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Merchant Accounts
   
PayPal and services of that nature, in my view, serve a true need. If you are selling products on Ebay as example, a Third Party Processor can get the job done. These work best when you are in touch with the person who wants to pay you and you can direct them properly to the steps to join the Third Party Processor service if necessary - which may be required in order to transfer funds to you. If they don't make it through the process you can contact them to follow up and make sure you get your funds.

If your monthly volume of sales is low (considerably less than US$ 1,000.00) then you may be able to save on monthly servicing fees and find that a solution such as this works just fine. As soon as you approach US$ 1,000.00 per month in credit card volume it's time to consider your own Merchant Account because the Third Party Processor is typically not saving you any money at this level of sales.

A few things to be aware of...
Some Third Party Processors hold your money as long as possible in order to benefit from the "float". Make sure you know the time it will take to receive your money and you may find that as your sales grow getting your money more quickly is more important to you.

Make sure you know the process that a paying customer will need to go through in order to pay you. As your sales grow, will you lose orders because of the extra steps necessary to join your service, deposit funds, and then transfer funds? This can be inconvenient to a paying customer who just wants to give you their credit card information and be done with it. Maybe this is not a problem if your number of transactions is low but doesn't it make sense that you could lose orders if you are adding extra steps? It doesn't take very many orders to lose to justify investing in your own Merchant Account and maximizing the convenience of your customers to pay you.

Appendix D has a more in depth look at some of the concerns.

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