How Do I Set Up a Merchant Account?
The nature of your business will determine whether you want point of sale terminal in your store; a shopping basket for your online store; or a mobile card reader on your smartphone. Some merchant account providers offer free terminals, free card readers, or free software that you can use to process credit card payments.
If you have a web store or eBay store, you may choose to accept credit cards right on your website. You will also be able to process phone, mail-order, and even face-to-face transactions manually using a web-based virtual terminal.
Be careful to avoid merchant account providers that ask you to sign a long-term contract or charge a cancellation fee that locks you in. You can also find merchant account providers that don’t charge set-up fees. Make sure the company you select has live technical support by phone or email available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. And if you choose the right company, you can be accepting secure credit card payments with confidence within just one business day.
How do I get my money after I set up a merchant account?
You might be concerned about cash flow when accepting credit card payments. If you’re used to having cash in hand at the end of each transaction, be comforted by the fact that you will soon have more cash than ever before. What you won’t be dealing with is checks that bounce and those that take a week to clear in your account. As soon as you run the customer’s credit card, you will know the card has cleared and that you will receive your money; normally within 1 to 3 days. And you can set up your web store so that customers can purchase merchandise and pay by credit card 24 hours a day, even while you are sleeping or enjoying your leisure time. You will receive a record of all web store credit card accounts and information so you can fill those orders when it is convenient for you. If you are delivering a digital product, that can be set up to be delivered automatically upon approval of the transaction.
Maybe your business is mobile such as a building or landscaping contractor, for example. You might spend hours preparing invoices for mailing. The invoice says that it is due on receipt, but customers pay whenever they feel like it. When you accept credit cards, there’s no more of that. Now, with your tablet or smartphone you can take their payment by credit card on the spot.
Transitioning Customer Accounts after the Set Up of Your Merchant Account
Next to quick payment, transitioning customer accounts may be your favorite part of setting up your merchant account. You might have a database of all your customers’ information and orders. Or maybe you use an accounting program where you enter the business transaction information, create invoices and record payments. Some merchant accounts can link to your accounting software programs for recording without manual entry. This is a real time and money saver for business owners. Plus, the information is accurate and always available. Your merchant account offers an efficient streamlined process for accepting credit card payments and maintaining customer accounts. That’s good because you are going to be busy with the 500% increase in sales a typical company can experience by accepting credit cards. Your merchant account makes it easy for customers to buy from you because they can use their preferred method of payment; their credit card.
For more information on how to set up a merchant account, or to sign up for a merchant account, please call (888) 924-2743 or go to Charge.com.