Online Credit Card Processing: Setting up Your Own Store
For many small retailers, selling on the Internet via a website can be a boon; ecommerce can permit and encourage growth and sustainability for small businesses in an era when brick and mortar stores are suffering. For these businesses, credit card processing merchant services are even more important than physical-only retailers. It is vital to these retailers to find an affordable and efficient service to handle your transactions.
These days, many third-party sites such as Etsy exist to handle the mechanics and management of small business’ services, but these services, in the end, cost you money as they take a fee for every transaction, and often it’s a rather sizable percentage. They also limit your storefront design to their own templates. There’s no reason, in this market, to not manage your own sales, and doing so can provide many benefits such as tracking consumer demographics and trends, as well as offering special discounts and promotions directly and at a steeper benefit to your customers since you will significantly lower costs by removing yourself from the fee structures imposed by established vendors.
This isn’t to say there will be no fees; even PayPal, a leader among credit card processing merchant services, charges fees. However, consider that when using, for example, an eBay store, you are subject not only to fees for accepting PayPal, but eBay’s fee structure for merchants as well. Having your own storefront removes the secondary fee structure from the mix.
Once you are equipped with a store and shopping cart system, finding a provider is fairly simple. There are many options for setting up a storefront, such as Volusion, Shopify, or even Google’s Base product search. Once you find a storefront and shopping cart system, hooking up with a credit card processing service is fairly easy, though it can take some research. Nikhil Roychowdhury, owner of The Simple Leaf Tea, spent months researching before choosing online credit card processing, but says, “Before went live with them, it was pretty straightforward to set up. And you know it’s working almost immediately, because funds go into your account within 48 or 72 hours.”
Vision Payment Solutions can help you choose the right option for your business, including authorize.net, PayTrace and more.
What about PayPal? This service has a generally higher fee structure than others, but is still a great choice for a small vendor, because most web users are familiar and comfortable with it, and as such it allows for a broadening customer base. It is also extremely easy to set up and use. For a startup, it can be a good choice, and as the business grows, other, less expensive services can be brought in. It is also reliable and has second-to-none protection services for transactions.
In the end, when choosing credit card processing merchant services for your business, do your research and choose an option that will allow you to maximize profit and customer service, and in turn allow you to free yourself from the restrictions and high fee structures by third-party store services.