If you conduct any of your business on the Internet, you need an Internet merchant account.
It’s a crazy world these days… Remember a time when “Internet” wasn’t a household word? Before dial-up, cable, and DSL. Before fiber optics.
I never thought or could even conceive of a day when people could conduct their everyday business while riding the bus or sitting at a coffee shop on their laptops or mobile devices. So much of our lives has become seamlessly integrated with technology.
You can check your email, your stock portfolio, your bank account, and even turn the heat down in your home or close the garage door from your device, all while listening to a customized playlist on Spotify (Neil Young, anyone?).
Can you imagine what it would require 20 years ago to be able to do the same things while on the road as you can do now just from your device or laptop?
You would need to ride around in an RV Camper with a crew of support members on phones calling various accountants and running errands for you all at the same time. And you still wouldn’t come close to being able to accomplish what you can now from your handheld.
With all of this amazing technology of course businesses have been right there every step of the way. Every business, at least the ones hoping to achieve success, is looking for new ways to expand their reach and continue to grow.
When the Internet came around, it opened up the door of possibility for businesses to expand their selling opportunities to places and people who were impossible to reach before.
A business in Anchorage, Alaska can sell its wares on the Internet to a customer in Johannesburg, South Africa. It’s hard to imagine how this would be possible without the Internet.
As stated, if you own an online business or your businesses does at least a portion of its work on the Internet, you need to set up an Internet merchant account.
These account are designed specifically for online merchants and include everything you need to take on as much business as possible.
Why is it necessary? Why can’t you just have a business account set up through your bank and be done with it?
Well, these are great questions which need answers. Because of the nature of doing business on the Internet, a merchant account which can accept payments over the Internet is absolutely necessary.
Depending on the financial institution you have your merchant account with, you may be able to use your existing business account. You will need to check with your bank to see if they offer Internet based businesses merchant accounts.
If so (hint: many do) you can talk to your banker to have it set up.
What Internet merchant accounts do is provide you the means for processing credit, debit, and gift card transactions over the Internet through what’s called a payment gateway.
Businesses like Ebay and Amazon use Internet merchant accounts, as does any business who sells merchandise or services online.
All of these businesses have a payment gateway which acts in place of a physical point-of-sale terminal you find in retail locations.
They typically have either a virtual terminal which allows the merchant to securely login and enter credit card numbers, or a virtual “shopping cart” which connects directly to the merchant’s payment gateway for real-time payment processing.
You can choose from many different payment options for these services. The fees associated with merchant accounts vary and are usually a flat rate with an additional percentage charged per transaction.
These percentages vary on a card by card basis and are determined by the credit card companies who the cards are issued by. The rate on each card you as a merchant are charged is interchange. The merchant service will charge you a percentage above interchange.
Services like PayPal, Square and Intuit charge a flat percentage fee, usually from 2.75% to 2.9%. In these cases, those high percentage flat fees absorb the interchange, meaning interchange is already included in their flat fee.
Some fees are higher for you as a merchant to process. For example, if you sell a lot of high-end items, chances are you see a lot of customers using American Express as their preferred payment card.
American Express users tend to be wealthier individuals. The merchandise they shop for also sometimes happens to be a higher price point.
What all this means to you is the fees associated with processing American Express cards are higher than other credit card companies. Visa, Mastercard, and Discover all charge relatively lower fees to process their cards.
Regardless of the type of card your customers use, your online store needs to be ready and able to accept whatever card payment they wish to use to purchase merchandise.
Talk to your financial institution or seek out a merchant account provider. There are plenty to choose from.
RedFynn’s Internet merchant account services come with all the perks of any other account. Dedicated customer support staff (so you always know with whom you’re talking), very low, competitive processing rates, ease of use and integration, the list goes on!
Give us a call today to learn more! (888) 510-9871