There’s no denying that small business owners are busy people. When it comes to getting things done, most of us would rather spend our time doing things like marketing and improving our products than dealing with boring stuff like opening a merchant account.
In this digital-first world we live in, not having an efficient checkout process can cost you customers by making your website look outdated or confusing. That’s why it’s so important to find the right credit card processor for your business and we engaged Platform Pay LLC to lay out what every business owner should know about merchant processors in 2023.
For first-time small business owners, choosing a merchant processor can be overwhelming.
For first-time small business owners, choosing a merchant processor can be overwhelming. There are so many options and options to choose from, which makes it difficult to make a decision that is right for you.
Choosing the right merchant processor is important because if you have an incorrect one, you could lose money or even get sued! You need to be sure that your processor meets all of your needs and that you understand what those needs are. Now, we’re always in a position to suggest reaching out to Platform Pay LLC for all your merchant processing needs be we understand it’s important for business owners to be more knowledgable so they can optimize their current processing solution.
How does a merchant account work?
A merchant account is a way to accept payments online. It’s a little bit like having a credit card machine in your pocket (or purse, or laptop bag) that lets you accept payments from customers using their cards. You give them your business’s name and address, they sign for the payment, and seconds later: the money is in your account!
Most companies need some kind of merchant account if they want to accept any kind of credit card payment over the Internet—but there are also other types of accounts as well.
Merchant accounts come in two main flavors: ACH (which stands for Automated Clearing House) and Debit/Credit Card Processing.
What is payment processing?
Payment processing is the process of accepting payments from customers. It’s done in real time, and it can be done through a merchant account (or “account”), which is an online portal that connects your business to a payment processor.
A merchant account is made up of two parts: a gateway and an acquirer. The gateway accepts transactions from your customers via credit cards or other forms of payment and passes them along to the acquirer for processing. The acquirer then sends these transactions on to their banking partner (like MasterCard or Visa) for authorization and settlement within 24 hours.
What’s the difference between a merchant account and a payment gateway?
A merchant account is the financial connection between your business and your customers. It allows you to accept payments in multiple currencies, track sales and refunds, pay fees, view transactions in real-time and more.
A payment gateway completes the transaction process by connecting your business with customers via their preferred method of payment (credit card, debit card or online check). Payment gateways can be integrated with various types of merchants accounts but they can also be used on their own to accept payments from different methods.
What are some types of merchant accounts?
You can find a few different types of merchant accounts:
- Swipe accounts are for traditional businesses accepting credit cards in person, such as retail stores and restaurants.
- Keyed accounts are for merchants who run their own POS systems or use software like Square to accept payments on their smartphones or tablets.
- Virtual terminal accounts are for larger businesses that need to process transactions over the phone or online rather than at the point of sale.
What do I need to open a merchant account?
To open a merchant account, you’ll need several things. These are the main items we require at PlatformPay.io for new accounts.
- A business bank account
- A business credit card
- A business license
- Business tax ID number (EIN)
- Business address
What should I look for in choosing a credit card processor?
If you’re looking for a new merchant processor, there are several things that you should consider:
- Customer service. The best companies will have excellent customer service and make it easy for you to get in touch with someone when you need help.
- Long-standing reputation. Look at the company’s history of business, and make sure that they’ve been around long enough to provide stability in your business relationship.
- PCI compliance. Does the company offer secure payment technology that keeps your customers’ information safe? If not, this could be a deal breaker.
- Payment options offered by the processor. Do they offer multiple options like debit cards or ACH transfers? It may not seem like a big deal now (and maybe it isn’t), but if your customers want to pay with something other than a credit card in the future, then having options is important!
An efficient, friendly checkout process is an important part of the customer experience. If you’re new to online payments, then it might not seem like there’s time to dive into all the details of what makes a good merchant account provider. We’ve done the research to get you started so you can relax and run your business knowing you have the best payment process out there.
Final Thoughts From PlatformPay.io
The bottom line is this: if you want to grow your business, you need to be able to accept credit card payments from customers and vendors. And the best way to do that is by using a reputable payment processor. But there are many options out there, and not all of them are created equal. We hope this information has been helpful as you choose a merchant processor which will be best for your needs.