What is a Merchant Account?
A merchant account is an agreement or contract put in place between a business user and a bank to facilitate the use of credit and debit card payments and payments made through an online webpage.
As cheques and cash seem to be something of the past with the majority of folk relying on plastic for ease and safety, then being able to accept payments from your customers with their cards is fundamental to the success of your business.
Expert Market UK offers you cheap merchant account options from top UK providers. Find out more by simply filling out the form at the top of this page.
Chip and pin technology is to be found in most businesses these days. Although fees are incurred by the business owner in providing this service generally speaking the fees will pay for themselves.
Imagine having to inconvenience your customers or clients or worse still having to turn them away due to the fact that they were not carrying enough cash to pay for their transaction.
So What Are The Fees?
There are different conduits in the way payment is made and received despite all payments being paid by card. For example, paying for something using the chip and pin service will be handled in a different way to a transaction being made using the swipe facility - that is using the magnetic strip on the reverse of a credit or debit card. As the transactions are handled differently it follows that the fees to be paid are treated differently also.
As payments are being made all day long and in the sake of an internet business all night long potentially too, these transactions will be charged for per transaction. The merchant account you are using will swap money at the end of the day with the transactional banks. The fees for using a merchant account bank can be quite high as you can imagine. Cards being declined will incur a separate fee otherwise known as a nuisance fee.
Scams and Fraud
Scammers and fraudsters are in every industry, there are always people that want to earn a fast few quid. Opening a merchant account is not without its risks. However, if you pay attention to detail and do your due diligence research thoroughly you will be fine.
Check the website has a bona fide http:// address and is not being hosted through a back door website i.e., a Google account or Yahoo. Use a merchant account that has received reviews and make sure you speak with someone face to face if not at the very least over the telephone. Likewise, do not think you need to use the bank you are currently with; you can shop around to get the best account for your business needs.
How to Get a Cheap Merchant Account?
If you are setting up a brand new merchant account you will be expected to pay set up fees which currently are in the region of circa £100 to £300. Service charges of around circa 1.5 per cent to 3 per cent will be placed on all card transactions; this percentage figure will be based upon transactional volume, trading history etc. Debit cards generally attract a fee of circa 20p to 50p per transaction, which is quite high, particularly if your business trade is for many small items rather than a few large transactions.
Several businesses put in place a minimum card spend in their shops or establishments for this very reason. There are companies that will source the best merchant account for you and get you up and running, they will then take a fee for providing this service along with an annual contract fee plus a percentage per transaction.
When weighing up your options, don't opt straight off for the account that offers the cheapest rate per transaction, add up ALL the costs you will be charged, as what may look attractive at first glance may not be the whole picture.
To find the best merchant account for your business, fill out the form at the top of this page. Expert Market will help you find the best prices and deals.