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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

How to create a plan to pay off your debts.

Getting on a Plan to Be Debt-Free

4 Differences between a Free and a Paid Merchant Account

The differences between a paid and a free merchant account are their basic fees to be paid, the funds’ delivery time, the requirements and most importantly the “catch”.

A merchant’s main concern in choosing a merchant account is one that will suit his needs and fits his budget. Knowing the difference between a free and a paid merchant account is one step to selecting the best merchant account for your business.

Basic fees

The basic fees needed to be paid for users of a paid merchant account are the application fee, setup fee, monthly account fee, and transaction fee. All fees vary from a merchant account provider to another so it is best to inquire from different choices before settling to the one. The application fee is normally paid at the moment you acquire a merchant account. Though, there are some providers that do not charge this kind of fee at all. Another basic fee is the setup fee which covers the establishing of your account and this also includes other bank related issues. Just like the application fee, this is paid just once in the whole duration of your use. Another would be the monthly account fee which is mainly for the maintenance of your merchant account. This rate may vary with each provider or company. There is only one basic fee which is similar to both free and paid merchant account and this is the transaction fee. This is incurred every time a customer buys something from your e-business. In this matter, paid merchant accounts are well off because it generally takes lower charges compared to free merchant accounts. A free merchant account caters to providing the needed software to run this special program for free. Therefore, you won’t be bothered by set-up fees.

Funds delivery time

For free merchant accounts, you have to be patient in waiting for funds to settle in your bank account especially when you are a first-timer and doesn’t have a prominent name in the business yet. But usually, you have to expect your income for at least three to four business days. On the other hand, the funds delivery time for paid merchant account is far quicker compared to the first. Knowing this, you have to weigh whether you will keep a free merchant account with limitations or apply for a paid merchant account where you can manage to pay for the necessary charges and have the advantage of a faster funds delivery time. This will have to be your choice.


For a free merchant account, you are not obliged to yield to a credit check and vice versa for the case of paid merchant accounts. Other than this, paid merchant accounts require you a sufficient amount of money to pay for the fees that will be charged on you. But for free merchant accounts, you will only have to keep track of the transaction fee and nothing else.

The “catch”

With all the benefits of a free merchant account, it’s probably intriguing to know the catch. So here it is. Though this kind of application doesn’t cost a set-up fee initially, you are still incurred to some fees which will be taken out from every transaction made. This is quite expected because if otherwise, the merchant provider won’t be earning profit out of its clients. Another drawback is when your merchant account can be temporarily disabled. This is done by your provider because it noticed that you are earning too much money at a certain span of time. They will say that this will benefit both parties. Also, this deactivation is a method to detect fraudulent practices. Nevertheless, when a client is generating more money, his account will start receiving more funds.

Some things to be cautious of when acquiring a paid merchant account is to avoid credit card terminal leases. A sign of this is a company that offers free equipment because there is a large tendency that this is just a rip-off. Be careful of rates that are lower than normal. The odds are the company is exploiting introductory rates that may be non-guaranteed. Lastly, be watchful for early termination fees. Most sales rep will say just about any lie so that you will sign into the contract. So be sure that you won’t be locked with early termination fees so ask.

Now, it ends with a mind-boggling question, ‘Would it be a go for a free merchant account or a paid merchant account?’ Equipped with the differences of both, you have to weigh your needs and budget to get the best kind for your online business.

Tackling Credit Card Debt, Student Loans

Tips for paying down your debt.

Monday, March 29, 2010

12 Common Fees You Encounter in Getting a Merchant Account

In opening a merchant account you will come across certain fees that you need to pay on one-time, monthly, annual, and per transaction basis. These are application fee, setup fee, payment gateway fee, monthly statement fee, monthly minimum fee, discount rate, transaction fee, address verification service (AVS) fee, voice authorization fee, charge-back fee, annual fee, and termination fee.

If you want to accept credit cards and other electronic payment forms to increase your sales and profits, you need to open a merchant account. Applying for this type of account involves fees and charges in exchange for the service that merchant account providers give you. Although these costs vary among different providers, here are the common fees you encounter:

Application fee

As the name obviously states, this fee is asked for by the provider when you apply for a merchant account. A percentage of this fee and some other fees may go to the referrer, when applicable, as commission promised in a company’s merchant account affiliate program. Due to heavy competition among providers, most companies do not anymore charge application fees.

Setup fee

This is the initial cost that is asked by certain providers when your account is being set up. Just like the application key, setup fee is now usually very cheap or free for merchants.

Payment gateway fee

To make their package more attractive and less hassle for clients, some merchant account providers tie up with other companies needed by a business to accept credit card payments. An example is payment gateway facility providers. For online businesses, you make use of the payment gateway facility to approve and process credit card transactions over the Internet. If your payment gateway facility is part of your merchant account setup package, applicable fees will be charged by your merchant account provider. On the other hand, if it is separately acquired, fees will be charged directly by your gateway service provider.

Monthly statement fee

This fee is for the processing and preparation of monthly statements. It is fixed regardless of the number of credit card transactions you make in a month.

Monthly minimum fee
Merchant account providers set this minimum or floor amount for the total fees you need to pay monthly. For example, the monthly minimum fee is $30. If all your monthly processing fees, including gateway fee, statement fee, and more, sum up to $25 only, you need to pay additional $5 to reach the monthly minimum fee. If on the other hand your total monthly fee is $35, you do not need to pay additional fee.

Discount rate

This fee can be computed as a percentage of each approved credit card transaction. Usually rates are more expensive for online merchant accounts than retail, due to higher risk and more processes involved.

Transaction fee

Whether a credit card transaction has been approved or declined, merchant account providers charge you this fee for all transactions made. For the same reason as discount rate, transaction fees are higher for online merchants than retail merchants.

Address Verification Service (AVS) fee

Address verification services or AVS is when a credit card transaction is verified using your purchaser’s credit card number and mailing address. This will help you prevent fraudulent purchases when a credit card is not swiped as in a Mail Order or Telephone Order (MOTO), mobile, and online transactions. Because the amount charged is very minimal, some providers include AVS fee in the discount rate or transaction fee.

Voice authorization fee

In rare cases when your software or Point-Of-Sale (POS) terminal is not functioning, you can still process credit card transactions by calling a toll-free number given by your merchant account provider to complete the transaction. The voice authorization fee charged to you will be computed per transaction.

Chargeback fee

Chargeback fee applies when a transaction is reversed and funds are returned to your client for some reason, such as wrong product or service delivered or someone else deceptively used the credit card. You should be able to receive a notification regarding the argument and should respond to it. Chargeback fees charged to you are for the handling of the dispute as well the additional process of returning funds to your clients.

Annual fee

Some providers charge annual fees to their merchant account holders. This is especially applicable with providers that have membership programs offering lower monthly fees, lower transaction fees, and other privileges.

