Merchant accounts are used by businesses to accept credit card payments from customers. These accounts come in various forms, one being an online merchant account and another being a retail merchant account. There are other types of merchant accounts, but for now, we’ll just talk about these two.
No matter what type of merchant account you choose to set up, such an account is necessary if you want to increase the volume of your business sales. This is because many people tend to prefer payment via credit cards. Making payment easier for your customers will ensure their purchase of your products or services. It has been said that offering additional payment options like credit cards to your customers can increase your sales by up to as much as 40 percent. Merchant accounts, whether a retail merchant account or online account, will increase the efficiency of your business in processing purchase transactions because it will take you less time and require less manpower. You will be able to process more transactions within a given amount of time with such a merchant account in comparison to processing a transaction without one.
A retail merchant account is what is also known as a physical credit card merchant account. It is sometimes also called an “over the counter” or OTC merchant account. Here, customers’ credit cards are actually swiped though a credit card machine to process a monetary transaction upon purchase of products.
An online merchant account, as opposed to a retail merchant account, does not have the liberty of swiping a customer’s credit card through a machine. Instead of have sales processed on the spot, payments are processed online and orders are usually sent to you by an email. All you have to do then is to fill in the orders of your customers and ship your product/s to them. However, because transactions are completed online, there exists a greater risk for merchant account providers to provide you with this service. As a result, you may find yourself paying higher rates than if you had a retail merchant account.
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