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Top 7 Questions To Ask a Potential Merchant Account Provider

By Bobette Kyle

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Researching and establishing an online merchant account can be daunting. Asking these questions and follow-ups can help you establish a mutually comfortable relationship with your Internet merchant account provider from the start, laying the groundwork for a long, solid partnership.

  1. Can I accept credit cards both online and offline?

    Also, do I need to get separate authorizations or permissions when setting up my account for different types of transaction (Internet, retail, phone orders, etc.)?

    What other additional fees are involved if I accept both online and offline credit card charges?

  2. Can I accept online payments using methods other than Mastercard and Visa (Discover, American Express, Diner's Club, online checks, debit cards, etc.)?

    If so, what are the fees and do I need to do anything to "activate" those payment methods?

  3. What are the different discount rates and fees for different types of charges (Internet, in person, telephone, mail, etc.)?

  4. What are the other fees related to this account - yearly, set-up, application, monthly minimum, statement, support, cancellation, discount, per-transaction, gateway access fees, card reject fee?

    Are these subject to change?

    Are there any other fees?

  5. Do I process charges manually or automatically?

    If manually, is it possible to get automatic processing?

    If so, do you provide a secure online payment gateway?

    How do I do it and what extra charges will I pay?

  6. What other software and services do I need to become fully ecommerce enabled online (such as secure gateway provider, etc.)?

    Do you have a list of compatible or preferred providers?

  7. Do I need additional hardware or software?

    If so, what is the cost and how do I get it?

Bobette Kyle draws upon 12+ years of Marketing/Executive experience, Marketing MBA, and online marketing research in her writing. Bobette is proprietor of the Web Site Marketing Plan Network and author of the marketing plan and Web promotion book "How Much For Just the Spider? Strategic Website Marketing For Small Budget Business." For more information on taking payments online, visit her merchant information site at http://www.take-payments-online.com .

Source: http://Top7Business.com/?expert=Bobette_Kyle

Article Submitted On: November 02, 2004