Keep Your Business Up to Speed with an eCommerce Merchant Account

As most small business owners know, staying on top in today’s technological world means giving your customers the latest means to shop and pay for products and services.

With more and more consumers going online to browse for and purchase items, it only makes sense that a small business owner make sure the process is easy for both current and potential customers.

Given the need for online speed and adaptability, small business owners who have a solid eCommerce merchant account in place stand a better chance of making sales and keeping customers happy. This simply allows online customers to use a credit card to complete their purchases, meaning they can shop from the convenience of their home or office.

There are several different options for the small business owner, including getting an account through a third party processor like Google Checkout or PayPal, or through a bank or other financial institution.

Once the account is in place, a credit card holder purchasing online from a small business that has an e-Commerce merchant account must provide credit card information each time a purchase is made. The reason for this is that the credit card data is not maintained in the merchant account’s system.

When an eCommerce transaction is initiated, the service happens online through a payment gateway. The payment gateway obtains transaction requests that are sent online via software, then connects to a card like MasterCard, Visa, American Express or Discover.

So, are you set up to make it easy on your customers to shop and buy from you?

Keep in mind that you should have an online shopping cart in place, thereby allowing the customer coming to your website to choose a product or service they want from you, then add it to their cart. After filling their cart, they then move on to the purchase area and enter their personal information and credit card details.

Once the credit card data has been entered, a gateway will transport that data and process it to make sure authorization works. At the time the payment is authorized, the gateway then processes the credit card, pulls the funds and transports them to the merchant account. Lastly, the funds will remain in the account for a short time, and you can have them automatically move from that account to your respective bank account.

Finally, just about every small business owner wants to obviously know what an eCommerce merchant account will cost them over time. That being said, you should be up to speed on the following:

* Statement Fees - This is the amount that a merchant account provider will charge you on a monthly statement for your records;

* Processing Rate - This is the percentage charged by the banking institution and subtracted from the transaction;

* Monthly Minimum - This is the fee many merchant account providers charge along with the statement fee. As your transactions grow, the minimum fee goes by the wayside.

With all that an eCommerce merchant account can do for your small business, take credit if you have one or plan to get one soon.