The world moves by pretty fast, and it only seems to go quicker every year. As the years pass and technologies advance, people become more and more accustomed to these new conveniences. They also become less and less willing to go back to the older, slower ways of doing things.
One thing in particular that consumers rely on with ever-increasing frequency is their ability to pay for goods and services by using their credit or debit cards. And if they happen upon a business that only takes cash, odds are they are simply going to make their purchase elsewhere.
By setting up a merchant services account you can finally level the playing field between your business and the rest of the competition. Just about every business can benefit from signing up for credit card processing through merchant services. Here are a few ways that it could help your business.
The most common way for a business to process credit cards is with a retail swipe terminal. Obviously this isn’t something that would be practical for an online business, but if you have a “bricks and mortar” storefront it is pretty much essential these days.
A swipe terminal is the machine you see on the counter at pretty much any retail outfit. You just swipe the card through and your merchant account handles the rest. They take the payment through a series of complex transactions and the money is deposited into your account in about two or three business days.
One of the nicest things about processing payments by way of a retail swipe terminal is that they tend to have the lowest fees. This is because studies show that credit card fraud is a lot less common when dealing in face-to-face transactions. If you are still worried you can always ask to see ID when you accept a credit card.
Debit Card Processing and E-checks
Merchant services are also great for businesses that do a lot of their transactions over the Internet. Nearly all of the purchases that happen online are made with a credit or debit card and there are plenty of other websites that can process cards if yours can’t.
Another way that people make purchases over the Internet is by using what is merchant services agent iso program called an e-Check. These are basically just the online equivalent of your everyday paper check, except the buyer doesn’t have to sign it.
There are a few different ways to process e-Checks. One way is to go out and buy an application for your computer that allows you to print these e-Checks right out. From there you just deposit it in your bank account like normal. Of course, like normal, you have to wait a few days for the check to clear.
You can also process e-Checks through a transaction service that checks to make sure they are complete and accurate. You can even pay an additional fee to guarantee the check so that if it bounces they will reimburse you.
Businesses who deal in expensive items like real estate or fancy auction houses may also benefit from the escrow services that many merchant account providers offer. The escrow service essentially serves as a middleman so that your clients aren’t afraid of getting ripped off.
It works quite simply actually. The customer pays the escrow service and the escrow service informs you that they have the money. After that you ship out the product. When your customer receives the merchandise they tell the escrow service that it is all good and the money is transferred to your account.
If for some reason your client receives the merchandise and is unsatisfied, they can send it back and the escrow service will refund the money. As was said, these services are really only practical when you are dealing with very expensive items.