Merchant Accounts – Which Option Fits Your Company?

If you are the owner of a company that has yet to set up a merchant services account for credit card processing, odds are your company is either very new or very old.

For new companies just getting started, there are so many other things to worry about while getting set up that credit card processing can seem too confusing and intimidating to jump right into. On the other hand, there are plenty of older businesses that have been thriving for years which may have an “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” attitude.

But the plain fact is that the ability to process credit card transactions is only going to become more necessary as the years go on. And while business may be booming without using merchant services today, it may not be that way in the years and months to come.

Luckily, there are merchant service accounts for companies of all types and sizes, and with just a little bit of research you will quickly realize that credit card processing is not nearly as complicated as you may suspect. For starters, let’s take a look at the different types of merchant accounts and figure out which one is the right fit for your company.

Retail Swipe Terminal

Does your company deal with the customer face-to-face? Do you have a real “bricks and mortar” business and handle most of your transactions in real-time? Then you are a perfect candidate for a retail swipe terminal.

These are the machines you see at any grocery stores or retail outlets where you simply swipe your credit or debit card. One of the advantages of this type of processing is that it has the lowest merchant account processing fees. This is because you can actually see the customer and swipe their card.
Since you can do things like ask to see identification to compare the name on the card with, merchant services companies believe that there is a much lower risk of fraud. This is why they charge the low processing fees. It is less of a risk to them.

Retail swipe terminals are becoming more and more popular and necessary to businesses today. People expect to be able to pay on their card when they go shopping, and many of them aren’t going to be willing to go walk around and find an ATM when they realize they can’t pay with their card. Even if they do go out of their way to get cash the first time, in the future they may choose to do their repeat shopping with a company that will accept their card.

Real-Time Processing

Does your company do a lot of business over the Internet? Do you have or wish to set up an online store where your customers can easily search for products and order them with a few clicks of a button? Then you should consider real-time processing.

Everything is done completely automatically with this type of processing. Your customers simply enter all of the applicable information and the money will be processed by your merchant account and deposited in your business checking account within a few short days.

Real-time processing is completely secure and in most cases there is no need to buy a secure certificate. This way of processing credit cards over the Internet is almost a necessity when it comes to setting up an online store. It is a great way to expand your business across your region, around the country, and maybe even throughout the world.

Virtual Terminal

Do you sell on the Internet, but expect to receive some of your orders over the phone, through the mail, or by fax? Then you are going to want to set up a virtual terminal in addition to your real-time processing.

The virtual terminal is, in fact, very simple. It is just a secure website where you can login and type in your customer’s credit card information. After that it is processed through the merchant account and the funds are transferred to your account within a few days.

One of the nice aspects of the virtual terminal is that it can be accessed from any computer that is hooked up to the Internet. This allows the virtual terminal to act as a mobile processing solution as well. A lot of real-time processing plans already include virtual terminals for free, or at a very small price.

Wireless Merchant Solutions

Are you a merchant who is literally “on the go”? Do you own a vending cart or do you your sales while on the road? There are two types of mobile solutions that can help to grow your business.

The first is a touch-tone solution. This is a great option for smaller merchants who can’t afford a high start-up cost. You simply take your customers credit card information and process it manually over a touch-tone phone.

If, however, you can afford the startup cost then the best way to go is to actually buy a wireless swipe terminal. This pays off in the long run because many of the free terminals have high termination fees. After you have purchased the wireless swipe terminal it works just like any normal retail swipe terminal.

The time to take advantage of the world of merchant services is now. More and more businesses every day are discovering credit card processing solutions that are allowing their businesses to grow beyond their wildest dreams. Don’t get left behind. Get on board today.