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Accept Online Payment - The Different Options to Accept Online Payment

account merchant credit card

Doing business on the Internet is essential for the success of most retail companies. While a local customer base can be useful, it is rarely enough to keep a business solvent. In many instances, niche markets cannot reach their desired customers in one local demographic. Instead, they must tap into the broader market provided by the Internet. Savvy Internet customers demand a convenient way to pay for their products and services, however, making it critical that you be able to accept online payment and process credit cards effectively. This can be an extremely expensive prospect, so knowing what is available, what the associated costs may be and how to best select a credit card processing service can be important to keeping your overhead under control.

Understanding the Credit Card Merchant Account

In order to accept an online payment as a direct transaction, you must open a credit card merchant account. This provides a connection directly between the customer that wants your goods and your own business account at your bank. Funds are released through the merchant account and placed in your own financial institution. Having a merchant account is extremely convenient. However, there are often hidden costs associated with these services. Some may be disclosed upfront, while others may be hidden. When you are looking at the different price plans that merchant accounts advertise, it is crucial that you compare everything as equally as possible. Some merchant account services include everything in the advertised cost, making the price you pay very close to what you expect. Others, however, may advertise a bare-bones plan, with extra features being charged separately. These may initially look like a better deal but you may end up spending more when all is said and done. Be constantly diligent in monitoring your credit card merchant account that can accept online payment. Of course, keeping everything consistent in your store-front is recommended, but if your present merchant plan is taking too many resources, shop around and find a better option.

Besides the basic costs of opening and maintaining a merchant account, there are other associated expenses that you can expect to pay when you accept online payment. For example, your online shop must have a functional shopping cart that is hooked into the merchant account. This cart must be secure in order for customers to feel safe shopping with you. You must have enough bandwidth to handle your shopping traffic, as well as the necessary storage to capture the data associated with each credit card order. These are all necessary aspects that allow you to accept online payment and can add to the overall cost of doing so.

Using a Payment-Processing Service

If you do not have the financial means to open your own merchant account, there are still ways that you can accept online payment without breaking the bank. For many small businesses, the only way they can reasonably function is by using a middle-man to process their payment. The most popular payment-processing service is PayPal. PayPal allows anyone to accept a credit card payment. The buyer can send a payment directly to the email address associated with your business; you then pay a small percentage of the payment in processing fees. If you don’t have many customers, you don’t have the heavy overhead associated with a merchant account. While your payment will not be directly deposited into a bank account, PayPal keeps a running balance that can be transferred to verified bank accounts that are associated with your PayPal account. You can also apply for a debit card that allows you instant access to the funds.

Setting up a PayPal account is very easy. After you verify your account, you can accept credit card payments almost immediately. In order to accept online payment through a website or shopping cart system, you will need to connect the site with your PayPal account. You can integrate an existing shopping cart into the system or you can use the business tools that the company offers. With time and patience, most small businesses can figure out how to get the PayPal system connected to their shopping cart without incurring excessive expenses for coding or computer support.

Regardless of your specific needs, it’s essential to be able to accept online payment when you do business via the Internet. There are pros and cons to using each option, so carefully assess what your needs are before deciding between a merchant account or a payment-processing service.

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about 7 years ago

Beside what's mentioned here, there are also prepaid cards. I prefer Paysafecard myself. No bank info or anything. Just 16digits code that can be even more secured with a password.
When it comes to quick and secure payment processes, it's on the top of my list. Just a suggestion.