Merchant Accounts: What They Are and How They Benefit Your Business

Merchant Account Forum LogoThis is a guest post by Nisha Sandhu, Editor at Merchant Account Forum.

Whatever the nature of your business, a merchant account provides a seamless way to collect payment for the goods or services you provide. Merchant accounts are specialized business accounts licensed to accept credit card transactions, usually allowing payment from several major credit cards. If you have an online business, your merchant account must be coupled with an application program interface (API) gateway which actually processes your customer’s credit card payments.

How a merchant account benefits your business:

Being able to accept credit cards is essential to any business. The more convenient you can make the shopping experience, the more attractive your business is to potential customers. With a merchant account you can offer the customer a number of payment options and the ability to make a payment in seconds, which generally leads to increased sales.

When customers can pay for something instantly
They are far more likely to make impulse purchases.

Most merchant accounts provide customizable shopping carts to incorporate into your website. The transaction process is quick and easy and the customer is not redirected to another website to complete the transaction as they would be if you were using a third party payment processor. A complex transaction increases the likelihood that the customer will change their mind about the purchase.

When buying goods or services online, most customers are concerned about the security of their transactions. Internet merchant accounts use secure payment gateways to ensure that the customer’s credit card information cannot be comprised. They also offer you protection in the form of fraud control measures, protecting you from losses as a result of fraudulent payments or chargeback’s.

Merchant accounts offer accounting tools that can help you keep better track of your financial transactions. They provide monthly statements of all your transactions and payments and help you track your success with real-time reporting and payment trends. The information they provide makes bookkeeping easy and is invaluable at tax time.

A merchant account can provide you with consistent customer service. When you are accepting credit card payments you will inevitably have to deal with the occasional processing error, chargeback or other service issue. Having a merchant account representative available to help you resolve disputes with customers, obtain voice authorizations or simply answer any questions you may have, can allow you to deal with potential problems with minimal headaches.

If you want to grow your business internationally
merchant accounts can accept multi currency payments
allowing you to deal with overseas customers.

Having a merchant account gives customers the sense that you are an established, professional business, lending a level of authority to your website and increasing customer confidence in it. Add to that the ease and convenience with which customers can select and purchase your goods and services, and it will go a long way towards creating loyal customers who will not only frequent your website but will help advertise your business. You’ll also find that as your business grows and you experience a higher transaction volume, having a merchant account becomes increasingly cost effective. Merchant accounts are a boon to an online business.

AUTHOR BIO: Hello my name is Nisha Sandhu. I am 26 years old and I am an Editor at merchantaccountforum.com, whom I have been working with for two years now. I love to write and give online business advice to new and growing businesses.

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