Retail Merchant Accounts

credit cards

In a retail environment, it is essential that your business is able to process card payments. Cards are the most convenient and the most common payment method in use. When a customer attempts to use a card to pay and is told that the establishment doesn’t accept cards, often the customer is going to leave. Regardless of what they actually say, they probably won’t the waste gas going from your business to the ATM machine wherever one may be and then drive back to your store and buy what they wanted. They will probably just go somewhere else. If your retail store has an online presence, it’s even more ludicrous to not accept card payments. No one wants to wait for a check or money order to be shipped in the mail and clear. It’s a whole lot easier to leave your website and go to your competition.

One of the draw backs retail business owners face is the process of finding and choosing a provider of retail merchant accounts for their business. The process seems overly complicated, but doesn’t have to be, it just takes a little time getting to know what you need. Choosing the wrong partner can hurt your business, whereas choosing the best fit for you will help maximize your business’ potential.

What Information You Need For Retail Merchant Accounts

First you need to investigate the interchange fees that apply to your retail business. Once you understand exactly what you’re paying the credit card associations on every transaction, you can start looking for an honest provider that won’t take advantage of you. Retail merchant account providers are not out to take advantage of you in most cases. Many understand the nature of a symbiotic relationship. If you do well, they do well. With that in mind, they are providing you with a service, as well as the hardware and software to make the transactions happen. Typically, the merchant provider may charge a monthly rate and per- transaction fee.

Other Considerations You Need To Make

As a retailer online, the retail merchant account should offer a payment gateway for your website so that web visitors can make purchases with their credit card. The payment gateway is a secure webpage on your site that requests the payment information and keeps it secure. Ask to see what the payment gateway page looks like. Not all payment gateways are alike. They need to be secure and easy to understand for the customer. Always look at the payment gateway page and see if it looks easy to use. If not, your customers are going to have a harder time figuring it all out. When a customer is ready to buy, the payment gateway should be the last thing to test their patience.

If you are looking at incorporating credit card payment options with your physical retail location, there are other considerations to make. Retail merchant service providers commonly offer card reading machines and other assorted accessories for your needs. A card machine typically comes with a card reader, keypad, and receipt printer. Retail stores with a physical location, an exclusively online presence, or both, need to have the resources, services, and products essential to keeping the transactions going. A mobile card reader is also great for all occasions. A mobile card reader can be taken to trade shows, conventions, and remote business related functions where the ability to process card payments can make an impact. Even at a physical location, it could be a major life saver in the event power and phone lines go down or the checkout gets too long.

retail merchant accounts

Your Retail Merchant Account and Understanding Chargebacks

Lastly, the other concept to understand for a retail merchant account is the chargeback fee. What exactly happens when a charge on a credit card is disputed? A disputed charge on a credit card causes waves that ripple through all of these individual parts. When a customer disputes the charge to their credit card for the reasons of fraud or dissatisfaction, what results is called a Chargeback. Although similar in nature, a refund and a credit card chargeback are two entirely different beasts.

A refund is a simple process where funds from the transactions are reversed and merchants are not penalized. This process is handled directly between merchants and customers with nobody walking away hurt. Chargebacks are handled differently with a more complicated-process that can prove to be very costly for the merchant.

Most reasons for Chargebacks include: fraudulent charges, the customer never receiving the merchandise or service, a recurring charge that does not stop, an instance of double-billing or being charged the wrong amount, and customer dissatisfaction. Not only can you lose money on a chargeback, you can rack up some fees. Worse, the industry standard for an acceptable number of chargebacks is 1% of your total transactions. Too many chargebacks and you’re classified to be a high-risk merchant. This can result in higher rates, setting up a reserve account, or even termination of your merchant processing. As a business you need to practices in place to better prevent chargebacks before they occur, this includes learning to spot fraud and having a method of handling returns and refunds more efficiently.

Understanding the Credit Card Payment Paragon

How much does it mean to be able to accept credit card payments for your retail business? This is a matter of contemporary business practice. Not being able to accept card payments lowers your possible sales. Partnering with a retail merchant account service provider adds credibility and convenience to your retail business while making you available to make every possible sale. With knowledge and understanding of how to get the best service, you can provide for your customers the best service and optimize profits.