Online Merchant Account

Written by Laurie Nichol
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An online merchant account is not dissimilar to a traditional credit card merchant account. When a retailer, whether at a physical storefront or a virtual one, needs to take funds from a customer, he or she needs the assistance of a bank. When you take the card information, it must be authorized by the credit card company, and the data sent to the bank, who disburses the funds into your company account.

There are different ways to smooth this process out when you're doing online business. First of all, you will be paying more to have an online merchant account than you would for a traditional one. This is due to the higher volume of fraud that online merchants encounter.

Do Your Homework, Find the Right Merchant Account Service

Since you're paying more for the online merchant account, you'll want to find one that is as affordable as possible, to minimize your fees and charges. Instead of going through the bank directly, many smaller businesses choose to use a third party service. This service works with the bank for them, and saves them a considerable amount of money.

There is always an initial set-up charge that varies from company to company. Looking for a company that doesn't charge much for this service is a good idea of course, but you'll have to remember that there are other fees and charges to remember. The most important fees to take into consideration are the "discount rate" fees and the "per transaction" fees-these accrue with every single sale, and can really add up.

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