Online Merchant Accounts
You may be contemplating opening up your very own e-commerce store and may be unfamiliar with online merchant accounts. That’s OK, we all have to start somewhere and this article will give you all the vital info you need in order to learn the ins and outs of accepting credit cards online and getting your own online merchant account set up!
The best place to get started with your online merchant account is to figure out what questions you need to be asking. Answer these questions on a piece of paper and it will help you answer questions when it comes time to applying for a merchant account!
- What will you be selling?
- Will you be selling only online or will you need to accept credit card payments in person?
- How much does your average product cost?
- What is the most expensive product you sell?
- Do you warehouse the product or does the supplier drop ship the product for you?
- Does your website have an SSL Certificate?
- What do you expect your average monthly transactions to total
Once you have answered these questions, it’s time to start putting them into context. These questions are important to the merchant provider because they determine the amount of risk you pose to their business. Not everyone gets approved for a merchant account because the risk that the merchant provider takes in offering a merchant account can expose them to financial loss. Merchants want to know how much money you will be processing so they can gauge how much risk you are exposing them to if you decide to pack up and close shop before sending your customers their orders. They want to know that your website is secure using an SSL certificate so your customer’s information is safe from hackers. As you can see, having answers to these questions before calling a merchant service provider like Charge.com is essential.
APPLYING FOR A MERCHANT ACCOUNT
Obtaining a merchant account online requires an application where your credit is checked and to ensure you don’t have any negative actions taken against you from past merchant service providers. Maintaining a good relationship with your merchant service provider is essential to your long term prospects in obtaining future merchant accounts. The application process can take 1-3 days and you will probably obtain a limit on the volume you can process in the first few months while you prove yourself to your merchant services provider. Once your application is complete, you will start to set up your online store.
SETTING UP YOUR STORE
Once your account is approved, you are ready to start setting up your virtual terminal. This often involves a simple process of entering your MID and TID numbers provided by your merchant services provider into the shopping cart software your website uses. Once your shopping cart is hooked up to your merchant account, you can start selling products to consumers!