A Merchant Card Account: Your Answer to Payment Processing

There’s no doubt about the value of being able to accept credit cards from your customers. But it can be difficult to obtain a merchant card account if you do not have a physical store, or if your business operates via mail order. However, with the proliferation of mail order and home-based businesses, all sorts of merchant card account providers have stepped onto the scene. Although this proves beneficial for many merchants, if you don’t proceed with caution, your merchant card account will cost you more than you thought it could.

Merchant status mandates that you work with a merchant card account provider for the credit transactions, along with a bank in which you’ll deposit your funds. You will also need a terminal for entering the card data.

If you’re a physical store operation, you may need – along with your merchant card account – a terminal to enter credit card data and obtain authorization for the charge. Terminal costs range from $200 to almost two grand, so research thoroughly. For e-commerce, software is around $350. Many providers require you purchase equipment from them, so be wary of this little snafu.

Here are some of the fees involving your new merchant card account that you may or may not be informed of before actually getting a merchant card account. Inquire about each of these potential deal-breakers before signing on to a merchant card account:

•       Application fee: These vary, but watch out for the high ones.

•       Installation fee: This fee can often be as high as $100.

•       Statement fee: Typically, banks charge around ten dollars a month.

•       Minimum account billing: This shouldn’t be an issue, generally – but like other fees involved with merchant card accounts, use caution.

•       Chargeback fee: These can reach nearly $30; read our articles on merchant card account chargebacks, and learn how you can preven them.

•       Transaction fee: This generally can be between 20-30 cents per transaction.

•       Bank setup fee: The maximum fee for this can be around $75.

If you have any additional concerns regarding acquisition of a merchant card account through Vision Payment Solutions – or if you already have a merchant card account but need to switch providers or improve your bottom line – then give us a call today at the number above.