Why an Ecommerce Merchant Account is Absolutely Mandatory for Your Business

Merchant Warehouse |

December 7, 2010

If you happen to conduct your business mainly on the net, an ecommerce merchant account is a must have. It allows you to accept credit or debit card payments from your customers. Without an ecommerce account you are lacking the mechanism that enables you to complete any transactions. Most ecommerce merchant accounts allow you to accept financial instruments ranging anywhere from debit cards, online checks, credit and charge cards.

Why is the merchant account so important? It’s because these days nearly everyone uses credit or debit card to make payments for their purchases. If there is no mechanism in place to accept online payments, or if your website doesn’t support online transactions, then your possibility of “opportunity loss” is staggering. If you are on the net doing business without a merchant account, it’s time to step out of the Dark Ages and get in tune with the new age technology of the Internet.

How to Choose

When choosing an ecommerce account, there are many things to consider, about the process itself as well as the potential provider. You will need to be persistent when choosing an account provider. Make sure that they have legitimate reliability and a good word of mouth reputation. Completing a thorough investigation will make all the difference.

Always read the fine print. There are so many mistakes made by those who don’t take the time to read what they are signing. There are always going to be fees and up front costs involved with any merchant account. Review the documents with a fine tooth comb. However, don’t allow the talk of fees deter you from choosing a provider. Although the thought of having to pay high fees might scare you, this should not be the prime factor in your decision. Sometimes, the higher the fees, the better the merchant.

What You Get

In many cases, the merchant account providers will offer shopping carts, software, even the equipment you will need. Merchants can also help with website design. Overall, a firm that can offer you a package deal may make you entry into the field of online commerce easier. And don’t forget to ask about any international merchant account differences or adjustments. You will probably want to accept payments from any country no matter what type of currency is used, so look into the currency rules and regulations the provider has.

Although your private bank can offer you an ecommerce merchant account, this might turn out to be more costly than expected, and is why there are companies called Independent Sales Organizations (ISO). Ecommerce merchant accounts are available from a variety of other sources as well. It’s best to research other options, before deciding to go with the bank or other financial institution with which you have a regular business relationship.

Other Options

PayPal, Clickbank and 2Checkout are what many webmasters opt for. The solutions offered by 2Checkout, Clickbank and PayPal are unique in their own right. When it comes to 2Checkout, you just need to place a piece of code onto your commerce web site and they will do the rest for you. However, these “one trick pony” add-ons only help you process credit card payments a certain way, and at their nonnegotiable rate. They do not take the place of a full-service merchant account.

To find the most suitable ecommerce merchant account provider for your business, you need to do the research. This can be time-consuming but well worth the effort you put into it. Accepting all forms of payment for your transactions will allow your business to prosper more than any other single change. Cash-only payments are great for the lemonade stand but if you want a business that can afford you more than a stamp collection, get in with the times and start accepting credit and debit card payments.