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Merchant Accounts
   
Depending on the Merchant Account Provider you may have some startup costs like setup fees and application fees. Unless you are leasing or purchasing a credit card terminal, your Startup Fees (Setup Fees) should be free or very low. The Merchant Account industry has become very competitive. Do NOT find yourself paying setup fees, application fees, or "site visit" fees. These fees are all profit excuses for the Merchant Account Provider. Should you be an internet Merchant, you may run into a "licensing fee" but do not expect to pay more than a one-time licensing fee. You should not be "leasing" anything related to "software".

Your next step is to look at Monthly Recurring Fees. Depending on your actual monthly sales, your monthly cost as a percent of sales will vary. If your business is accepting MasterCard and Visa cards in a "card present" environment you can expect to pay 1.4% or higher of your credit card sales. Should you be accepting orders over the phone, through the mail (MOTO), or over the internet, you should expect to pay 2.0% to 2.5% at most. Transaction fees vary but can be "bundled" meaning you pay NO transaction fees. Transaction fees range from a nickel to up to thirty cents, or more. Make sure that your percentage rate or "discount rate" is all inclusive - meaning you should not be paying a Merchant Account Provider AND someone else, like a bank or a software provider. You should be paying all your fees to one entity.

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