Topics in Merchant Services: Ways to Accept Credit Card Payments

For businesses that sell products and services to consumers, having multiple credit payment options is essential for building a customer base and maximizing sales, especially when credit is the way most consumers prefer to spend. Accepting credit card payment begins with receiving one or more accounts through a merchant services provider, which will help to determine which options are best for your business. Below, we list four common ways to accept credit card payments via a merchant service provider.

1. Stationary card terminals

Stationary card terminals are ideal for businesses that sell a large volume of goods or services at physical locations, but not for companies that don’t sell their offerings using a traditional store front arrangement, or that sell on a B2B (business to business) basis. Traditional credit accounts facilitated by stationary terminals usually feature low discount rates and high monthly program fees.

2. Mail or telephone order (MOTO)

Accepting payment by mail or telephone allows you to reach customers who prefer to pay by telephone or mail. MOTO accounts have the advantage of not requiring terminal equipment. Unlike traditional accounts facilitated by terminals, they typically feature high discount rates and low monthly fees.

3. E-commerce accounts

When you accept online payment, you open up your business to millions of people that can’t travel to its physical location(s), as wells as people who prefer to shop online with a charge card. E-commerce offers the opportunity to invest in Web based sales as opposed to adding physical locations. E-commerce accounts typically feature medium range discount rates and mid-range to high monthly fees.

4. Wireless accounts

Wireless accounts are ideal for businesses that sell their goods or services in changing locations, such as businesses that accept payment at point of delivery, and businesses that sell at kiosks or tradeshow booths. Some common examples of entities that use wireless accounts are attorney offices, businesses that perform food delivery, and contractors. Wireless accounts typically feature high discount rates and low monthly fees.

Choosing the right account provider

In addition to choosing a provider that offers extensive account options, it’s also important to choose one that’s poised to offer the best overall service quality. To do so, it pays to observe the following tips:

1. Choose a service whose page ranking is high in search results, as companies with high rankings are more visited, and therefore more scrutinized than those with lower rankings.

2. Choose a service that offers 24-hour support via telephone and/or computer.

3. Avoid services whose websites are sub-domains of a larger website, such as a website hosted by Yahoo. Often, such a service is merely a front for extracting fraudulent payments.

4. Choose a provider whose record at the Better Business Bureau is free of unresolved customer complaints.