Credit card payments are the way to go when it comes to making purchases online nowadays. Equipping your business to accept credit cards on your web site is a great way to provide quality service for your customers.
You must do your homework first before you begin to accept credit cards on your web site. You have to make sure that you have all the information you need to make an educated decision on the type of credit card service provider you require.
There are several ways to accept credit cards on your web site. You can do so by employing a third-party payment processor. What this means is that this third-party will help you manage your transactions through a payment engine operated on their site. The drawback to this method is that you will have very limited control over the transactions with your customers. Another method you can use to accept credit cards on your web site is by setting up a merchant account. This account is usually managed by an account provider and is linked directly to your business bank account. Here, you will be able to ensure transaction security and also maintain some form of control over the transactions that occur on your web site.
Do remember that although merchant accounts give you greater security and control, these benefits come with the added commitment of monthly fees. Most merchant account providers will charge some form of monthly fees if they do not also charge a set up fee for your account. The amount of fees you pay will depend on the account provider you choose, the volume of your transactions, the types of credit cards you would like to accept. An alternative to opening a merchant account to help accept credit cards on your web site, is by accepting them offline – this means over the phone or in person – or choosing to deal with third-party processors instead.
Unlike merchant account providers, third-party processors don’t normally charge any monthly fees. Instead they are likely to charge a fixed transaction fee as well as take a percentage off each transaction you make. As we had already mentioned the lack of control you will have over your transactions, engaging a third-party to accept credit cards on your web site means that your customers will have to exit your web site to make their payments, and you may even have to wait for at least a month before you receive your payments, unlike a merchant account where payments are generally received promptly.