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Merchant Accounts
When you start looking for a Merchant Account, many people get input from their local banker. However, you should be aware that there are over 45,000 banks in the US and less than 1% of them are able to actually process credit card transactions themselves. Most contract with a third party to do it. Then the bank becomes a middleman passing on additional cost to the merchant. Here are some more facts & figures you need to know about banks:

Banks decline more Merchant Account applications for credit card processing than Merchant Account Providers. In addition, the application process is usually much less intensive with a full service Merchant Account Provider.

Banks are in the banking business, Merchant Account Providers are in the credit and ATM/debit card processing business.

Banks outsource credit card processing and focus on lending and deposits.

Banks often have conservative pricing with higher transaction rates & fees because the Merchant Account business is an ancillary service. Merchant Account Providers have to offer competitive pricing because this is the only business they are in.

Banks are less likely to risk chargebacks and fraud. Because banks typically farm out their credit card business if there is any additional maintenance like administrative costs from chargebacks, you are in greater danger of losing your Merchant Account. Merchant Account Providers are much better prepared to take on risk through loss prevention and chargeback departments.

Should you be interested in accepting credit cards over the internet you will find there is a greater likelihood most bankers will have no idea about shopping cart rates, secure gateways, and internet credit card processing fees - particularly when something goes wrong. Due to the conservative nature of banks, they are many times unable to place high-risk merchants and/or start-up companies with merchant accounts. Full service Merchant Account Providers do this every day. Since this is their main business, they have the operations in place that cater to small & medium start-up companies who need Merchant Accounts, higher risk or not.

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