So you know what to sell on the internet? Thats a pretty good step to start your business venture online. Next step- find a reliable Internet Merchant Account (IMA) to partner you in this endeavor. But what, exactly, is an internet merchant?
In common business language, a person comes face to face with the cashier, pays the total charge and brings the item home. However, in an online business venture, coming face to face with the customer is impossible because customers may come from different countries and far flung places making it hard to meet them personally. An Internet Merchant Account acts as an online cashier to help us in transacting business.
An Internet Merchant Account is financial account which allows a business owner to receive online payments, most commonly credit cards, and complete a financial transaction over the internet. Once the Internet Merchant Account completes the transaction with the customer, it forwards the transaction to the IMA provider (most commonly banks) to materialize and further quantify the transaction made.
Fraud Vs Legitimate IMA
Internet Merchant Account providers have grown by leaps and bounds because of the onset of Online Marketing or E-Commerce. The same trend applies for fraudulent merchant accounts so it is very important to stress caution on all persons planning to venture on E-Commerce. Be extra careful because it would be hard to combat fraud when the enemy is the IMA itself.
Carefully read the user reviews and information about the IMA Provider. Search for feedbacks and all. It is easy to spot those fraudulent providers but some might be real tricky.
Application for an IMA
Application is easy but some providers may leave you several days to clear and examine your application for an IMA. Applying for an IMA is not for free as there are fees to be collected either upfront or sometime after an application has been processed. The fee being asked by the IMA providers is meant to be used during the whole application process. If you can find yourself an IMA provider which does not waive an upfront payment, it would be better.
In order for you expedite the whole application process, before securing an application form, prepare for you business master plan, your website address, products, suppliers, and most importantly, the banking details and information about every transaction. With these things in mind, the application process might be somehow shortened.
Statement Fees, Discount Rates and Transaction Fees
Similar to the Monthly Charge that some banks deduct on their customers, Internet Merchant Account Providers also earn via Statement Fees. These statement fees are collected as payment for the service they have rendered to the customer and of course, for them to profit. Almost all IMA Providers have this type of fee imposed on customers, though it may come under a different name.
Discount rates are the credits of the online seller to the IMA Provider for every purchase or transaction completed. This is somewhat comparable to their commission and is equivalent to no more than four percent of a single earning. Transaction Fees, on the other hand, are fixed and does not change regardless of the price of a purchased commodity.
Termination fees are also imposed when a customer cancels his service subscription within a year (depending upon the agreements) or so. Most often than not, IMA Providers lets the customer agree on a lock-in contract wherein the customer must remain subscribed to the IMA Provider within a period of time, otherwise, the customer would pay for the remaining months or years of subscription under the lock-in period.
Finding the perfect Merchant Account Service would be very advantageous on your part. Merchant accounts are considered your cashiers inside your store- they keep track of all the transactions, complete them and close them; they also act as your security camera and guards- making sure that there are no shoplifters lurking around. More than that, they serve as your companys banking corporation- all your earnings would be stashed into their vaults. With these functions of the IMA, it is really vital that you get the best provider there is. The more reliable, legitimate and positively well-known, the better it would do to your business venture.
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