do if you Do Not have a Merchant Account
-- And yes -- there is a solution!
If you can't meet your bank's
requirements for an Internet Merchant Account, there is another
way that you can accept credit card transactions online. Although
we do not provide these types of services our selves, we do
assist our clients in finding the correct merchant services
for their special needs.
We have found ways to assist many of our clients who do not
currently have a merchant account. Resellers can handle the
transactions on your behalf, then issue you payment for sales
according to a prearranged schedule. You do not need a secure
line, since the actual transaction occurs on their site, not
The third-party processor takes care of the entire purchasing
process. This includes shopping cart, credit card authorization,
customer service and billing inquiries. When customers are
ready to buy, they click on a link on your site and are taken
to a secure order form on the third-party server.
This is where they place their order and have it confirmed.
You are notified, usually by e-mail, that a transaction has
been processed. Your only responsibility is to ship the order.
Some processors handle returns.
Because they manage all aspects of transaction processing,
third-party processors allow small-business owners to save
money on administration and customer service. You don't need
to manually verify transactions or respond to billing questions.
This makes third-party processing services perfect for small
businesses just getting started that lack established credit
and generate less than $1,000 per month (U.S.) in sales. These
services are also popular with older businesses that have
poor credit, with non-U.S. businesses and with businesses
selling content and services.
Moreover, most processors provide sophisticated online interfaces
whereby you can review transaction information any time of
Another benefit of third-party processors is that most have
effective fraud-screening systems. They handle all aspects
of security and encryption, and most don't require that merchants
pay a fee for chargebacks.
As with most business decisions, it's best to shop around
to find the right processor for your online store. The services
are diverse, and they differ in fees charged and services
rendered. For example, some third-party processors offer the
ability to accept other forms of payment, can be used for
auction sales, or allow recurring billing. Others don't.
Some require sale of tangible products only; others require
that merchants sell only intangible goods services
It is easier to arrange reseller services than it is to get
a merchant account through the bank. Before you sign on the
dotted line, consider the following:
- What's their track record for transferring
sale funds to their merchants?
Do they transfer every couple of weeks or might you wait
for months to be paid?
- Do they collect any local taxes that
may apply to sales?
If they don't, you are the one who will have to deal with
the Taxation Department.
- Do they provide timely and accurate
Without proper reports, you won't have the income tax
information that you require come tax day.
- Are they using the sophisticated technology
that can intercept credit card fraud before it happens?
- Do they respond promptly to email or
- What are the terms for canceling the
contract? Are you locked in for an extended period? Is
there a hefty penalty for cancellation?
So how do you find a service with a good track record? I'd
be leery of the "Accept Credit Card" spams that
fill your mailbox. In my view, the best way to find a good
reseller is to subscribe to one of the mailing lists used
by Internet Merchants, then ask list members what services
they are using and what their experience has been. Be cautious
of effusive testimonials. At least some of the glowing testimonials
that you encounter are written by marketing professionals
and given to associate resellers to distribute as their own
Most resellers charge an array of fees for their service.
Since the reseller is essentially taking a risk on your behalf,
expect higher transaction fees than a bank will charge for
a Merchant Account. Shop around and compare rates, but realize
that cheaper is not always better. A low-priced service may
not be building the necessary financial reserves and therefore
may not have long-term stability. Remember, if they go broke,
you lose your startup fee and any other monies tied up in
Here are the fees that you might reasonably expect to be
- A set up fee.
- A monthly transaction fee
- Transaction fees per sale
- Credit card discount fees (a percentage
of total sale)
- Holdbacks. As a safeguard against chargeback
losses, many resellers will hold back a percentage of each
month's transactions for a period of several months.)
- Chargeback fees. (Can range as high as
$50 or more per chargeback)
- Fees for refunds requested by the merchant.
One final thought on reseller services. Almost all of the
services you encounter on the Net are available only to residents
of the US. Residents of other countries may have to look hard
to locate a service that is available to them.
What happens if your reseller goes broke or shuts down?
In most cases, you will lose the money you invested in their
service, as well as any sales fees that are owing to you.
By June Campbell
Call us TOLL FREE for more information
or a free price quote at:
contact us at:
Traduzca a español