If you expect to make any profit as a reseller or e-Commerce seller online, you have to be able to accept credit card payments online. The potential for generating business any other way is too remote to consider. People are simply not willing to order online and then have to wait until you receive payment and insure that their check clears the bank before you ship the merchandise. People who order online are looking for quick and efficient service, and that means having a credit card merchant account.
When the idea of e-Commerce first became popular in the end of the 20th century, it was usually through partnerships that your internet provider had, and what you purchased was billed to the same credit card that you used to pay your internet service. As eCommerce grew and merchants and resellers set up their own websites, it was no longer the Internet service provider who handled payments, so the concept of eCommerce credit card processing was introduced. Of course, now we have expanded beyond that shopping cart software and credit card merchant accounts that have the ability to process both e-Checks and debit card transactions.
With so much emphasis on a credit card merchant account, the typical e-Commerce seller can be frustrated when trying to decide who is the best choice as a solution to your dilemma of accepting a credit card payment online. With so many different choices, the only way to narrow it is to make a list of things that pertain to your individual situation such as:
o Average dollar amount per transaction
o Sales volume per month
o Typical credit card (MasterCard, Visa, American Express, Discover
o Projected sales volume for the next six months to a year
By listing your needs, you will better be able to select the right credit card merchant account. You do not want to jeopardize your profits by taking more or less services than you need because many credit card processing companies charge by the volume and type of cards you accept. Of course, if you are a new e-Commerce seller, you will not know any of those things, so you may want to use the figures in your business plan and make adjustments later if necessary. You also may want to stay with just the two major credit cards until you determine what your needs are. If you find that you are dealing in the middle and need to accept debit cards, but the cost appears prohibitive with your credit card merchant account, you may choose to offer PayPal to your customers as another option. It is not advisable to use this as your only option since it requires an email address, and some of your customers may be borrowing a computer to place an order and do not have access to an email account on a regular basis.
The important thing is that you have to remember is that the future of your e-Commerce business depends upon you being able to accept credit card payments online. The profitability of your website is contingent on having the lowest possible rates, so you have to research before you make a decision. Take the time to do your homework, and you will have a profitable e-Commerce website that earns money for you even when you are sleeping or on vacation.
Copyright (c) 2007 Jim Saka