A merchant account is a kind of bank account that allows your business to accept credit or debit card payments. You must have a merchant account provider to open the account for you and provide the necessary services for maintaining your account. So the important decision is choosing a merchant account provider that’s right for your small business.
It’s important that you choose a service provider that understands small business and also takes the time to understand your type of business, your customers, and your preferences. That way you can make sure that you are getting the right card processing equipment or card processing software, so that you can effortlessly accept card payments.
What are the requirements?
Apart from having an existing business, there are no other specific criteria to apply for a merchant account. You just complete an application form and provide the relevant information for approval. The type of business you run, your customer base and your market risk standing will be taken into consideration, and, in some cases, you may be asked to provide additional information or documentation.
Once you have been approved, the card processing equipment or software you need to trade will be installed, and you will be ready to accept card payments in next to no time.
What are the card processing options?
You don’t need to know what you need beforehand because your merchant account service provider will tell you what the best card processing options are for your business, and together you can decide on which suits you best. Once you have decided what you want, they will take care of providing the devices or installing the software so that you can process card payments.
Briefly, the card processing options are:
For walk-in businesses that primarily offers products or services face-to-face, an electronic keypad terminal that allows you to swipe or dip credit cards is usually the best option.
Online sellers will have payment gateway software installed on the backend of their website. This software integrates with the website’s shopping-cart option and automatically takes customers to a screen where they insert their card details. You don’t have be present to accept payments, and card payments can be processed 24/7/365. A virtual terminal option also allows you to accept card payments by inputting card details manually so that you can take orders over the phone or by mail.
Merchants who sell their goods from different venues or provide services at the customer’s location can accept card payments via any mobile device, be it a mobile smart phone or tablet. Software is installed on Smart devices, using a card reader. Mobile terminals are also available, but most merchants prefer the convenience of not having to carry a second device in addition to their phone.
All the different processing options immediately alert you when a card payment is approved or declined.
For more information about how to get a merchant account that’s right for your small business, or to sign up for a merchant account, please call (888) 924-2743 or go to Charge.com.