Having a credit card merchant account is a must for any business. Your business must be able to accept electronic and card payments. There are a variety of merchant accounts to choose from and different fee structures to consider. It would be best if you were sure to evaluate all your options carefully to select the right option for you. 

Importance of Credit Card Merchant Accounts

A credit card merchant account will allow your business to accept electronic payments such as debit and credit cards. This way, you get money into your account instantly rather than waiting for customers to pay their credit card bills.

Credit card merchant accounts are absolutely essential for online businesses as they cannot accept cash transactions. Especially today, every business needs the ability to accept electronic payments as customers more than ever are using these payment methods over cash.  

Refusing to accept electronic payments will cost your business as many customers will not do business with you as you cannot accept their preferred payment method. 

How Do They Work?

First, your customer pays with their card. Then, your merchant account provider sends these details to the customer’s credit card company. Finally, the credit card company has to verify the transaction, and the funds are transferred into your account. This process takes only a matter of seconds and ensures security for both your business and your customers. 

Types of Credit Card Merchant Accounts

Several different types of merchant accounts could apply to your business. Retail accounts have lower fees and allow your business to accept in-person transactions. You will need credit card terminals to accomplish this. 

Ecommerce accounts allow you to accept online payments and typically come with higher fees due to the increased risk of fraud. Mobile merchant accounts enable your business to accept payments with your mobile device. This is especially useful for mobile businesses such as food trucks. 

Mail-order and telephone merchant accounts allow your business to accept card payments by mail or over the phone. Ensure your provider has the best option available for your business.

Application Process

You will have to apply with a bank and go through an application process. Your business’s history for credit card fraud, credit issues, and length of time in business, these criteria, along with others, are analyzed to see how risky your business is.  

You need to have a business license to obtain a credit card merchant account. You will also need various other documentation such as contact information, tax ID number, financial statements, and routing numbers.

What Fees Can You Expect?

Multiple different pricing schemes are applied to credit card merchant accounts. Flat rate pricing means that your business will be charged a set percentage for each transaction. Interchange plus pricing is typically a set amount your company pays per transaction. 

Tiered pricing is prevalent in the payments space. It is straightforward as processors offer the lowest rates to transactions it deems the lowest rates. However, many transactions are not covered by the lowest rates that many processors advertise. It is essential to consider these pricing schemes and find the best option for your business.

Per transaction fees can vary widely from company to company. For example, the flat fee ranges from 0.5% to 5% per transaction, and the interchange fee can range from $0.20 to $0.30. In addition, there are other fees that some payment processors may charge you. These include PCI compliance fees and monthly minimum fees. Try to find a processor that does not charge you these extra fees. 

Credit Card Merchant Account Providers

Staxx

Staxx, formerly FattMerchant, is a solid choice for acquiring a credit card merchant account. They also offer easy-to-use POS terminals and API. However, there needs to be more transparency regarding pricing, and their software packages can be more expensive. 

Stripe

Stripe is a common choice of provider for credit card merchant accounts. Their service is simple and transparent and is very developer friendly. In addition, they offer interchange and flat fees of 2.9% + $0.30 for online transactions. While Stripe provides a variety of online business functionalities, its in-person payment solutions are much more limited.

Square 

Square is a good choice for new businesses. Their software is straightforward to use. It has many valuable features, including invoicing and QR code payment options. Square’s pricing is also very transparent, so you can see what you will pay. However, their pricing can be more expensive than others, as they charge 3.5% + $0.15 for card not present transactions. Additionally, while Square is an excellent choice for new companies, it will not work with high-risk businesses. 

Helcim

With Helcim, you will get an all-in-one payment processor. You can get competitive pricing that beats many other competitors. You also get helpful software with Helcim, such as CRM and invoicing software. While there are many benefits to Helcim, there are some critical limits. Their approval process can be pretty strict. If you are a high-risk or new business, it is unlikely they would be willing to provide you with a credit card merchant account. It would help if you found a payment provider that can work with new and high-risk companies. 

Chase Payment Solutions

Suppose your business bank account is with Chase already. Chase Payment Solutions could be a good choice for your company to have a merchant account. You can have your entire payment process done with Chase. While you can negotiate for pricing with Chase, not all options are transparent. For example, their standard rate for card-not-present transactions is 2.9% + $0.25. In addition, not all of Chase’s plans allow you to pay month to month and will require you to sign a long-term contract

Payline

With Payline, you can quickly obtain a merchant account. Thanks to our partnership with Under.io, we can promptly complete the underwriting process. This means you can start accepting electronic payments as soon as possible. Another benefit of working with Payline is that we offer some of the most competitive rates in the industry. For in-person transactions, we charge 0.4% + $0.10; for online transactions, we charge 0.75% + $0.20 per transaction. 

Payline also offers robust solutions for both physical stores and online stores. We want to help your business in as many ways as possible and strive to be flexible to meet your needs. Payline also does not charge excessive fees such as PCI compliance or monthly minimums. We are also happy to work with many different companies. Whether you have been in business five weeks or five years and regardless if you are a low-risk or high-risk company, Payline can work with you.

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