Application, Setup & Integration
Most merchant services are more than happy to get you signed up, so they make the application process very simple for you. Some payment processing companies accept online applications, while most merchant service providers provide a simple online form and then follow up with a phone call to discuss personalized options for your individual company. While most companies have a high approval rating and quick turnaround time so you can start to accept credit cards online, some are better than others.
Make no mistake; while these services are here to help you accept credit cards online to make money, they will want their share of the profits as well. Credit card processing involves a number of parties (banks, security, credit card companies) who all charge a fee for their part of the process and most of those fees are passed on to the merchant. Luckily, merchant providers are very competitive with pricing, so it is important that you shop around and find the lowest rates. For the best rates to accept credit cards online, consider all of the additional fees and your realistic number of transactions. A lower monthly fee may be important to one company while the per-transaction costs might be more important for another company.
Like pricing, there are a number of features that may be more important for one merchant than another. All merchants can appreciate a streamlined interface and easy transaction management when they accept credit cards online. If you are selling subscriptions you will want recurring payments online. If you have several employees you will probably need multiple accounts. Consider your situation and which elements are essential. In general, the more features the better.
While the site focuses primarily on accepting credit cards online, you may also wish to use credit card swipers or even your smartphone to process transactions. Other merchants may wish to integrate their payment gateway with an online eStore. Some services come packaged with a shopping cart, and others easily integrate with popular shopping carts. Whether you are starting from scratch or integrating with existing software or services, find a credit card processor flexible enough to grow with your business. If you have a physical store, you can process that merchant account with a capable processor that can service both.
As credit card threats evolve and news of security breaches spreads, merchants and customers are understandably concerned about security with payments online. Luckily there are several security measures to protect the credit card holder and the merchant. Processors that don’t have the right security in place or are not completely PCI compliant are not worth your time in considering payment processors to accept credit cards online.