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How to set up credit card processing for your website

Posted by Alex Neir on Fri, March 01, 2013 @ 04:33 PM
Credit Card Processing for your website
Throughout the world, more and more people are turning to buying online instead of in the store, making a business's website credit card processing system one of the most important elements of their online presence. Not only will a credit card system encourage buyers to make an easy purchase, but it opens the business's website up to an international market.

Accepting Payments

The two main ways to accept credit card payments online are:

A merchant account is set up via a bank or ISO, and is essentially an account controlled by the business, which enables it to process credit card payments. A third-party merchant takes credit card payments on behalf of the business, usually in exchange for certain fees or a percentage of the profits.

Choosing a Merchant Account or a Third-Party

Merchant accounts are subject to requirements that vary between countries and between banks and between ISO (Independent Sales Organization). Many banks charge a set-up fee in order to open the account, but their individual transaction fees will likely be lower than a third-party merchant's. Choosing an option will be dependent on the business's needs, predicted growth, and ability to sell enough products to cover all fees and associated costs. Due to the variation between companies, it would be best to get multiple quotes from different banks/ISO’s and different third-party merchants that offer website credit card processing.

Setting Up a Merchant Account

A web developer can help a business set up the credit card processing system on the business's website, but it isn't always necessary. Both merchant accounts and third-party merchants have customer service representatives and instructions to allow the site owner to set up the processing system on the site. With a lot of third-party merchants this is as simple as copying the embed code from the third-party site and placing it into the HTML of the business's website. More complex website credit card processing systems may require more time or expert help, but the result is a professional, streamlined way for customers to pay for their purchases online.

Things to Keep in Mind

All small businesses should be able to make informed decisions on what website credit card processing system works best for them. Keep in mind the following:

  • Fees, including start-up fees and the cost of each transaction
  • Length of time for approval when applying for a merchant account
  • Length of time for setup on the site, especially in more complex systems
  • Quick, efficient, and knowledgeable customer support for the business
  • Length of contract and terms of cancellation
  • Security and fraud protection
  • Ease of use for both the business and customers
  • Ability to generate reports
  • Virtual terminals, shopping carts, and complete integration with e-commerce

With online credit card processing, businesses are able to increase their sales and not only attract more customers, but keep them as regular shoppers. Setting up a credit card processing system may take research in the beginning, but it provides additional benefits in sales and customer service, as well as reaching an international market.

Tags: Ecommerce, Website Credit Card Processing, Merchant Account Education, Credit Card Processing Solutions

Third party credit card processing | Allowed or Not?

Posted by Alex Neir on Wed, January 11, 2012 @ 11:21 AM
Third Party Credit Card Processing

Does your business outsource customer service to a call center? Would you like the outsourced call center to be able to accept credit card payments from customers they are assisting? This can present some confusion as the privilege to accept credit card payments is reserved specifically for the company that has been underwritten and approved for the account.  

When a business applies for a credit card processing account it is required that the business indicate what the account will be used for. The business must explain the products and service sold, the average ticket, high ticket and monthly volume that will be transacted with the account. This information, along with business financials and history will be used to determine if the account is accepted or not.

Once approved the business is permitted to use the account to transact credit card payments within the parameters indicated on the application.

So, what rules apply to a third party employed by the business that has been approved for the account?

Some providers have specific policies with regard to third party transactions and do not allow them.  However, this is a very common practice and is not a violation of Visa/Master Card guidelines. Third parties that are granted permission to process on an approved merchant account must adhere to the rules outlined in the merchant services contract. Any violation of the terms and conditions of the merchant account contract become the liability of the business approved for the account. Violations can result in the business being included on the TMF (Terminated Merchant File) so it is very important to make sure that any third party that is granted access to the account understand the terms of the contract.

For more information on the specifics facing your business please don’t hesitate to call. (800)917-8026

Tags: Third party credit card processing, Merchant Account Education, Credit Card Processing Solutions

What’s Best - PayPal, Square Up or a Merchant Account?

Posted by Alex Neir on Fri, July 29, 2011 @ 10:56 AM
Credit Card Processing Solutions

What’s Best - PayPal, Square Up or a Merchant Account?

Based on analysis completed over the last few months we have developed an easy to follow guide which will help your business determine the best credit card processing solution given your specific needs. Each credit card processing solution has strengths for specific situations.

When considering which credit card processing solution is the best it is important to start by asking 2 questions:

  1. Is your business conducting sales face to face or over the internet?
  2. What is the average credit card volume on a monthly basis?

With answers to these 2 questions we are able to guide you to the perfect credit card processing solution for your business.

Is your business conducting sales face to face or over the internet?

