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Merchant Accounts
   
Text Box:   I firmly believe in ten years there will be two types of businesses: those that understand and use the Internet - and those that are no longer in business.A good part of this publication is certainly applicable for the business owner who has a storefront and accepts credit and debit cards in a "card present" environment with a credit card terminal or Point of Sale (POS) system. This guide is also applicable for those merchants who are Mail Order/ Telephone Order (MOTO) types of businesses. Almost without exception; however, any business owner should be accepting non-cash forms of payment over an internet website even if they are currently in a storefront location. Because of this, I have also attempted to address many of the questions and concerns related to Internet Merchant Accounts.

eMarketer points to slowing e-commerce sales growth through 2012 but e-commerce has experienced years of 20% and higher annual growth.

In fact, the impetus of further e-commerce growth will be increased spending by current online buyers. Some of the increase will be organic as many online buyers are naturally shifting a greater share of their purchases from stores to the Web in search of more convenience, broader product selection and cost savings. E-Commerce sales have still exploded to 136.8 billion in 2008. You can only imagine where it will go.

Today, we know a great deal more about what the Internet can and can't do, what creates an acceptable return on investment, and what customers are looking for. It is not a magic road to riches. It is a marketplace to do business. As the economy continues to be challenged, I believe successful companies will expand their marketplace by intelligent and effective use of Internet technologies.

Smart business people are always looking for ways to increase sales, introduce new profit centers, reduce costs, and create market awareness. The Internet medium is by far the easiest and most economical vehicle to achieve those goals if you understand how to use it and have the right e-commerce partners.

Perhaps the best reason for accepting non-cash forms of payment including electronic checks over the internet is giving you more time to do what you do best. If you are spending significant time each month processing paper checks as example, this is taking away from your valuable sales or production time. Every day you spend processing small checks is an opportunity cost that reduces your sales or production. If you are like most small business owners, you are having more fun in sales or production, not in accounting. There comes a time for every small or medium size business owner to say "enough is enough". While starting a Merchant Account does cost you some time & money up front, the long term increase in sales & production may be what you need to launch your business to the next level - and have some more fun.

ABOUT THIS GUIDE
About the Author
A Word About Our Membership Community
Frank Merchant knows how to get the best price
The Internet Marketplace
   
UNDERSTANDING IT ALL
What are the advantages (and disadvantages) of accepting credit cards for your business?
6 Benefits of Accepting Credit Cards
Disadvantages of Accepting Credit and Debit Cards
Who are the players? How does the money get in your bank account?
Credit Card Transactions Step By Step
Should I go visit my banker for my merchant account?
How can I tell if I will get good customer service?
Be on the Lookout for Deceptive Sales Practices
How to Avoid Your Money Being Held By Your Non-Cash Transaction Processing Company
Banking Terms You Need To Know
Benefits of Debit as a Payment Option
What You Need To Know About Leasing a Credit Card Terminal
Fraud Protection 101
Cardholder Security: Avoid Monthly Fees, Fines, and Penalties What Is PCI Compliance (PCI DSS)?
   
THE PROCESSES
Four Key Components to Conduct eCommerce Successfully: What They Are, and How They Work
Web Site
Your Merchant Account
Secure Payment Gateway / Payment Transaction Software
Shopping Cart and Catalog
Should I use a third party processor like PayPal?
   
ANALYZING IT ALL
Quick Summary of Costs
Detailed Summary of Setup Fees, Recurring Fees, and Risk Estimate
Total Risk Estimate (TRE)
Total Risk Estimate Worksheet (Low-Medium-High)
   
THE DETAILS
Are you being stung with "Non-Qual" fees for keyed orders?
Have You Ever Felt Betrayed By Your Credit Card Processing Company?
Your Customers' Credit Card Numbers at Risk
Visa: Heartland, RBS WorldPay no longer PCI compliant
PayPal
Marketing 101: Gift and Loyalty Smart Card Technology Ensures Customer Loyalty
Check Warranty and Check Acceptance Policies
How Can I Prevent Credit Card Fraud?
Identity Theft
Merchant Account Comparison Worksheet
Glossary
 
Credit Card Terminal
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First Data Merchant Account