Merchant accounts Explained

There are two basic reasons you have a web site.
The first is to provide an information type web site. The second is to sell your products and/or services.
If you are going to be selling a product or service online you must have the ability to accept credit cards.
The following are some things to look for when you are talking to a credit card processing company.

Do they charge an upfront application fee?
Most companies will charge a $25.00 upfront application fee.
Do your shopping, as some charge as little as ten and some we researched charged zero.

Do they charge a set up fee?
This fee varies between processing companies and the type of products you are selling. Again, our research came up with some companies that charged a zero set up and some companies charge as much as $195.00.
The type of product that you are selling will have an effect on what the set up charge is.

What is a virtual terminal?
Click below for a live demo of a virtual terminal The virtual terminal or payment gateway is what is used to allow your customers to purchase a product from your website real time. It operates under they same technology as when you go into a store and the counter person swipes your credit card through a machine. The only difference is your customers enter their credit card number in the computer. 8-10 seconds later the sale is complete and you receive notification via e-mail.

What does the virtual terminal cost?
A few years age companies were selling the virtual terminal for as much as $2000.00 or on a monthly lease of anywhere from $39-$59 per month for 4 years. Prices have come down a lot since then. Prices range at this point from $99-299, again depending on the type of product that you are selling. Companies that take on mid to high risk accounts will charge more. Again it is important to do your shopping, we found a couple of companies that actually charge zero for the virtual terminal. One other thing regarding the virtual terminal. There is a monthly fee. Usually $10-$20 per month.

What are the customary rates and monthly fees?
Studies do show that by accepting credit cards either in a retail establishment or online total sales will increase anywhere from 50-1000%. If you are selling a product online it is an absolute necessity to accept credit cards. If you are not sure what direction to go, talk to the person that is hosting your web site. Processing companies will sometimes work out a special pricing programs specifically for web hosting company clients.


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