If you are conducting face to face sales it makes more sense to consider the Square Up solution or a merchant account. The reason, Square Up and a merchant account offer your business the ability to swipe the customer’s credit card. This function lowers the credit card processing rates dramatically. PayPal does not offer a swipe solution so it is not a good fit for face to face sales.

If you are conducting sales over the internet, you should consider PayPal or a Merchant Account. The reason, PayPal and a Merchant Account offer a payment gateway that can be used to connect your businesses website to a credit card processing platform. Square Up does not offer a payment gateway so it is not a good fit for internet based sales.

What is the average credit card volume on a monthly basis?

Now that we have determined the best solutions given the manner in which the sale is conducted, we will now look at the total monthly volume to narrow our selection even further.

For face to face sales with an average monthly sales volume below $4,300 the best solution is Square Up. Square Up’s fee structure is set up to be very cost effective for face to face sales under $4,300 a month. When the sales volume exceeds $4,300 a month then an actual Merchant Account becomes more cost effective than Square Up.

For internet sales with an average monthly sales volume below $2,000 the best solution is PayPal. PayPal’s fee structure is set up to be very cost effective for internet or ecommerce sites with sales under $2,000 a month. When the sales volume exceeds $2,000 a month then an actual Merchant Account becomes more cost effective than PayPal

Credit Card Processing Solutions2

Tags: PayPal Comparison, Credit Card Processing Solutions, Merchant Account better than Square Up

QuickBooks Merchant Account Plug-In

Posted by Alex Neir on Thu, May 26, 2011 @ 07:08 AM
QuickBooks Merchant Account

QuickBooks Merchant Account Plug-In

Does your business use QuickBooks and would you like an integrated payment processing platform that lets you accept credit cards and ACH payments? The Maxx QuickBooks Merchant Account Plug-In is extremely easy to use and makes it very simple for any business using QuickBooks to easily process electronic transactions without ever leaving your QuickBooks environment.

The Maxx QuickBooks Merchant Account Plug-In installs directly into QuickBooks Pro, Premier and Enterprise edition software applications and provides a direct interface within QuickBooks to apply electronic payments. Payments can be applied to specific invoices, against open invoices or against a new sales receipt. Additionally, multiple payments can be applied to a single open invoice at the touch of a button. 

The plug-in is completely PCI-DSS compliant as all credit card and ACH account numbers are encrypted and masked within the application. The plug-in also has built-in functionality that allows for customer credit card and ACH account numbers to be recalled for subsequent transactions.

Both card present swiped transactions and card not present keyed transactions are supported within the plug-in. For swiped card present transactions, customer credit card information is loaded directly into the plug-in for processing. All customer data is loaded from the customer record from within QuickBooks.

The Maxx QuickBooks Merchant Account Plug-In adds integrated payment processing directly to your QuickBooks installation for easy payment application. Please give us a call at (800)917-8026 to learn more.



Tags: QuickBooks Merchant Account, Payment Processing, Credit Card Processing Solutions

What kinds of credit card processing solutions are available?

Posted by Alex Neir on Thu, February 17, 2011 @ 02:50 PM
credit card processing solutions

What kinds of credit card processing solutions are available?

Determining the right credit card processing solution is easier than you might think. There are quite a few credit card processing solutions available and selecting the right one depends upon how your business is set up to accept payments.

Credit card processing solutions can usually be grouped into one of 4 solution categories.

  • Retail Account
  • MOTO Account
  • Internet Account
  • POS Account

 

credit card processing solutions A retail account is reserved for any business that has a physical location at which the customer visits to purchase good and services. This is traditionally thought of as a brick and mortar establishment. The important factor that drives qualification for a retail account is 80%, or more, of the payments accepted by the business need to be swiped through a credit card terminal. The rates for a retail location are the lowest of all the solutions.

credit card processing solutions A MOTO account (mail order, telephone order) is reserved for businesses that conduct the majority (21% or greater) of the payment processing via the telephone or mail. The rates for a MOTO account will be slightly higher than a retail account. For more information please see - Why are rates higher for Internet, Mail and Telephone order charges?

credit card processing solutions An internet account is selected for businesses that conduct sales over the internet. An internet credit card processing solution processes payments from the businesses website in real time. An internet account typically comes with a virtual terminal that allow for one-off payments to be transacted from a web-based terminal. There are also a number of other features available through the virtual terminal. The rates for an internet account are usually the same as a MOTO account.

credit card processing solutions A POS account (point of sale account) is a credit card processing solution that works with a POS hardware solution. A POS hardware solution includes a cash drawer, scanner, receipt printer, credit card swipe device and many other options that manage sales and inventory at the business location. A retail merchant account is typically integrated into the POS system via a middleware solution such as IC Verify or PC Charge (to name a few).  

Tags: Ecommerce, POS, Credit Card Processing Solutions