Termination fee

Termination fee is a charge you need to pay when you decide to cancel your merchant account before your contract ends. This is usually fixed regardless of the number of months you have had business with your merchant account provider. This cancellation fee helps your provider recover the losses they might incur with the high initial costs for setting up a merchant account, which are given to you for free or at very low cost.

Aside from these fees, there are also other very minimal costs that merchant account providers require from you during the entire contract, such as daily batch fee and pin debit transactions for POS debit card transactions. Before you apply for a merchant account with a certain provider, always make sure that you know what fees will be charged to you for the specific services they offer at any given time within your contract. Make sure there are no hidden fees that come out after your application has been approved. Make sure you also know and understand what each fee means. There might be some fees that serve the same purpose but are listed separately by the provider to earn more profit from you.

A good way to choose the best merchant account provider is to compare providers with regards to services and fees, as well as customer credibility.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Advantages and Disadvantages of Return Fees for Merchant Accounts

The return fee is charged when a buyer’s purchase is overturned and funds are brought back to their account in a ‘no more, no less’ basis. The benefits of the return fee is that it imparts pleasant customer feedback, it safeguards your e-business’ name, and it enhances customer service and refund policies. On the other hand, the drawbacks are extra business costs, downright necessity and concern, and safety issues.

Normally, return fees vary between $15-30 answerable to the credit card company and your merchant account provider. This can be seen in your billing statement after a client gives back their bought goods or acquired services. They will then ask for a refund. It typically takes seven days to complete this process however it could take longer due to some further requirements required for the refund to be acted out. Find out the pros and cons of return fee in the following subsections.


Imparts pleasant customer feedback

This will assure your customers that you really stick to what your refund policy states. Once they tried to return certain purchased merchandise and they successfully receive the refund in their account, then they will put their trust and confidence in you. They are rest assured of a secured payment system and that they will gain their money’s worth.

Safeguards your e-business’ name

Return fees should not be seen as a mistake but it should be distinguished as an opportunity to improve the quality of your goods and services marketed online. When a customer demands a refund, it’s either he is not pleased or is not engrossed with what they purchased. Through their comments, you can upgrade your manufactured article and at the same time, pay a closer look to your available products and assuring that there are no flaws. You’ll come up with a better marketing approach. In this manner, you’ll be protecting the reputation of your online business.

Enhances customer service and refund policies

From time to time, your business will be challenged by customers who take your policy for granted since they are not aware that you, as the merchant, is being charged in exchange of their returned purchase. You can state in your policy that if a customer demands a refund, he will be charged for the return fee that is being placed in your bill by the merchant account provider. This will assure you that bogus buyers won’t be in your way. This will also pose a clarification that you don’t want any mishaps between you and the customer in the near future.


Extra business costs

Without a doubt, return fees benefit your customers, which is good but it is the other way round for you. There are times when the return fees cost you more than what you are earning. You have to cut your budgets for unwanted billing statements. Since you are obligated to obey the merchant account rules, you have no other choice but to pay for whatever fees are charged in your name. It won’t only cost you the return fee but also the refund for your customers. To avoid this, make sure your policy is strictly implemented and that your products are worth their money.

Downright necessity and concern

As stated above, you are obliged to follow the rules and regulations of having a merchant account. It is your responsibility to pay for the fees and charges posted in your account or else, your business will be discontinued. In doing so, you will grant a good reputation with your merchant account provider.

Safety issues

The biggest problem of online businesses is the hackers. One day, you’ll open your account and be surprised with the random transactions processed. In the end, you’ll be paying more fees and charges. What’s worst is when you never notice the scamming at all. This is why you have to make sure that you verify your online security software and conduct a scheduled system check to steer clear from hackers and other fraudulent pursuits.

One way to have a good refund policy is to know the possibilities of having return fees. You have to be aware of its benefits and drawbacks. This will steer your business away from probable disaster.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

2 Viable Alternatives to Utilizing Your Existing Merchant Starter Account for a Second Yahoo Store

Every Yahoo store requires a separate merchant account even if you operate more than one store with them. For identification and individuality purposes, it would not be possible to make use of the same merchant account if you are planning to open a second Yahoo store in addition to your starter merchant plan. Alternately, you can either apply for a new merchant account or upgrade your current Yahoo Merchant Solutions plan.

If you want to create another store with Yahoo either because you intend to offer new products and services or because your website’s traffic volume has increased to exceed your store’s capacity, you are required to open a new merchant account. This is because the features of Yahoo! Merchant Solutions are intended to benefit and apply to individual business needs, thus requiring a specific merchant ID (MID) and terminal ID (TID) per store, assigned by your merchant account provider. To address your concern, consider the following alternatives:

Apply for a new merchant account

If you have a new set of products or services to offer, then you really need to open a new store. Your option would be to apply for a new Yahoo store merchant account that is compatible with First Data Merchant Services (FDMS) Nashville Platform. FDMS is Yahoo’s payment gateway service provider. Aside from being a requisite, even if it would be possible to use only one merchant account for both stores, it would be logical to separate your funds with each other, since the nature and the needs of your new store would be different from your existing business. In this way, it would be easier for you to manage your funds especially when reconciling your sales and profits, as well as dealing with chargebacks or refunds to customers.

Upgrade your current Yahoo Merchant Solutions plan

If you are planning to open a second Yahoo store because the traffic in your website has increased or maybe you want to expand your business and add related products, but your store’s capacity is not able to handle your needs, then you can resort to upgrading your store. You do not have to create a new store and undergo all the hassles and incur all the additional expenses starting from business permits to new merchant account applications, new website, and other related operating costs. Considering you have a starter plan with Yahoo, you can upgrade to either standard or professional plan depending on the sales you expect to generate per month. Even if upgrading entails higher fixed monthly fees, per transaction fees are lower for these higher plans. More features are also included, which will allow you to save more in the long run.

What is important in decision-making is that you are able to see all the benefits and the costs that go hand in hand. Always remember that your aim is not only to increase your sales, but ultimately to gain more profits. You need to provide yourself with as much options available in order to come up with the best course of action that will help boost your business.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Costs of a Merchant Payment Setup and a PayPal Setup for Average Websites

Costs of a Merchant Payment Setup and a PayPal Setup for Average Websites

The cost of an average website with merchant payment setup and PayPal setup will range from $50 up to $250 conditional on the expectations that you need to meet.

First timers in the online business department who would wish to setup a merchant account and PayPal on his website would probably be tiring and mind-numbing. What follows is a guide to be familiar with the process and especially the payment processing. So before acquiring a merchant account and PayPal for your e-business, get to learn how much money is to be left aside for these.

Merchant account and its cost

A merchant account is utilized by most online business stores to widen their capacity to receive payment through debit and credit card transactions. This is made possible through creating a payment gateway which serves as the storage space for credit card information and data needed when collecting such charges and payments from customers. These fees will then be credited to your merchant account. Merchant accounts could be free of charge when it only offers the basic services.

