It is often assumed if you want to accept credit
cards on your website that you must have a merchant
account. This is not the case. You can accept credit
cards with a Third Party credit card processor.
1) What is a Third Party Credit Card Processor?
A Third Party credit card processor is a company that
will accept credit card payments on behalf of you
or your company. The payments your customers make are
processed through the Third Party’s own merchant
account, and you the retailer is paid (minus a commission
fee) by the Third Party processor.
No need to pay for expensive processing software, monthly
fees or minimum transaction fees. As you only pay a
percentage fee on a sale, you cannot lose money.
2) Should I have a Merchant Account or Third Party
For most businesses this decision will be made according
to the size of the company. Most small businesses do not
need their own merchant account.
Small businesses are better off with a Third Party
processor. The advantage is that when you sell your
products, the Third Party processor takes care of the
payment by checking the card, processing it, and sending
you a monthly check.
Larger businesses with a bigger turnover are likely to
need a full merchant account. You will pay a bigger
set-up fee for an online merchant account but pay less
per transaction than with a Third Party processor.
So recouping your initial outlay.
(c) John Lynch 2004
[ For details of Third Party credit card processors and
online merchant accounts visit:
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