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How Much Should Your Merchant Account Cost? - Articles Surfing
Business is an area which undergoes constant changes and developments rather quickly. Within the wink of your eye, you may notice that a new trend has sprung up and a certain competitor has come up with a unique formula for success. Hence, it is advisable that you are alert and keep your knowledge and business strategies up to date.
You must be cautious to avoid any avoidable and unnecessary expenses, which may crop up in any form. For example, a decision like choosing a merchant account might look simple, but it is not so. Like any other decision, choosing a merchant account is of great significance because there are tricky providers waiting to trap you by offering attractive rates and fees. Also, there are clearinghouse agents who survive on commissions given for every customer they add. Don*t rely on them as they might not give importance to your needs and on the other hand concentrate on their motive of making money.
Nevertheless, a merchant account is indispensable for any business person because it eases the burden of carrying huge amounts of cash and checks to banks. There are other added benefits to merchant accounts. The point of focus for us is the ways of choosing a good merchant account. Proceeding further, let us examine the hassles that you might face while choosing a merchant account. The most prominent among them will be the hesitation on the part of banks and providers to help you especially if your business is Internet-based or home-based business. These would argue that these businesses are more prone to credit card scams or non-payment by customers as there is no face-to-face meeting between the seller and the buyer. There are few providers who are ready to help you if you have a business that deals with mail order transactions.
Instead of getting discouraged by the non-responsive attitude of providers and/or banks, it is better to think ahead and search thoroughly for good providers who would help you. Even after finding one such provider or bank, you need to check the rates and fees prescribed by the company. Some typical fees and costs that you look for while choosing a merchant account are as follows:
- Setup costs*this is the fees charged to setup the terminal or PC software and the related equipments. It speaks well about the provider if he does not charge a whopping amount like $99 for setting up a merchant account and offers free setup facilities.
- Up front application costs*This is the fee charged by the credit card company for merely processing your application for opening a merchant account. This seems to be rather an unnecessary cost and it is better to avoid such companies.
- On going fixed costs*the provider charges you this fee for preparing and mailing an updated monthly statement with details of all your transactions. This cost should not be charged by the provider and try to find one who does not charge this cost. If you are unable to find one, at least remember that a cost more than $10 is just too much.
- Discount rate costs*like the other costs aimed by providers to earn money, this cost refers to a certain percentage of the total earnings that you get from each transaction. Usually, this is 2 to 4% of every transaction.
- Fixed transaction costs*this cost is rather a fixed one and charged by the provider on a flat basis, irrespective of your income and size of each sale. This is usually fixed between $0.20 and 0.30% of each transaction.
Monthly fees*this is charged by the provider irrespective of whether you have carried business or not in a particular month. This is most disadvantageous especially if your business is seasonal and there is a certain off-season period when the sales will be nil or negligible.
Apart from the above mentioned fees or costs, do check out for any hidden costs like termination cost that is charged if you terminate your merchant account within the agreed period; miscellaneous costs are charged unto your account if a customer chooses to get refund and thereby cancel the transaction.
To get the best deal while choosing a merchant account, compare and do research about the rates and the various companies in the credit card industry. Evaluate all components of costs of the merchant account and finalize a merchant account characterized by affordability and reasonableness.
Copyright © 1995 - Photius Coutsoukis (All Rights Reserved).
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