Friday, March 26, 2010

Tips to Choose Credit Card Company

Credit card companies are around for quite a while now. Although, they offer merchant accounts for home based, retail and internet business, yet it is very difficult to determine the best credit card processing solution for your merchant banking needs. One should be very cautious before choosing one and must do a comprehensive study between the available options. One can evaluate them on their approval rate, processing speed and application fee. Many credit card companies would approve and process your application without any charge. So, it becomes all the more difficult to choose the right one.

You must keep the following points in mind while selecting one:

• You must choose a company with a low monthly bill cost and a clear idea of the fee structure. Rating is done on the basis of 500 transactions per month.

• The company should not charge an exorbitant amount to setup a merchant account and payment gateway. Good companies normally process and setup your account within 24 hours.

• The company should have a strong customer support system with facilities like email, instant messaging and telephone services. Helpline must respond to your query instantly and also provide the needful information. In general, more than one type of virtual terminal along with an online merchant account and the payment of their gateway are offered by companies.

• Card readers, which can be granted by a variety of sale options and swappers, should be available through the service.

• The credit card company should be such that it can be linked to your e-commerce site, which would have a form for customers to enter their credit card information and make payments online. However, one should try to give all the available payment options to the customer.

• A merchant account which acts as a clearing account for any credit card transaction is as simple as an account in a bank or any other financial institution. Though it is more complicated than opening a checking account, setting up an account is a good deal.

• To authorize the post transactions method and a merchant account, there must be a payment processing system in any financial institution to ensure safe transactions.

• Do not fall for a lower rate. Advertised low rate would be enough to lure you to get on board. But there are hidden costs. One of these things is that the introductory rate they lured you in with may go up even before the special introductory period is over.

• To process huge amount of transactions and payments quickly and easily, the infrastructure of the company needs to be equally strong.

• Please check the features of the payment gateway i.e. virtual terminal, merchant account, clearance time, e-check facility, POS swiper etc.

• Make sure that the shopping cart application you have on your website works well with the banks payment gateway system or else it would result in transaction problems and unnecessary deductions from your account.

• Also check the fraud protection features like CVV2 acceptance, address verification and SSL.

The most commonly accepted credit cards are Discover, Visa, American Express and MasterCard.