Thinking of getting a merchant account? A merchant account may be provided by a processing bank or by an agent for the bank. The factors in which merchant account provider to choose are relatively easy to weigh in. They must be able to guarantee reliability, security and cost-effectiveness. The business owner should have his merchant account in the least of his or her concerns and not think about whether money is really coming in from the credit. However, since no merchant account provider is exactly flawless in terms of performance, they must be able to provide technical support in the event of a glitch. Technical support should be fast and accurate. A business that deals with hundreds of transactions every second cannot afford to lose profit through a technical difficulty.
Security is also an important issue in getting merchant accounts. Many business owners fall victim to scammers who disguise themselves as providers. Make sure that the merchant account provider is registered to the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council, also sometimes known as the Payment Card Industry (PCI). The council was organized by the five leading merchant account providers in 2006 and aims to standardize the credit card based commerce.
Lastly, another big factor in choosing a merchant account provider is the cost. Much of the cost is set by the card issuing bank although there are fees that would be asked by the merchant account provider. The largest portion of the fee is the interchange fee. Interchange fee takes into account different circumstances on how the transaction is made. For example, in a 3-tier pricing, visa and MasterCard classify these transactions into non-qualified, mid-qualified and qualified where the non-qualified classification gets to be charged the highest.
Some of the other fees that could be charged are the monthly minimum fee, authorization fee, batch fee and chargeback fee. Another factor to consider in the cost is the software used for the transactions. Renting equipments or software may be cheaper but may not be a good investment in two or three year time.