On average, an American Express cardholder spends about $7,714 annually, and a Visa cardholder spends about $1,725 a year. If you want to be a potential destination for that money, then you need to accept credit cards in person, and online. Accepting credit cards online opens your business up to faster payment from vendors, and a broader market of customers. However, selecting a credit card merchant service to get your business to that stage is not a decision to be taken lightly. This article will help you to understand what exactly will be affected by your decision.
Accepting credit cards online is not an activity that is exactly fraught with peril, unless your connection is unsecured, or the technology you are using is easily compromised. Not only is your bottom line at risk, but customer information and loyalty is at stake should security ever break down, resulting in stolen information. The right payment processor will help you achieve PCI compliance, and will have the technology and expertise to guide you in keeping your online credit card processes secure.
Ease of Use
The best merchant services provide virtual portals and systems that are easy to navigate and use. A poor service will potentially result in hours of frustration as you try to find workarounds, and contact customer service. Besides making your life difficult, poor technology or support can mean that your customers and vendors also have a poor experience, which might result in lost business.
On average, online credit card processing fees might be between 2% and 3% per transaction. In order to determine what is appropriate, you will have to look at the whole picture. For example, card processors will charge differing amounts for some, or all of the following:
- Setup and Application
- Customer Service
In order to truly compare services, you may have to look at the total price tag, and not at individual items. The appropriate fee will be one that, first of all, won’t bankrupt your business, and second of all, is in line with the quality of service that you will be receiving. This is why lower cost processors may be a bad move, because at the end of the day, they could cost you time and money as you try to overcome their sub-par services.
The best online merchant services will be able to demonstrate to you that their credit card virtual terminal will be easy to use, secure, and reasonably priced. Forrester Research has determined that by 2017, eCommerce will grow to $370 billion, and by the end of 2013, it will already be at $262 billion. Accepting credit cards online is your key to enjoying this business boom, as long as you choose the right payment processor.