Regardless of whether a business is a sole proprietorship, a partnership or has an Inc. at the end of its name, without online credit card processing money is being left on the table. There are many businesses that accept credit cards online, but only do so through a payment aggregator. This is a third party that accepts the payment and uses their own credit card processing gateway. This system is used by many small companies because it seems like a good idea, but before you decide against having your own merchant account, you need to consider what your current third party card processor looks to your customer.
When an individual wants to buy one or more items on your website and you are using a payment aggregator, they will be directed away from your site and to the payment aggregator’s website. This can be a red flag for Internet shoppers, so they simply abandon their shopping carts. For this reason alone, it makes sense to get your own merchant account for credit card transactions. Add to this, the fact that money from credit card transactions goes directly into your business bank account. With a payment aggregator the money is still with the payment processor and must be transferred to your bank account. This takes time and means that money from sales made is always being delayed.
A merchant account is also more flexible and can adapt to a growing business. When a payment processing system needs to become more robust, a credit card processing company will be able to expand you credit card payment capability. Having a merchant account means paying less fees per transaction as your business expands. With a payment aggregator, the fees are fixed, and there is little advantage to having this type of account when your company grows.
When looking for a merchant account for an online business you must make sure that the gateway system provided is compatible with your online shopping cart. There are several companies that offer more than one gateway, so there is more than one shopping cart that is compatible. A few offer gateways compatible with a wide range of shopping carts. Charge.com Payment Solutions is an example of one such company. Once you have determined compatibility, it is usually a matter of filling out an online application and then depositing a certain minimum amount of money to open a merchant account. Most companies offer several levels of service, so you need only buy what is required for your business with the option of expanding your payment system as your business grows.