A merchant processing account is a service that lets your business accept credit cards. When a client pays you by card, it’s not you, the bank, or even the credit card company that facilitates payment. Instead, you’re all connected by a third-party company called a payment processor.
These payment processors provide secure electronic links that transfer money from your customer’s bank to your business bank account. They also provide the hardware and software you need to accept credit cards. These include POS terminals, such as portable card readers, smartphone payment apps, and so on, online software, and so on.
Opening your merchant account
To access these credit card tools and services, you need a merchant account at your chosen payment processor. Many processors allow you to open your account online. Some payment processors charge an application fee, while better options let you apply for free.
To maximize profits for your Detroit business, you want a merchant account that works fast and saves you money. Here are some of the things to look out for:
- Find one that charges you per transaction instead of using a flat weekly or monthly fee. That way, you don’t pay as much during slow months.
- Confirm your Merchant Level based on the number of credit card transactions you expect per year. Level 4 is less than 20,000 transactions while Level 1 is above 6 million.
- Verify how much they charge for POS terminals. Some merchant accounts come with free hardware included in your subscription.
- Ask about any other free services they might offer. These could include card programing for various card networks or virtual shopping carts for your online store.
- In addition to credit cards, does your merchant account process other payment methods? Some companies cover ACH payments, checks, and cash as well.
- What’s their stand on so-called “high-risk” business and bad credit? If your business is in certain fields, that may count as a high-risk business no matter how good your history or your business’s history is.
Validate your merchant account
If you find a merchant account that meets all the above criteria, then check them out. Do they have industry awards? Check their website and client listings to be sure.
For more information on why a merchant processing account will benefit your Detroit business, or to sign up for a merchant account, please call (888) 924-2743 or go to Charge.com.