Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Considerations to Accept Online Payments

Considerations to Accept Online PaymentsIf you want to be able to accept online payments, you need an e-commerce website with the following features available:
  • An already functioning website with an SSL certificate set up.
  • A functioning shopping cart, which is the service that allows your visitors to collect and manage the items they are interesting in purchasing.
  • Payment gateway, which is the online version of the point of sale credit card machine that facilitates the transfer of data between your website and your acquirer, swiftly and securely.
The first two items should be provided by your web designer. The e-commerce payment gateway tool may be sold and set up for you by your credit card processing company that you will elect to work with.

You must not pay anything until you actually start to accept online payments through your website. Your biggest consideration, though, as far as rates and fees are concerned, should be your bank card rates. You must carefully evaluate your pricing agreement before making your decision about which processor to choose. I would recommend that you examine pricing proposals from at least ten payment processing providers. The cost to accept online payments consists of multiple components and you need to understand precisely how much you will be charged for each one of them. Listed below is a breakdown of the most typical fees associated with an e-commerce merchant account:
  1. Discount rate - the fees a card acceptor is charged to accept online payments. It is made up of a percentage fee (for example 2.05%) and a fixed fee (e.g. $0.20).
  2. Authorization per-item fee - paid on a "per-transaction" basis, it should be no more than twelve cents for any type of service.
  3. Application processing and set up fee - both are one-time fees that should not be agreed to!
  4. Monthly service fee - as the name implies, this fee is assessed on a monthly basis and should not be exceeding $15.
  5. Support fee - a monthly charged assessed for customer service that you should not be paying.
  6. Payment gateway charge - specific to the online payment processing industry and charged on a monthly basis. This fee should not be in excess of $19.95.
If you notice that there are any other rates or fees on your pricing agreement, you will be very well advised to look for a processor elsewhere. Remember that there are hundreds of them, so there is no shortage. Additionally, some processors may be able to provide you with a line-by-line comparison of their pricing schedules with the competition's.

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