A merchant account is a particular type of business bank account that allows your business to accept credit card payments. An online payment gateway connects your online store to your merchant account. It also facilitates the processing of the payment transaction between the various parties involved, including your bank and the card issuer’s bank. You could regard it as the digital version of a point-of sale (POS) card swipe machine used in a brick-and-mortar store. If you have always used a cash only policy, maybe it is time to rethink how you accept payment from your customers.
These days, an average consumer uses a credit card to pay for his purchases, regardless of the size or necessity of a purchase. Many people carry only a small amount of cash on them at any given time. A typical store that accepts only cash, is losing out on up to 83 percent of sales, and some stores are losing out on even more sales than that, in many individual cases. By accepting credit card payments, you can increase your sales, and you can also make your customers happier.
What a merchant account can do for you:
If your business only accepts cash, you are completely responsible for managing each transaction. A merchant account provider makes it possible not only for your business to accept credit card payments, but also to automatically manage the technical work of processing transactions. A merchant account provider is your go-to contact for issues, guidance and advice. Keeping your payments running smoothly, resolving any issues, and providing information, are all part of their job. You will be able to focus on gaining sales, increasing the numbers of your customers, and ensuring their continued loyalty.
- Automate and streamline manual work
Even when you close your business for the day, there is still work to be done. Certain merchant account providers can streamline and automate the work you’d do manually otherwise. Instead of manually settling transactions and reconciling your bank account deposits, modern merchant account providers can automate the entire process.
- Help prevent and screen for fraud
It is challenging to be constantly aware when it comes to fraudulent transactions. Counterfeit and stolen credit cards can be hard to notice, but merchant account providers have the preventative and screening technology to help identify them. Most have security settings like AVS and CVV that can be required for card-not-present transactions, which are statistically riskier than face-to-face transactions. They also can recognize bounced checks faster than traditional deposits and provide detailed reasons why.
- Help you grow your business.
A merchant account can expand how your business accepts payments, not only by taking credit cards and debit cards, but also ACH e-checks and NFC payments like Apple Pay. This means that you can reach a larger range of consumers who prefer a variety of payment methods by partnering with a trusted merchant account provider.
A merchant account can also enable your business to make sales either remotely or online, and this can be done while maintaining a secure transaction environment for you and your customers.
For more information on how a merchant account can help streamline your small business, or to sign up for a merchant account, please call (888) 924-2743 or go to Charge.com.