accept a wide variety of credit cards as well as debit cards. Do not limit yourself to just Visa or MasterCard. Also accept cards like American Express, Diners Club, as well as all bank debit cards. Doing this will only increase your business.
Topic #6 Accept Credit Cards
Before opening an online merchant account you should know that most people are going to purchase from you using their credit or debit card. Sending personal checks and or money orders might be an option you provide for the small percentage without credit cards or who mistrust the Internet, but most people are going to buy with their cards so it is important to have secure software and an easy to use interface.
Topic #7 Save Payment Information
Many websites offer the option to save payment information. This means that more than likely, you will have a return customer who wants to save time when shopping next time by not having to type in all of their information again. Provide this option to shoppers on your website!
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