Certain merchant accounts are free of charge but then again, there are others which have cutting-edge and more professional features that range from $100 to $200 setup cost. It only takes a week of waiting for the approval after enrolling your e-biz and processing period when you set up for a free merchant account. After which, you can now format the recently acquired merchant account to your website and attach your payment gateway for the credit card processing. This is a fine method of tracking payment transactions for it directly debits from your client’s account and credits that expenditure to your merchant account. It only requires the personal data and information from your customer’s credit card and right after that, it is validated and then redirected to the monetary establishment or to the bank.

PayPal and its cost

PayPal is one of the leading Internet businesses that cater to permitting transactions and money transfers made via the World Wide Web. It is an automated substitute to customary paper methods, that is to say, checks and money orders. This payment processing system is manageable even to the first-timers in online buying and selling. PayPal is an exceptional tool intended for credit card processing since it is trustworthy and has a clean and thriving name in the industry. One thing that makes it so well-liked and accepted because of the fact that their online processor is compatible to e-commerce of all varieties.

Its normal asking price is about $50 for the overall arrangement and 1.5% per transaction charge. PayPal occasionally holds promos where you can get excellent discounts and maybe by the stroke of luck, you can acquire their services free of charge providing that you are a prospective user of PayPal.

Setting up a merchant account and PayPal for your average-class Internet business is one way of excelling in your chosen field of enterprise. In connection with that, being aware of the expected fees to be paid is a notable way to get started.

3 Simple Stages Involved in Credit Card Transactions Making It More Convenient and Profitable to Do Business

When your customer purchases something from your store using a credit card, the information and money involved follows a certain process technically called an interchange. It consists of three basic stages including verification and authorization; reporting, settlement, and billing; and funding. It also involves another process in case a chargeback is claimed.

Credit card payment process sure does sound complicated, especially with the different parties involved and the different channels consumers can make use of to pay using their credit cards. The process is technically the same, varying only during verification and authorization process as different terminals are used to do this, such as point-of-sale (POS) or virtual terminal. Here are the stages by which credit payments go through from the moment a purchase has been made to the moment funds are sent as payment to your merchant account:

Verification and authorization

This is the first step in credit card transaction by which your client or the cardholder decides to make a purchase using his credit card. In retail stores, a client's credit card is swiped on the point-of-sale (POS) terminal, while online stores use virtual terminals wherein confidential credit card information are inputted by a client through a secure website. Mail Order/Telephone Order (MOTO) and mobile credit card transactions may be done either by installing a POS terminal on the merchant's computer or using a virtual terminal. The card information is then transmitted to the credit card processor, who in turn relays it for verification to card issuing companies like HSBC, Capital One, and Citi Cards through credit card networks such as Visa and Mastercard. Once information and amount have been verified, the transaction, whether rejected or approved, is reverted to the credit card processor, who also gives response to you about the authorization of the transaction. Once approved, the POS terminal will generate charge slips, which need to be signed by the cardholder. The client keeps the customer copy, while you keep the merchant copy and retain the bank copy if there is any. For virtual terminals, a notice will appear on the customer's screen that the transaction has been completed, as well as the corresponding reference number. A record of approved transactions will also be automatically recorded in your integrated system. This stage in credit card transaction, regardless of the terminal used, is done almost instantly, making it very convenient for you and your customers.

Reporting, settlement, and billing

So how do you collect from your clients? First of all, you do not directly collect from your customers. What happens is that you generate a report of your daily credit card transactions in a batch and send it to your credit card processor. Otherwise known as batching, this report is usually done at the end of the day. Your credit card processor forwards the batch to the credit card network, who collects the funds from card issuing companies. These issuing companies are the ones who collect payments from your customers through the monthly statements of account they generate. The credit card processor then receives payments usually the next banking day.


Once funds are already credited or paid to your credit card processors, you are now ready receive the payment in the merchant account you opened. The amount you will receive is usually net of the discount rate, which you pay your processor for every credit card transaction processed. Other fees are deducted either annually or monthly from your merchant account. Do care to know about the costs involved and the payment scheme before entering into a contract with a credit card processor. In as fast as two to three days, you are now now ready to use the funds from your credit cards sales.

These three are the basic stages that a credit card transaction normally goes through. However, you also need to know that a further process also applies as to handling chargebacks. A chargeback occurs when a customer who has been billed or has already paid for his purchase disputes the transaction made. One of the most common reasons for such dispute is that the customer is dissatisfied of your product or service. There is also a possibility that the product he received was not the one described or he has not received any item at all. Here's how it goes:

  • First, the customer formally makes a complaint to his credit card issuer. If the issuer finds it invalid, the complaint will be declined; otherwise a provisionary refund will be given to the customer.

  • If the refund is granted, the issuer then claims credit from your credit card processor who in turn relays the complaint to you through a mail notification.

  • Your processor deducts applicable amount from your merchant account, including chargeback fees.

  • If you find the dispute untrue, you may send a rebuttal together with supporting documents and send it to your credit card processor. Normally, you are given at least ten days from receipt notification to respond to such chargebacks. If you find the dispute valid, there is no need for a rebuttal.

  • If your credit card processor finds your rebuttal valid, it will forward your response to the credit card issuing company and reclaims the funds for you.

  • The credit card issuing company will then refund the amount and lets the customer repay for the transaction.

  • The amount will then be credited back to your merchant account.

Knowing the process by which every credit card transaction goes through is important for you understand how client information as well as funds are coursed through. In cases problems arise, you would know who to address your concerns to. It will also help you understand the nature of some costs that go with credit card processing. Finally, it will help you realize how the ease and security of the payment process can help make doing business more convenient for you and your customers, resulting to a more profitable business.

4 Types of Merchant Accounts and How They Differ from One Another

The four types of merchant accounts are: retail or traditional merchant account; Internet merchant account; MOTO or mail order - telephone order merchant account; and, wireless or mobile merchant account. Normally, these types of merchant accounts differ in these two major aspects: on the transaction fees incurred and on the rules or restrictions that govern each type of account.

Whatever kind of business you have, there is a need to have a merchant account in order to increase and eventually maximize your sales. Whether you have a physical store, an online business, or even a mobile business, incorporating a merchant account to it will definitely generate more sales. It can attract more customers primarily because we are now dealing with a cashless society. The type of merchant account you should acquire should be an answer to the type of trade you are into. Below are the four types of accounts which are differentiated from one another to aid you in your decision-making in choosing for the most suitable one for you:

Retail or traditional merchant account

This is intended for a retail type of business like department stores and grocery stores. The card should be physically present upon item purchase, and the card should be swiped through a card terminal which should be found inside the store premises. This type of merchant account charges the lowest discount rate, but then it charges a higher rate for monthly fees.

Internet merchant account

Internet accounts are quite similar to a MOTO account in terms of rules and rates. This is the most in demand nowadays. This is because of the increasing online businesses that are sprouting. This merchant account is used by vendors to sell their products over the net. The card payments are processed through a virtual terminal or by employing the services of a payment gateway. The discount rates charged are on the medium range while the rate for monthly fees are from middle to high.

