26 June 2012

Why you need a merchant account for card processing

Are you operating an online store or offering products/services through your website?

If yes, then you should definitely have an ecommerce merchant account with a reliable acquiring bank.

Why do you need a merchant account?

Nowadays, any successful online business relies on the ability of being able to accept credit or debit card payments.

Statistics from the UK Cards Association show that between 2008 and 2012 the number of UK cards transactions increased by over 25 %. Not to mention the card usage in the USA where approximately 51 % of the U.S. population owns at least two credit cards. (Source: https://www.creditcards.com/credit-card-news/credit-card-industry-facts-personal-debt-statistics-1276.php) If you are not able to provide to your customers with a convenient and safe way of using their cards, you are quite simply losing customers and missing a lot of revenue.

Choosing a reliable and convenient merchant account is the answer that will enable your business to accept payments by credit and debit cards. Such accounts are provided by acquiring banks (registered to offer credit card processing through Visa and MasterCard) either through a Third party processor, a Service provider or directly by the Acquiring bank.

What to look for when choosing a payment partner.

When looking for an acquiring bank or processor to provide you with a merchant account, you need to do some research on the available service providers in your market. In general you should pay attention to:

  • Experience. The payment processor you choose should be able to support your unique e-commerce needs. They should have  experience in the type of business you are operating to ensure appropriate way of handling your payment processing
  • Pricing. You need to pay attention to the fees set by the service providers for card processing ( the service rate, transaction fees, chargeback processing fees, statement and wire fees, etc.) and to select the one offering the most profitable rates for your business.
  • Payment Frequency: You should also look for a provider that offers you the most advantageous payout terms – less delay of crediting the funds into your account, low percentage of rolling reserves kept, etc.
  • Countries and currencies supported. You need to choose your processor in accordance with the market you would like to operate to. If you plan to target international customers you need to make sure that the processor can accept orders from all over the world and they support the preferable currencies you want to process.
  • Security Measures. The processor you choose should have sufficient fraud scrubbing tools to protect your business, such as Address Verification Service (AVS) Verified by Visa/MasterCard Secure Code, IP Geo location check, BIN matching, etc.
  • PCI Compliance. Your payment partner must operate in accordance with the requirements of the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standards (DSS) in order to protect you from a potential risk exposure and your customers from credit cards data breach.
  • Dedicated Customer support. Your service provider should have a reliable CS support and to assist you when any help needed or to address your inquiries within 24 hours.

Experienced Merchants will already be fully aware of the benefits a good merchant account can bring, and you should be too.