Third party Merchant Accounts
Choosing the right payment processor to accept credit cards on the net is a difficult and time consuming task. Like bank account accounts or mortgages there are just so many options around that you need to take an honest look at your own circumstances and desires for the future of your business before you make a firm decision.
We can generally separate payment processing into either third party processors, where you use another company’s processing account, or a full blown merchant account of your own. There are pros and cons of both options and making the simple decision of which to look at should be your absolute first decision when looking for a processing account.
To help you, then, here are my top eight reasons why third party processors may be the perfect option for you…
1. Cheap Set Up
Whilst some merchant accounts will set you up for free, they are very much in the minority. A fee of several hundred dollars is commonplace in the industry whilst you can set up a quality third party processing account for next to nothing.
2. Easy To Set Up
With merchant accounts the application process usually involves *lots* of paperwork – and I mean potentially dozens of pages, plus audited accounts, bank statements, proof of identification and all sorts of other things.
On the other hand, getting a third party processing account involves little or no paperwork at all – making your life a lot easier.
3. Quick Set Up
Because of this lack of paperwork and all the checks involved it can also be a lot quicker to set up a third party account.
There are several companies whom you can get an account from where you can literally be accepting credit cards on your web site the same day you apply.
4. Low Entry Requirements
If you choose the right third party account you need to give only minimal information about yourself – and you are virtually guaranteed an account.
5. International Acceptance
Whilst it differs from provider to provider, many of these accounts are available to you no matter where you live.
6. Easy Integration with Your Site
One comment often leveled at merchant account providers is how complicated some businesses find it to integrate their site with the payment gateway.
Many third party processors have “wizards” that automatically generate a secure order form for you when you provide the basic details of your products. Then you just link to that form and you are away. It couldn’t be much easier.
7. No Monthly Fees
One additional factor to consider is that merchant accounts often charge a monthly fee. They may charge a statement fee, they may charge you to use their payment gateway, or secure server – or just to keep your account open. Unfortunately it’s quite possible for the Internet newbie to be pushed to make any more than a handful of sales to begin with.
Sure, with dedication and hard work this can soon increase – but if you’re paying for your web hosting, broadband, auto responder etc. each month, these fees can soon add up.
8. No Monthly Minimums
This is even more important. You see, most merchant accounts also have a minimum monthly value you must process. If you fail to meet it you either get charged an additional fee, or your account can be shut down.
When I first started out on the Internet, I was making one sale every two to three weeks – for a total value of about $10. Now, as I learned how to market my site, sales picked up rapidly but if I had to meet monthly minimums my business could have died before it even got started.