MOTO or mail order - telephone order merchant account

This merchant account allows purchase of items without having to leave your house. You can order by phone or by mail order. Its discount rate is higher. However, the other fees are low.

Wireless or mobile merchant account

This merchant account type is appropriate for mobile businesses and professionals. This is designed to accommodate payments anywhere when necessary. A mobile merchant account service is recommended for contractors, landscapers, etc. Wireless merchant account uses a credit card machine like that of a traditional or retail merchant account. The only difference is that wireless machines is using a wireless network while a retail card machine is connecting to a telephone line. When it comes to monthly fees, this a mobile merchant account offers higher discount rates, while the monthly fees are lower.

Merchant accounts are very useful to businesses. In fact, a business can even have more than one type of merchant account. It all depends on the growing needs of a particular business.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Difference Between a Merchant Account and Paypal

Merchant account is a special type of bank account that allows businesses to accept and process payments through your chosen bank account while, Paypal whose purpose is basically the same as that of the merchant account; however, it uses someone else's account to process your transactions.

In general, both the Merchant account and the Paypal differ in several aspects like the type of business, number of transaction, speed of approval and cost. To help you decide, pros and cons must be carefully evaluated before acquiring an account.

Merchant account

A merchant account is an agreement between a merchant bank and the merchant for settlement of online transactions, which is also known as payment processing or credit card processing. When a merchant makes a sale, sales will be deposited to his chosen account. The same thing applies when a refund transaction is made, funds will be withdrawn from the merchant's account. Although merchant account is difficult to acquire, it has some advantages that proved to be useful for your business namely:

* Handles transfer of funds from the customer to the merchant's bank account faster and safer
* All transactions are secured by the Federal banking regulations

Type of business

The type of business a merchant account accepts is a real business that has established physical stores, which have lower risk and lesser chances of fraud.

Number of transaction

Merchant account prefers higher volume transactions and on a regular basis.

Speed of approval

Most merchant accounts are difficult to acquire. Several supporting documents are needed and verified before one can successfully get an account. It is an advantage if you get a merchant account with a bank that you have an existing transaction with.


A regular monthly fee will be charged to the merchant's account whether or not a transaction has been completed.


As a third party processor, Paypal allows you to send and receive online payments. Getting a Paypal account is easier compared to a merchant account. One can also leave or discontinue the account anytime without any obligation. Like the merchant account, Paypal also has some advantages such as:

* Allows you to send money without revealing your credit card details and bank account information
* Does not have limit on volume of transaction

Type of business

Those businesses that don't qualify for merchant account application like high risk business, bad credit record, or small and newly opened business are readily accepted at Paypal.

Number of transaction

Paypal does not require a minimum volume of transaction; however, it would be cheaper to have it in bulk per transaction.

Speed of approval

A Paypal account allows easy application and approval for any type of business including those considered high risk. All you need to do is apply online by supplying your personal information as well as your credit card details.


You don't have to worry about the costs and fees since Paypal charges on a per transaction basis only. Clients are not obliged to pay monthly dues and other charges when there is no transaction conducted.

Before deciding what type of account you will get for you business, first you need to weigh things including the advantages and disadvantages. You can also research more about the types of accounts to help you understand better about their differences.

If you are just trying out or starting an online store, better get a PayPal account. But if you are really serious with your online business and monthly sales are dramatically increasing, then merchant account might just be the best option. It will cost you less in the long run.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

6 Good Reasons Why Your Business Should Accept Credit Cards

Your business should accept credit cards because it gives consumers a convenient way of paying, encourages impulse purchases, improves business cash flow, provides security, attracts international customers, and it also lets your business cater large orders.

E very business owners want to succeed even with the rise of tough competitors in the global market. They have been trying new strategies just to keep their business and their profit flowing continuously. A very productive strategy which has been adapted by many is the acceptance of credit cards as payments from their customers. It had been an effective business booster and if you think your business is slow, this might be what you’re looking for. Here are the reasons why your business should also adapt this strategy:

Gives consumers a convenient way of paying

Nowadays, consumers use their credit cards in purchasing various items and services. They find it rather very convenient carrying credit cards than carrying cash or checks with them. So if your accept credit cards, you are being flexible to your customers’ needs and you have given them another agreeable option for their payments.

Encourages impulse purchases

As you give your customers a more flexible way of payment, you should also anticipate that your business would likely attract more and all sorts of customers including “impulse buyers”. They are the ones who would instantly buy whatever they want no matter how it costs without any second thoughts. By accepting credit cards, you won’t pass the chance of instant transaction and fast profit.

Improves business cash flow

By accepting card payments, you will notice an improvement in your cash flow. This is because consumers buy more when using their credit cards. Another reason is that credit card payments are also processed more quickly and funds are transferred faster than with checks. You will receive your funds as quickly as one working day or up to a week, though it varies greatly on whatever merchant account you applied.

Provides security

You won’t have to worry anymore about theft because you’ll be holding less cash when you start to process credit card payments. All transactions are made electronically and funds are transferred from one bank to another. This will provide a certain level of security to you and your customers.

Attracts international customers

Credit cards are used worldwide and when you start accepting them, you will also be inviting international customers to purchase in your store. Currency conversions are done automatically so any transactions made are done almost instantly.

Caters large orders

People paying with credit cards tend to purchase more than someone who pays only by cash or check. If you cater customers with large orders, it practically means you are also receiving huge amounts of profits.

Though accepting credit cards costs a small fortune just to maintain it, but still, it would be very beneficial to your business if you adapt it. Never count the cost you’ve spent because its benefits outweighs more than what you’ve lost.

Friday, March 19, 2010

5 Helpful Tips in Choosing the Best Check Printing Software

The most effective method in choosing the best check printing software requires you to take into account the range of features included in the software, consider overall ease, give importance to security features, look at user support, and consider the affordability of the software.

Knowing the best check printing software entails comparison among different software available in today’s market. To fully utilize the benefits of check printing software to make your business operations more efficient, it is best to consider the following tips:

Take into account the range of features included in the software

The most important determining factor in choosing the best check printing software is the range of features it offers. It must possess the certain check design and accounting features you need for your business. Check if you can personalize the checks with regards to font details, logos, and more. If you are handling different deposit accounts in your business, you may consider a software that can support multiple accounts. Try to see if there are added features that reduce your workload, such as automated bank reconciliation, automatic customer information storage, automatic generation of accounting entries upon check issuance, recurring payment features, and automatic recording of checks that have been issued, among many other features. Again, just make sure that all your needs are being addressed.

Consider overall ease

One of the main objectives in obtaining check printing software is to make your accounting functions more efficient, easier, and less time-consuming. It is therefore very important for your software to offer overall ease starting from installation up to the application of its features. Aside from easy setup, it must also be quick to install, without having to wait for hours to finish the installation process. The software should be compatible with many computer system configurations and printers, especially with the ones you are using. It must also be easy to use for your daily transactions and easy to navigate. In other words, it should be user-friendly in order to make your work more efficient.

