How can your business begin to accept credit card payments?

If you are planning to start up a new business or have an existing business and want to accept credit card payments, the first step is to open a merchant account with a <strong>merchant’s service provider</strong>. What the merchant account does is act as the interface between your merchant account and your customers bank account. So when you swipe a credit card at a point of sale credit card terminal or a POS credit card terminal, it will gather data from the card such as expiration date and credit limit and transfer the data to the financial institution which has issued the relevant credit card. If the transaction is approved by the issuing bank it will transfer the due amount of money to the merchant account of the business or merchant maintained by a merchant’s service provider such as Total Merchant Services which in turn would periodically transfer funds to the account of the merchant.

When you make an application to open a merchant account with a merchant’s service provider like Total Merchant Services, you will be required to make a startup or processing fee and you will be provided with a <strong>POS credit card terminal</strong> and you are ready to begin credit card processing services.

If you plan to do online business you will be provided with an internet payment gateway instead of a POS credit card terminal. Log on to to find out more about how to <a href=””>accept credit card payments</a> online.

There are different types of merchant accounts a merchant can select from depending on the type of business he does, the rules and regulations regulating the business and the relevant fee structure applicable. There are the internet merchant accounts, retail merchant account, specific accounts for mail order/ telephone order businesses (MOTO accounts) and high risk merchant accounts for businesses engaged in businesses that are categorized as high risk businesses.

The fees charged will vary depending on the type of account. The fees charged to maintain a merchant account with a merchant’s service provider can include a minimum monthly fee requiring a merchant to maintain a minimum number of credit card transactions per month, annual fees and if you are using online <a href=””>credit card processing services</a> you will be charged a payment gateway fee. Visit <a href=””></a> to find out the fee structure they offer.

As with anything else, accepting credit card payments has its share of risks. Fraudulent chargeback is one such risk. It is where a customer successfully challenges a payment made from his account on the grounds that he did not receive the goods or that he did not authorize the particular payment and the merchant has to return the dollar amount of the transaction. This is common in online transactions.

Risks aside if you want to compete in today’s business environment it is mandatory that you offer the customer the option to pay by card.

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