If you are an online merchant, your rates will automatically be higher. Credit card companies charge more for online merchants because they perform non-present transactions. In other words, the customer is not physically present when making the purchase, so you do not have a signature. Therefore, the risk to you and to the credit card companies is much greater. The five things you will need for building your Internet business are a Web site, a merchant account, a payment transaction device, a secure server connection, and a virtual shopping cart. With an Internet business, your Web site is your connection to customers, so having a site that is attractive to the user and easy to understand is key to your business. Unfortunately, many banks will not give you a merchant account if you are solely doing business on the Internet because they believe this type of business to be high risk. Therefore, when looking for a merchant account, you may need to seek out a third party provider. But watch out for high, unnecessary fees. When selecting a payment transaction device for your Internet business, chances are you will have three common options: * You may choose to have a device in your office, such as a point-of-sale terminal, so that you can simply enter the transaction over the phone lines. Or you could just as easily call your transactions in over the phone if you choose this option, and avoid buying a terminal altogether. However, if you have a high volume of business, this option may be unrealistic. * Internet software allows you to process your transactions over the Internet, typically by filling out a form online. There are many choices for this software, but in most cases, you may need to rent the software on a monthly basis. * Real-time processing is a service provided by Internet companies such as AuthorizeNet and Cybercash. With this method, your virtual shopping cart interfaces with the real-time credit processing company, and immediately completes the transaction. Since this type of processing takes place automatically when the customer places his order, this is the ideal method if you have a large volume of Internet sales. A secure server connection allows your customers to shop from you without having to worry about fraud. If you do not have a secure server, very few people will buy from you because payment information could be easily intercepted by computer hackers. When you have a secure server connection, your customers are actually routed to a different computer that encrypts the payment information, thereby protecting you and your customers. A virtual shopping cart is software that allows customers to place product orders for multiple items on your Web site. This software calculates and totals orders for your customers, and also provides several added features, such as receiving the ordering information from your customer, verifying your customer
In order to accept credit card payments from your business, you would need to open a merchant account with a credit card acceptance company. The merchant account will provide you with a solution for taking credit card payments as well as settling those transactions so that the money that you are owed can be taken from the customer and deposited into your business account. For more information on taking cards as a form of payment see these resources:
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