Give importance to security features

The software’s security feature is very important to protect the data entered and generated in the software. The check printing software must have reliable safety features such as requiring the use of usernames and passwords for authorized users and approvers only, as well as the regular change of passwords. This will help minimize the occurrence of illegal activities that unauthorized individuals may do, such as a blank check issuance.

Look at user support

It is also very important to look at user support that goes with the software when choosing check printing software. The company must be able to provide a user manual, both on its website and on the software itself to be guided of the installation process and the use of the software. It must also be able to promptly answer all your inquiries and concerns made via different channels, such as email, telephone, mobile, and online chat. It is important that you are able to keep in touch them in your most convenient way, whenever the need to contact them arises.

Consider the affordability of the software

Finally, you need to consider how affordable a certain check printing software is in relation to the features it includes. Software packages with much simpler functions are logically less expensive than those with more features. Again, your accounting needs still dictate the type of software you need to get. You can even find a lot of free downloadable check printing software on the Internet that address simple check-writing and printing needs. Just make sure that these software are reliable and are really helpful for your business.

To help you choose the best check printing software, it would also be advisable to go over customer feedback and product reviews. There are websites, such as, that can provide you a comparison of the different software packages and costs, as well as customer reviews, making it easier for you to choose. With check printing software, your job and operations are sure to be easier, more convenient, and more efficient.

Guide to New Credit Card Rules - The New York Times

Guide to New Credit Card Rules

New York Times columnist Ron Lieber finds that there is some cause for concern in the sweeping credit card legislation that passed the Senate on Tuesday.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

9 Good Reasons Why It is Worth Accepting Credit Card Payments to Improve Your Business

The reasons why it is advantageous for your business to accept credit card payments is that it increases your sales; it promotes better cash flow; it involves fast and easy processing; it helps you keep up with the competition in the industry; it keeps your funds secure; it continually presents better features; it helps you save on some costs; it promotes positive image of your business; and it ensures full support from your provider.

You may be wondering if it is even worth spending a penny from your business to be able to accept credit card payments considering the costs involved. Well in the truth is, its advantages will supersede the expenses you incur. Here are the main benefits of accepting credit card payments:

It increases your sales

The best advantage in accepting credit card payments is that it gives you great opportunity to increase in your sales. It expands customer base, attracts and retains customers, automatically converts foreign currencies, and allows installment payments for your customers, which all lead to the enhancement on your sales.

  • Expands customer base. If you accept credit cards on your online store, you are able to cater to more clients in your area as well as international clients, thus expanding your customer base and increasing your sales as a result. You can even accept different currencies if you prefer to open an offshore merchant account, making it more enticing for international customers to purchase from you.

  • Attracts and retains customers. Aside from the quality goods and services you offer, acceptance of credit card payments is really a big deal for your clients who give importance to convenience as it does not require them to bring the cash they need for their expenditures. It would now be safer for them especially when making big purchases from your retail store. In addition, accepting credit card is another payment option for them, making your store more attractive for them to shop. Finally, with credit card payments, your customers can also choose which payment channel to make use of when purchasing, such as online, retail, mobile, or mail order/telephone order (MOTO), giving them more freedom, thus promoting customer retention and loyalty.

  • Automatically converts foreign currencies. With wider customer base, you should expect to receive purchases from all over the world. One of the greatest features of credit card processing is that it automatically converts foreign currencies for your international clients. You and international customers do not have to deal with the problem of converting the amount. This makes it more attractive for customers, encouraging them to shop from you more; thus increasing your sales.

  • Allows installment payments for your customers. Credit card holders can opt to make installment payments for their purchases that allow them to buy more expensive items from your store, thus enhancing your sales and profits. Your customers do not anymore need to save a bulk of cash to purchase their dream TV from your shop, for example; rather, they can avail of the installment plan from their credit card issuer and purchase their TV from you right away.

It promotes better cash flow

Credit card processing involves fast turnaround time, which promotes better cash flow. You do not need to wait for weeks since it usually takes only between 1-3 days for the funds to be credited to your merchant account. A better cash flow would mean that your business is liquid enough to serve the operational needs of your business, making your business more efficient.

It involves fast and easy processing

With check payments, the check needs to go through clearing to know whether the customer's account is funded or not. Conversely, approval is done almost instantly with credit card payments. Once a transaction is approved in your retail store using a point-of-sale (POS) terminal, transaction slips are then generated requiring customer's signatures. For online shops, you do not even have to intervene in the payment process. The customer who makes the credit card payment is the one who inputs the relevant information and gets response from the credit card processor whether his transaction is approved or declined. All these make it more convenient to do business on your part and more convenient for your customers to shop.

It helps you keep up with the competition in your industry

Look around and notice that your competitors may be employing this strategy already. Accepting credit card purchases helps you keep up with the competition and thrive in the industry. If your competitors do not accept credit cards yet, then you have a good advantage over them as to customer base and sales.

It keeps your funds secure

As opposed to receiving cash payments in your retail stores, accepting credit cards reduces the risks that go with keeping cash in your drawers. It keeps your fund secure in your merchant account until you decide to withdraw it.

It continually presents better features

When you accept credit card payments, you would find it good to know that along with the costs, better security and other processing features are constantly improved and introduced to make credit card processing safer and more efficient for you and your customers. Heavy competition in the industry plays a great role in effecting this benefit with the effort of the processing companies to making them more attractive to retailers like you. These companies also try to make their fees more competitive. In other words, such competition lets you take advantage of the many benefits that go with accepting credit cards in your store. The strict policies that govern processors are also important to protect your interests as well as the interest of the consumers.

It helps you save on some costs

Just when you think you incur more costs when accepting credit cards, there are other expenses you can actually minimize. You do not have to spend for managing receivables as well as sending bills to some clients. There are also other value-added products and services that credit card processors offer, which help you save on expenses, such as integrated payment gateway and integrated shopping carts for your online store.

It promotes positive image of your business

Accepting credit cards increases your credibility. Customers who learn that you accept credit cards think that you conform with the latest trend in business as well as in technology. That is a great plus for them. Furthermore, according to some surveys, credit card logos that are posted on your stores also create some sort of confidence in consumers' mind as you are affiliated with the legitimate and trusted credit card networks.

It ensures full support from your provider

Even if you're not a tech person, you will not find it hard to set up a terminal to accept credit card payments, nor will you have difficulty getting through the whole credit card process. Credit card processors and merchant account providers guide you with the whole process and provide you with 24/7 customer service support for all your needs, from basic inquiries to technical suppport.

