Going into business for yourself is risky. But there are plenty of methods you can use to lessen this risk. One of the best things you can do is to establish a merchant account for your business. This is a move that will make it much easier for you to accept credit and debit cards from your customers, online and off.
Why Does Your Business Need a Merchant Account?
The time to secure your merchant services account is now. There are a number of very important reasons why this needs to be your first move. Having a merchant account gives you a convenient mediator between the bank accounts of your customers and your own business bank account.
As the intermediary, your merchant account will serve the purpose of processing electronic payments such as credit and debit card transactions. This will be the case for online as well as offline payments that are received in this fashion.
During the process of the sale, your merchant account will withdraw funds from your customer’s bank in order to cover their payment. The service will then deposit them directly into the account of your business. This process can be also be reverse-engineered in order to provide a refund to a customer who demands one from you.
How Soon Can You Begin to Use a Merchant Account
You can begin to use a merchant account as soon as you receive the necessary hardware to do so. This tech can usually be bought directly from the service that supplies your merchant account. You may be able to get credit in order to get the tech in advance.
Once you have the services of a payment processor in place, you can immediately begin to take e-commerce payments. This will give your customers the convenience they need to do business with your site. It will also give them the full level of confidence that they need to have in order to do business with you in the first place.
How Does a Merchant Account Work?
A merchant account works by speeding up the manner in which a payment is received from your customer and then electronically processed. While the process itself is a simple one, there are a lot of moving parts involved in the transaction. For this reason, a merchant account is essential in order to ensure its total security and efficiency.
First, the info from your customer’s credit card is sent to a payment gateway. This is to make sure that they have sufficient funds in their account to cover the payment. This type of check will usually be performed by a POS (Point of Sale) machine. The POS reads the data on your customer’s card and then sends it to the credit card company.
Once the credit card company receives the data, they will give the yay or nay on whether the transaction will be allowed to go through. This is the usual process for a type of merchant account known as “card-present” or “swiped.” It is most commonly used by owners of retail outfits, restaurants, or hospitality centers.
Another type of merchant account transaction is known as “keyed-in” or “card-not-present.” This is usually conducted over the web through a special electronic payment gateway. This gateway connects directly to the credit card company of the user.
Any business owner that desires to accept credit cards over the phone or through this special type of online process will need to have a payment gateway. This type of e-payment method can also come in handy if you have customers that tend to place orders for pickup before they arrive to pay.
The type of merchant account you choose should be tailored to the exact nature and needs of your business. This is a matter to confer with an expert on.
The Time to Create Your Business Merchant Account is Now
If you are serious about your business, you need to do all in your power to guarantee its long term survival. Creating a merchant account should be one of your very first moves. This is the key to giving your customers the convenience they require to happily and safely do business with you. It’s the ultimate guarantor of credibility.