Online businesses are growing in popularity with both merchants and consumers. But they often face unique challenges that other businesses do not, specifically when it comes to payment methods. Since online businesses cannot accept cash from their customers, having the ability to accept credit and debit cards is required.
Plus, as Sean O'Neil, Chief Operating Officer at MerchantPro Express (MPX), points out, it's not just online businesses that are struggling to find an eCommerce merchant account. “Our historically brick and mortar merchants have begun adding eCommerce accounts to capture their share of the fast-growing number of online shoppers," he explains.
Businesses with physical locations need to offer online-shopping services if they want to keep their competitive edge, and the only way to uphold their good reputation among consumers is to provide a seamless, efficient check-out experience both in-store and online.
The capability of your online credit card processing solutions can either help or hinder your business.
But finding the right eCommerce merchant account is easier said than done—it’s like looking for a needle in a hay stack.
There are so many credit card processing companies that try to convince you that their services are the best and most affordable. While some may offer you adequate services and equipment, you never know what kinds of hidden fees they’ll throw in your contract or how much they’ll overcharge you on other costs. It’s difficult to know what you’re getting when you sign up with a merchant service provider; it’s only after you’ve signed your name on the dotted line and received your first bill that you get a clearer idea. Not to mention, most providers reserve the right to increase your rates at any time with as little as a notice on a merchant statement that such increases will occur.
So even if you do come across a company that actually possesses the 3 components of an exceptional merchant service provider and offers great deals on online credit card processing, you may still hesitate to sign up.
What you can do to avoid getting stuck with a bad eCommerce merchant account:
1. Research and compare
Your business’s success relies heavily on the account you choose, so consider every option you are presented with. Don’t just sign up with the first company that offers online credit card processing. If you rush into making a decision, you may be able to accept credit and debit cards sooner, but it’s also possible you will overpay for those services. And this will ultimately result in your business losing money.
2. Ask questions—and pay attention to how they’re answered
You should always ask questions when considering a credit card processing company in order to know what you’re paying for. Ask about rates and fees, as well as the solutions available and the payment types accepted by those solutions. Then compare and contrast the answers you receive. It’s also important to take notice of how these questions are answered. If a company fails to give you specific or satisfying responses, you should rethink whether or not this is the right choice for your business.
3. Read the fine print
Before you sign any contract, actually read what it says. There may be hidden fees strategically placed in there that weren’t discussed beforehand, and if you don’t pay attention, you won’t become aware of them until after you get your first bill. By that point, you’ll already be bound by contract and stuck with that account.
Indications you’ve found the right eCommerce merchant account:
1. Current equipment available
Though technology is consistently affecting online businesses, the best merchant service providers will always offer the latest solutions. This way, customers will have a great experience every time they make a purchase. Remember, without adept equipment and/or processing gateways, your business’ ability to complete transactions will be at risk.
2. Rates and fees explained
Although being a business owner means you are familiar with merchant services and why they are significant, that doesn’t mean you’re an expert. There are so many fees involved, such as setup fees, payment getaway fees, annual and monthly fees, and interchange fees. It’s not just important to know what you will be charged—the right merchant service provider will make it very clear what each fee means and why you will pay a certain rate.
3. Money in your pocket
Believe it or not, there are credit card processing companies that don’t want to take all of your money. As stated before, when you have an eCommerce merchant account, there will be fees you have to pay at specific rates. What you may not know is that those rates are not regulated—companies are free to charge their clients whatever they want to as long as they can pay their own fees to MasterCard and Visa—which means you may be taken advantage of. Although all companies have to earn a profit, they shouldn’t make you give them a larger share of your earnings.
An Account Worth Looking Into
At MPX, we want to provide complete transparency to every client. We’ll sit down with you and explain what our products and services include and take the time to understand your business in order to provide you with the perfectly-tailored solution. And with one look at your business’ most recent credit card processing statement, we can see exactly where your current provider is taking money right out of your hands.
With all the responsibilities you have to keep up with as a business owner, let MPX focus on your merchant services, so you don’t have to.