In order to fully benefit from all these advantages of accepting credit card payments for your online or retail store, you have to make sure that you deal with the right parties. Look for a reliable and credible merchant account provider and credit card processor who can provide you with the service you want, who charge you with reasonable fees, and provide you with great customer service. Then, as long as you put your heart into your business, provide your customers with quality products and services, and keep up with the latest trend in the industry, you are sure to have a very promising business ahead of you.

3 Superb Features of Merchant Account to Make Your Business Grow

A merchant account allows any business to accept credit cards or debit cards as modes of payment. This type of bank account provides convenience to both the sellers and the consumers, increases sales, keeps you on track on all of your transactions, increases customers, and pays you almost instantly.

Business owners will have to join any marketing strategy to keep up with their competitors if they want their business to survive. One sure way to do this is by establishing merchant accounts. This is a type of bank account that will provide a more flexible way for customers to pay and that is by accepting credit or debit cards. You can avail this at your local banks or from any online merchant account providers.

Acquiring a merchant account will also give tons of benefits to your business and they are stated below:

Provides convenience to both the seller and consumer

Customers greatly prefer to carry their cards than take the risk of bringing along cash wherever they go while visiting stores. This greatly lessens any chances of theft. Sellers are also saved from the hassle of dealing with manual transactions and reports, and from taking money in and out of the bank.

Increases sales

Consumers will be more allured to buy your products because with just a swipe, they can purchase anything they want no matter how expensive they are. Credit cards give your customers little time to think. This is because, whether they have enough amounts in their pockets, they can use their credit cards on either choice. Most shopaholics would usually give in to the desire and need of that certain product and worry for the pay check later.

Keeps you on track on all of your transactions

With a merchant account, you can now easily follow the flow of all your business transactions. No don’t have to stock tons of paperwork and receipts because with a simple account statement, everything will be in place only for you to check.

Increases customers

With a merchant account, you’ll be able to attract more customers especially now that you have given them an easier method to pay. You will also have the chance to gain international customers as you venture into online selling.

Pays you almost instantly

With checks or C.O.D's, it will take weeks to get paid. But when you start accepting credit card payments, after orders are processed, your account will filled with the payments you earned in just a day or two.

To maintain the contentment of one’s consumers and the improvement in sales and proceeds, it is highly advised that a business avails the credit card purchasing system. Lesser customers prefer cash over credit cards, and checks are not a stable and not a reliable method. These may lose you the chance of earning. Without a doubt, and for you and your customers’ advantage, avail the merchant account now.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

PayPal released an update to their iPhone application

PayPal with Bump integration

PayPal released an update to their iPhone application that integrates with Bump, allowing users to transfer money simply by bumping phones. How exactly does this work?

6 Fundamental Requirements in Opening a Free Merchant Account for a Hassle-free Application

In opening a free merchant account, you have to prepare requirements such as merchant account application and agreement; valid identification documents; financial statements; business documents; Website; and payment gateway.

A free merchant account is the perfect solution for most merchants who like to start accepting credit card payments. Acquiring a free merchant account is very easy as long as you meet all the requirements the bank or merchant account provider wanted.

Merchant account application and agreement

The foremost requirement in opening a free merchant account is to submit an accomplished application form. This paper contains your personal data such as name, place of residence, contact numbers and business data. You also have to attach pictures of yourself. A tax identification number and SSS are also required for proper identification as the business proprietor. Application forms differ on each merchant bank. You have to fill them up according to their satisfaction and the checking of the establishment.

Valid identification documents

Be equipped with any valid identification documents such as passport, driver’s license, voter’s ID and such. This is to ensure that no fraud is taking place.

Financial statements

Just like you are, companies that provide merchant accounts need to ensure the validity of each application. So, they will ask for your business’ financial statements. This will confirm that you are capable of paying the fees on due time and that you are in good terms with your bank or any financial institute. If your business is going on for a few years now, you have to provide the business financial statement after at least two years of service. If not then, your personal financial statement and personal tax will do. Moreover, you have to present the cash flow details, the probable average online transaction rates and the estimated conversion value.

Business documents

Documents such as your business license, seller’s permit, tax seller’s permit, and documents of incorporation are needed to open a merchant account. You must also present a voided copy of a bank account check where your money is set down. This check must have the “Doing Business As” (DBA). You also have to provide the business phone number and registered business address. This mustn’t be a P.O. Box address.


Since a merchant account is applicable for online businesses, you have to give the company a URL of your valid and active website. Make sure that your website is professional-looking and has the vital policies of deliver, and secured checkout system and other fees. Verify if the domain you have is legal and accessible and it must be registered with you as the legal owner.

Payment gateway

Before applying for a merchant account, you must already have a payment gateway for your business. This is the main objective of acquiring a merchant account as it will provide assistance in the transactions done between the customer and you. It will make it easier for you to trace the due payments from your customers and clients.

The most essential qualification for opening a credit card merchant account is to meet the requirements of the bank you are applying to. There are industries called processors that help in this task. You may choose from personally going to the bank or the gate processor.

Credit Cards vs Paypal

Bourgeois Expects Visa, MasterCard to Beat Estimates

March 17 (Bloomberg) -- Rod Bourgeois, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein & Co., talks with Bloomberg's Margaret Brennan about the outlook for Visa Inc. and MasterCard Inc. Bourgeois also discusses the impact of EBay Inc.'s PayPal service and other online payment systems on the credit card industry. (Source: Bloomberg)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

3 Effective Ways in Searching for Credit Card Companies to Process Online Business Transactions

3 Effective Ways in Searching for Credit Card Companies to Process Online Business Transactions

Inquiring about credit card companies in banks, searching the Internet, and calling the customer support of credit card companies are the most effective ways in looking for credit card companies that can process your online credit card transactions.

When your online business can accept credit card transactions, your sales will surely increase and so will the cash flow. In today's competitive market, accepting credit card payments are giving the customer shopping convenience. Oftentimes, successful online businesses do accept credit card payments as it has been proven to increase sales. However, finding companies that provide credit card processing services can be confusing and sometimes misleading. A lot of them are often initiated by third party services. They usually have higher rates too. Looking for financial companies that offer online credit card transaction services can be easier when you are looking for the at the right places. Below are the ways you can do to be able to easily find the credit card processing company that is appropriate for your online business:

Inquiring about credit card companies in banks

Most banks do not easily grant credit card processing services to online businesses. However, they are the direct financial centers that could give you some recommendations in finding companies that provide credit card processing services. Some banks may approve in providing credit card processing services to your online business given that such online business is credible enough to pass the bank's standards. In case that your application for this type of service will not be approved, you could always easily ask the bank personnel to provide you with other options.

Searching the Internet

By simply browsing and using search engine sites such as Google and Yahoo, you could easily learn information about credit card processing companies. The Internet could give you sites that recommends a number of companies that provides such service. Online sites such as and are some search engines that have browse providers where you can gather companies that offer merchant credit card processing. Also read FAQ pages and forums about financial and business topics to learn the most rated and recommended companies for credit card processing service.

