Tag Archives: merchant accounts

Tips to Help Make Your Small Business Credit Card Processing More Affordable

Small business credit card processing is a necessary challenge to overcome. You need to be able to process payments, and some of the advanced features can be useful to the right business, but they do tend to take away from your bottom line profits. If you’re looking for an opportunity to save on some of those costs, these tips should be able to help you without putting too much of that burden on your customers.

Dr. Sid Solomon, a cosmetic dental specialist, advices:  “When we were initially looking for a merchant account provider, we did not know much about it. We talked to several providers and picked one with the lowest rate, so definitely shop around.”

Pay Attention to the Contract

Before you ever sign up for a merchant account, you should be aware of how transactions are processed and which methods offer the lowest rates. With an interchange plus account, the credit card swipe machine will usually offer a lower rate to you than keying in your account number. This is because the processing companies, or payment gateways, have to take extra precautions handling this information. Since you’re keying in the full card number, thieves can intercept that information over the Internet.

That extra security ends up costing you more per transaction, which is why swiping a card through the credit card machine is the best method for processing a payment.

Be aware of those kinds of contract speed bumps. Make sure you’re not signing onto any volume discounts you can’t meet, and make sure you take the time to understand the rate structure for the transactions you’ll process. It will help you more accurately forecast your costs moving forward.

Set a Minimum

One method to ensure you’ll be able to cover the costs of a transaction without raising prices on your customers is to set a minimum for credit card transactions. Most businesses set this limit fairly low, at $10, but that minimum may have to be higher if you’re a big ticket retailer. That’s because interchange  rates are based on percentages.

In the best case scenario, your customer meets that threshold and your transaction is worth the cost. Another way of looking at it, is the customer will pay cash for an item worth less than the minimum. If not, you’ll lose money just processing the sale. Most customers understand this today, but a few may raise some objections. Kindly explain the costs of processing plastic, and remind them that respecting your rule is helping an American small business grow. You’re always going to lose grumpy customers, but as long as clearly place signs indicating your minimum charges, you’ll find most people are agreeable to your terms.

How is Money Transferred Globally? Is it Safe?

Summary: The complex system of transfers involve numerous pit stops in various countries along with embedded security systems to prevent sensitive information from leaking.

More than likely, you’ve transferred money to a relative or acquaintance that you know at least once in your life. But, have you done so to another person overseas? This is much more complicated and requires additional security measures to ensure it reaches its destination safely without compromising sensitive information like account numbers or addresses.

Now, there are numerous solutions to overcoming the difficulties of micro-transactions and bank transfers, but there is still an overwhelming issue of security for each credit card processor. The fact that there are people constantly scouring the Web for a way to hijack these systems is enough to make you hesitant.

Money Transfers: What’s the Cost?

In today’s economy, much of contract labor comes from around the globe. While this represents an amazing opportunity for the individual, there is a cost however. Money transfers cost money, and not every ecommerce merchant account is willing to pay the premium price to send the allotted amount to the individual.

In order to compensate for this, merchants will often include numerous fees to cover the costs of moving the money around from country to country.

Security Measures

Regulations in countries vary in regard to how strict their policies are when it comes to personal information. Owners of online wallets need stay cautious in how they accept money, the types of protocols involves, and whether they are making themselves vulnerable to hacks. With various security measures being implemented regularly, transfers are slowly starting to gain back their reputation of being fair and secure – although to be fair, it’s not entirely perfect yet.

 

The Best Questions to Ask Before You Open a Merchant Account

open-a-merchant-accountIf you want to use a merchant service provider, you’re eventually going to need to speak with a merchant service provider. These calls can be intimidating for newbies who are more interested in selling a product than finding a mechanism to accept payment. This guide will help you direct some pointed questions at your representative.

After reading this guide, you’ll be able to choose the best payment gateway for your business based on the benefits that directly help you the most.

 Ask About Pricing

One way to tell you’re working with a good company is to ask about pricing structures, which is a fairly common question. Your rep should be able to clearly explain the differences between the different payment structures (flat rate, tiered pricing and interchange).  If the rep doesn’t understand these differences, or doesn’t have a good explanation for why one is better for your business than another, then you should pass.

Ask the Right Questions

Contracts are fairly standard, but it’s best to get month-to-month service so you have the freedom you need as a business owner to choose whichever payment processors work best for you. You should also ask about funding times, which ideally should be no longer than about 48 hours. Other questions to ask include online reporting, setup fees (which shouldn’t exist without software or hardware to incorporate), and any questions you may have regarding Amex.

With mobile wallets catching on, mobile credit card processing might be another concern you’ll have during this process. If you’re planning to accept Google Wallet, Apple Pay or any of the other services that utilize mobile devices, be sure to inquire about fees and implementation for that technology as well.