Accepting credit cards can be the difference between your business breaking even and making incredible profit. Everyone has a credit card or a debit card featuring a Visa or Mastercard logo to increase their purchase power. All of the potential income credit cards can generate for smaller businesses can also generate headaches when applying for a merchant account.
To accept credit cards, a business must have a merchant account. A business uses this merchant account to access a payment gateways. Payment gateways include internet payment sites, or a credit card swipe verification system. When credit card information is submitted to the payment gateway, funds are requested from the card issuing company and upon successful processing, funds are deposited into your designated account.
Traditional merchant accounts require a credit check and a monthly or annual service fee for the payment processing services of the gateway company. You need credit card processing software, to make sure you meet minimum charge amounts and it quickly becomes a huge headache. You pay an additional annual fee for the right to accept Visa cards at your business. It all seems daunting and may leave many smaller businesses wondering about methods to accept credit cards without the hassle. The internet offers many small business solutions.
Paypal is a commonly used company. They utilize electronic funds transfer which allows money to be sent instantly to a recipient. Each transaction is documented and they even offer buyer and seller protection. You can issue refunds and have disputes settled through the company mediation process. Retrieve funds you receive through Paypal by sending them to a designated bank account or withdrawing funds using a Paypal debit card. Sender and receiver must have a Paypal account so if your customer base is not computer savvy, you might want to explore other methods. Transaction amounts are limited by Paypal, pending periodic verification from the company.
A company similar to Paypal is Google checkout. For online retail, Google checkout allows payment with all major credit cards. The customer doesn't need to be a member and Google offers a refund feature. Attach your Paypal account to your Google checkout account. Funds are deposited into your verified account. An added benefit is advertising your business through Google. Once again, this service is optimal for virtual retail and if your business is brick and mortar you require different solutions.
For more of a traditional credit card processing experience, Propay offers many features to their customers. You apply to accept credit cards with a couple of lines of your personal information. Enter credit card information online through their member portal or call their card verification line. The company offers three account choices that differ on accepted credit cards and the service fees accessed for each transaction. Their basic service costs $34.95 annually and accepts Visa and Mastercard. .35 and a 3% service fee is deducted from each transaction. The Platinum $299.95 service accepts Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express. .25 and a 2% service fee is deducted from each transaction. Basic service allows you up to $1000 in monthly transactions. Platinum allows $3000 in monthly transactions. The company does not require a monthly minimum transaction amount which is important for newer businesses. Propay lets you receive your funds via electronic funds transfer starting at .35 per transfer. The company also offers a debit card for immediate funds access.