Calling the customer support

Another option of finding credit card processing providers is by calling the customer support hot line of financial companies which can usually be obtained through the Internet. Personally ask questions and references about credit card processing. The customer service support will gladly provide you all the necessary information that you will need to know with merchant accounts. Evaluate all the vital information that the customer representative provided and assess which company will best suit your online business.

Online credit card transactions do not just limit their services for online businesses. Church credit card processing options are also gaining popularity as one of the online credit card uses today. This just goes to prove that plastic payments have a promising development. Online businesses can greatly benefit from the efficiency of this developing payment trend. Be knowledgeable and practical in choosing your credit card processing company. Compare information and rates to maximize the potential sales of your online business.

3 Helpful Tips for Companies with Bad Credit History in Applying for a Merchant Account

Even if you have a bad credit history or standing, you can still apply and be approved of a merchant account. To increase your chance of being approved, you need to clear your bad credit records and look for merchant account providers that cater to companies with bad credit history. In addition, you need to compare providers’ products, services, and specific guidelines regarding the credit and financial aspects.

In order to increase sales and improve profitability, you need to open a merchant account that enables you to accept credit card payments for your business. However, if you have a bad credit history, you might find it hard to be approved of a merchant account because of the higher financial risks involved in providers, especially with regards to chargebacks and the proliferation of fraud. To help you open a merchant account even with bad credit, consider the following useful tips:

Clear your bad credit records

To increase your chance of being approved for your merchant account application, you need to improve your credit standing. There are certain credit information agencies that do the research and monitoring of credit standings, such as Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax. These bureaus are the sources of credit reports that merchant account providers use in evaluating their applicants. Once your credit issues have been resolved and settled, you need to inform these institutions so that the bad credit record you have will be cleared, thus improving your credit standing and increasing your chance of being approved with your merchant account application. If you are under the state of bankruptcy, you are required to wait for six months after being cleared of such condition before you can request these institutions to remove such credit information.

Look for merchant account providers that cater to companies with bad credit history

Some merchant account providers are more compliant with applicants that possess imperfect credit background as they understand that it is normal for companies to sometimes incur late payments as well as overdue debt and loan payments. As long as these instances were not repeatedly or excessively listed in the credit report, some providers still allow you to set up a merchant account. Just as long as you have not also been involved in serious cases of bad credit history, such as bankruptcy, you have a good chance of getting your business a merchant account. Just look for these providers, without having the need to spend a lot of your time inquiring over merchant account providers known to be strict with credit history. Banks, for example, are known to disapprove applicants with poor credit history as they are governed by more stringent measures concerning risk and fraud management. Banks, being vital financial institutions, need to minimize the risk of having to incur more costs due to poor performing or fraudulent clients. Merchant account providers, on the other hand, whose main business is to set up a merchant account, would always find a way to increase their sales and cater to the needs of their market, thus making them more compliant in approving applications. Examples of these providers include National Merchant Bancard at,, and Total Merchant Services, among others.

Compare providers’ products, services, and specific guidelines regarding the credit and financial aspects

Always included in the process of choosing a merchant account provider is to make a comparison of their products, services, and costs. Since you are opening a merchant account under a different condition, that is having an imperfect credit history, is it important to pay attention to certain costs that may differ among providers. Chargeback costs and penalties may be higher in this case. Aside from costs, providers may set a different condition in handling chargebacks. Merchant account providers usually hold a certain amount in your merchant account in order to secure them of your payment in case the need for a chargeback arises and to avoid the proliferation of fraudulent activities.

To make things clear for you, when a chargeback takes place or when a need to refund an unsatisfied customer happens, the sum of money is taken from your merchant account. In case you have insufficient funds in your account, the merchant account processors temporarily have the burden of refunding the customer, thus the need for additional chargeback fees aside from the cost involved in the processing of the chargeback. Your due balance will then be collected when funds are already available in your account. The risk comes in now, especially when it takes longer time for your company to cover the chargeback, affecting the financial operations of the merchant account provider. Imagine their losses if many companies have insufficient funds in their merchant accounts. To address this problem, merchant account providers settle for a hold amount in your merchant account to cover possible chargebacks. The amount is said to be computed based on a certain percentage of your monthly sales and released in three to six months time.

As long as you do your part in correcting your bad credit history and you deal with the right merchant account provider that answers your needs, you can very well be approved of a merchant account. Soon, you will be ready to accept credit cards and other electronic forms of payment that will help boost your business and make it more profitable.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

3 Best Methods in Credit Card Acceptance for Small Business Owners

The best means for small business holders to accept credit cards are through PayPal, a merchant account, and via phone service.

An important thought to be kept by small business owners is to catch up with the generation’s ways and trends. Payment through credit cards, otherwise known as plastic money, is all the rage in businesses. The convenience offered to customers who prefer credit cards compel business owners to set up the needed apparatus to run their payment processing in this manner. To those small business owners who are aspiring supporters to the plastic money trend, explore the following methods to cater credit cards:


Companies such as PayPal are called third party payment processor in the industry of web-based businesses. Small businesses can really benefit out of this type of service because it is has a trouble-free setup and it doesn’t need special skills to use. Another advantage is that you may open a merchant account to go along with it. In this manner, it doesn’t only accept credit cards, it also process the transaction. It is to be expected that extra services means additional charge but it is all worth it for PayPal deals with the merchant account itself. That’s not even the best of it. Its latest, cutting-edge feature is the virtual terminal that you can install through your mobile phone. With the aid of PayPal’s Website Payment Pro, it is made possible to accept credit cards via phone, email, fax or post.

Merchant account

Another way to accept credit cards is through acquiring a merchant account. This isn’t only widespread for the majority of retailers but also for small business owners. Opening a merchant account also may come with a terminal where a credit card’s magnetic strip is striped. You probably have seen this terminal in brick and mortar depots. This system is rapid in all sense. Swipe a card and it only takes seconds with one client and then you can move on to the next. You are also secured against chargeback and you can receive your earnings in a day or two. You also have control over your account. Through the years, merchant accounts have modernized and allowed credit card payments through mobile devices namely Blackberry, Palm, and iPhone.

Phone service

This method is also called Accept by Phone Service. A traveling merchant who is constantly on the go would surely benefit from this service. Plumbers, door-to-door salesmen, contractors and movers are a few merchants who can run their business in the palm of their hand. It only takes dialing an 800 number, then key in a password and finally, enters the credit card number of your customer with the billing amount. This speedy transaction happens only for seconds and everything is now processed.

With the mentioned alternatives to cash and checks, both merchant and customer will be engaged in a business deal which is not only productive but also convenient. Even if these means of accepting credit cards would involve a fee, it’s more vital to think of gaining more in the near future. PayPal, merchant account and phone service got it all.

2 Reliable Institutions that Regulate Credit Card Processing Entities

Credit card processors are mainly regulated by the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council or PCI SSC. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) also plays a vital role in the operations of credit card processors.

