When you start an eCommerce site, it is important to give your potential customers different options for payment. Some eCommerce sites will only allow you to pay via third-party sites such as PayPal or BillMeLater. Although it is a great idea to offer these options as well, not having a merchant services account that will allow a customer to pay via any credit or debit card will definitely decrease the amount of people that are able to shop on your site. In fact, you will probably see that many people will fill up their virtual shopping cart with items, only to leave the site on the final step because they cannot adhere to your minimal payment options.
For this reason, it is a good idea to set up a merchant services account and sign up for credit card processing services. Although you may think you cannot afford this service at the beginning, it is important to at least research credit card processing services and be aware of all costs and equipment involved. You may surprised at what you are able to do as long as you choose the right credit card processing company and know what types of questions to ask. Here are a few questions to keep in mind:
1) Will you be charging me a monthly or annual fee? – Most credit card processing companies will tell you that they do indeed charge either a monthly or annual fee separate from your processing fees. One thing many of them won’t tell you though, is that this fee is negotiable. It is negotiable to a point where many sales associates at credit card processing companies have the power to waive it.
2) Do you offer interchange-plus pricing? – Simply asking this question will alert your sales representative to the fact that you have done your research and you are not going to buy into a shiesty sales pitch. Interchange –plus pricing is basically a much better option in regards to fees. You can read more about it here.
3) What are my options regarding equipment? – Most companies will allow you the option of leasing or buying the equipment you need. Make sure that you choose a company that allows you to buy it through them or another retailer. Leasing equipment will cost you way more in the long run. And although with an eCommerce store the equipment is minimal, it is still important to know in case you ever wish to open a physical store as well.
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