No matter what sort of business you operate, being able to process credit cards can be critical to your success. This is true whether you are providing goods, services, or operating over the internet. Though business owners frequently shy away from using a credit card processor because of the related fees, you and your clients will both benefit from the flexibility and security that comes with a visa merchant account.
How to Take Visa/Mastercard at your business?
Being able to take payments by credit card will help you to attract new clients. If you are working with other businesses as a supplier of goods and services, you will surely find clients who prefer to consolidate their debts onto one credit card rather than having many outstanding invoices from many different suppliers. Opening a merchant account solution will allow you to stay competitive with all the other companies in your industry that also take credit cards.
When your business receives payment by credit card, you have much faster access to your money. Within ten days and usually even less time, the funds from the credit card transaction will be deposited into your bank account, earning interest or helping you to pay for business expenses. With the availability of merchant service providers, you do not need to wait 30, 60, or even 90 days for an invoice to come due, and then spend another week waiting for the payment to clear. You can receive payment only days after the transaction takes place.
Processing payments by credit card also gives your business more security. Though you are agreeing to give up a small percentage of each sale, you are protected from clients who default on their invoices. One missed payment could severely jeopardize a small or fledgling business. Non-payment of a large enough sum could be enough to hurt even an established company. The small percentage taken by your credit card processor is nothing when confronted with such a serious loss, nevermind the time and resources wasted trying to collect on your unpaid invoices. Why put your business at risk when payment processors are readily available?
Once you have decided to take the plunge and begin processing credit cards, you need to figure out what sort of account to set up. The easiest and most efficient way to set up an account is through the bank you use for other business transactions. However, banks are more selective when doling out merchant accounts. If you are unable to process credit cards through your bank, you can look into a third party processor to handle authorization, billing, reporting, and settlement of all credit card transactions. Third party processors are less selective, but may charge more than your bank. Still, the flexibility and security for your business are likely worth the expense.
Whether you sign up through your bank or through a third party processor, your credit card agent will evaluate your business and history to see whether you fall into the high or low risk category. They will have to decide whether they expect your business to receive many chargebacks, which are instances in which the client disputes the charges on his or her credit card. You are less likely to be considered high risk if you operate an in-person business and are processing credit cards that are directly handed to you by your client. Internet businesses and others who process transactions using credit card numbers sent over the phone or computer are more likely to be thought of as high risk merchants. Though you will still be able to set up an account to take visa & mc, you can expect your fees to be somewhat higher than those of a low risk merchant.
If you do happen to fall into the high risk category, you may be interested in evaluating overseas merchant account providers. AdvantageProccessors is a leading merchant account provider to find solutions for your business to process credit cards overseas, and thefore they are free from conforming to American standards set by Visa and Mastercard. They may be able to reduce your fees and offer you some additional privacy from public scrutiny as well as a few tax advantages. Of course, you should also consider that offshore credit card processing is a bit more risky solution for your business than using a merchant services provider in the United States.
No matter what your business and no matter what sort of provider you decide to use for your merchant account, take your time and research the provider with whom you are doing business. You are going to rely on its representatives for customer service and support, so you need to make sure that they will be able to provide you with the assistance you need. Also be certain to get a list of transaction and other fees upfront so that you do not encounter any surprise charges at the end of the month or year. As long as you exercise caution, you can expect your merchant account to be a huge asset to your business!