Fraudulent activities have evolved their way with the widespread use of credit cards and other electronic forms of payment, affecting both end consumers and retailers accepting these payment forms. With this concern, the fundamental need to regulate the quality of products and services that these credit card processors offer arises. Especially with the increased competition in the credit card processing industry, the following regulators have played an important role in controlling these processors for everyone’s security:

Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council (PCI SSC)

The Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council (PCI SSC) is also known as the Payment Card industry (PCI). This private council was originally developed by Visa International, MasterCard Worldwide, American Express, Discover Financial Services, and JCB to regulate credit card, debit card, ATM and other related companies. It developed the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) and PIN Transaction Security (PTS), which both aim to address security-related problems associated with the use of credit cards and other electronic payments.

  • Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). This is the main standard created by the PCI SSC in 2006 to uphold consistent security measures in handling account data among credit card processing centers internationally. This standard specifically aims to develop and maintain a secure network by requiring a firewall and non usage of default passwords for the systems used; to protect cardholder data by requiring encrypted keys, such as Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), upon transmitting cardholder information to credit card companies online; to protect credit card processing systems and applications by consistently updating anti-virus software; to employ strict control measures by restricting access to cardholder data; and to uphold security policy by consistently monitoring security systems. All these are required by the PCI SCC to help protect cardholder information entered online from being hacked or destroyed during credit card processing. As an online retailer, you can encourage repeat customers as they are assured of better security for the information they give out upon purchasing.

  • PIN Transaction Security (PTS). This standard requires PIN entry devices used in credit card processing, such as point-of-sale (POS) and unattended payment terminals in some kiosks, to undergo the council’s evaluation, testing, and approval. It aims to enhance security of the PIN entered, thus reducing potential risks for fraudulent activities. It ensures you as a retailer that the PIN device you acquire and use in your business is safe for you and your customers. In addition, PCI SSC updates its PTS standard every three years to address the fast-developing technology and the never-ending battle between hackers and security measures, thus letting you operate in a highly secure manner.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC)

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is the US government entity that involves consumer protection and competition among different economic sectors. Its duties include generating and monitoring strict implementation of laws and developing programs to educate and protect consumers as well as industry players, among others. Affecting the credit card processing industry, it instituted the Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act (FACTA), primarily addressing the growing problem of identity theft. Credit card processors are regulated in a way that certain requirements must be followed by these companies to ensure that the identity and confidential information of your clients as retailers are protected. For example, FACTA requires that the transaction receipt must not show more than the last five digits of the credit or debit card. It must also not show the expiration date of the card. Both information are very confidential and are used in verifying transactions over the internet and over the phone, thus should not be made visible or known to other people, except the cardholder himself.

FTC also has a relevant control over credit processors with the FTC Act, giving it the authority to perform investigations involving organizations and companies engaged in trade, as well as their management, systems, and practices. In fact, in the past few years, FTC was said to file and win cases against fraudulent credit card processors and even merchant account processors. As a retailer, you are given due protection against these deceitful service providers that can be damaging to your business and your clients. Although FTC can give you support and protection against deceitful providers, it is always good to do a research on customer reviews and feedback to avoid getting into this kind of trouble. It is always wise to go for trusted credit card processors who, at the same time, can give you the best rates.

With the changing technology and persistence of frauds, no one is a hundred percent assured of security against these deceitful activities; but with the strict implementation of security standards in the industry and stringent government acts against fraudulent activities, you could be certain that there will always be enough protection to minimize such risk, as well as due government action when such incidents arise.

5 Effective Ways in Getting Better Merchant Account Processing Fees

To get better processing fees on your merchant account, you must research as much merchant account providers as you can. You also need to read and solicit customer feedback and reviews, do a comparison of reliable providers, ask for quotations, and limit the services you avail to your needs.

Making your business more profitable does not only involve finding ways to increase your sales. It also entails applying cost-effective means, such as getting better merchant account processing fees, to maximize your profits. Here are effective ways that help you obtain better processing fees on your merchant account:

Research as much merchant account providers as you can

A good way to start choosing the most cost-effective merchant account provider is to do a research. Gather as much merchant account providers as you can on the Internet so you will have more providers to choose from. Learn the relevant information, such as products and services they offer and their related processing costs.

Read and solicit customer feedback and reviews

In order to save time from going over many merchant account providers and reducing the risk of dealing with fraudulent providers, it is advisable to go over customer feedback and reviews. Look for merchant account providers that are known for giving retailers the best deals in the industry. Search for providers with a good reputation on pricing their clients, without misleading you with low introduction costs, but higher processing fees. A website that helps you provide such useful information includes You can also ask opinions from other retailers regarding their merchant account processing experience.

Do a comparison of reliable providers

After you get ideas on which merchant account providers are reliable, you need to compare their services and their fees. Find out which provider gives the best deals by outlining the standard and value-added services as well as the different costs involved. You can again go to to help you with this task or and other similar websites. If you see considerable differences in certain merchant account processing fees, do not assume instantaneously that a certain provider is expensive or cheap; rather, find out what makes the certain fee more expensive or cheaper. In other words, know the nature of the costs involved. This also helps you avoid being deceived by providers who significantly offer lower fees, but lists additional fees that are of exact nature to fees already included.

Ask for quotations

Before you decide which merchant account provider to deal with, narrow down your choices first and ask for quotations from these providers. In doing so, do not forget to identify the type and size of business you have. Rates are usually cheaper for smaller and less-risky businesses. Again, always ask about the nature of the costs involved if some are not clear to you. Inquire about possible rate increases in the later years of service as your deal usually involves a long-term contract. There are actually some providers who advertise very low rates, but increase their rates later on within your contract. Finally, do not forget to state other providers’ rates as other companies lower their fees in order to compete and win customers.

Limit the services you avail to your needs

The final and one of the most important ways to get better merchant account processing fees is to make sure that you only avail of the services that your business really needs. There are merchant account processors that offer bundles of services for cheaper rates. In the end, they may come out more expensive for you as you are not able to really make use of the other services you are paying for. Always compare the products and services that a certain merchant account provider offers with the services you really need before dealing with them. This helps you minimize your expenses and fully utilize their services. Another piece of advice, do not go for an offshore type of merchant account if your business is small and you intend to cater to local clients only. This type of merchant account gives you added services, such as allowing acceptance of multiple payment currencies, which would be impractical and expensive for your business.

Merchant account fees can really be made cheaper if you just know what your business actually needs and you have enough knowledge in the costs involved as well as the bargaining ability. In effect, your business would be more profitable aside from increased sales brought about by the acceptance of credit cards and other electronic payment forms.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Prepaid credit cards prefered by the terrorists and secret services

Prepaid credit to kill?

Stored value cards doesn't sound very controversial, they are basically gift cards or prepaid credit cards. Why would these be the preferred method of payment for criminals or terrorists? Loopholes in United States law could be to blame.
Prepaid credit cards prefered by the terrorists and secret services