Virtual Merchant Accounts and Your Small Business

Virtual Merchant Accounts and Your Small Business

Simply stated, a virtual merchant account is credit card processing done online. It has revolutionized the merchant transaction capability. A business is no longer tied to special merchant equipment tied to a telephone line. A business can accept all major credit cards, debit cards, perform check guarantee and verification. Orders can be processed from a retail store, kiosk, website or laptop while traveling around the world. Some merchant companies are now offering USB credit card readers that you can connect easily to a laptop. This allows one to swipe a physical credit card when they have one available during the transaction. If the physical credit card is not available, or one does not have the USB reader, then the information can be easily input into a user friendly form. Press the submit button and voila! A transaction has begun. A business can process transactions 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. Say goodbye to restrictions of past credit card processing and hello to mobility and convenience.

Virtual merchant accounts are designed to be user friendly. An account owner need only basic internet skills to process a transaction successfully. The accounts are set up to manually process credit card information, issue credits as needed and void transactions. The account allows one to handle payment-related questions quickly for customers by doing an easy online transaction search. Bookkeeping can be maintained easily with the use of reports you can generate from the account. Merchant companies offer a variety of transaction, customer and profit reports. These reports can be downloaded to excel or even be delivered in graph form. Information can be organized and accessed daily or by month end. Easily use the reports to balance to bank account or accounting software.

There are many different companies that offer virtual merchant accounts. Their services can range from basic to detailed depending on the quantity of sales your business handles and its financial reporting needs. There is even a virtual merchant downloadable application available for iphones, ipods and ipads.

What the virtual merchant account will cost will depend on the business type and its needs. There are many different interchange rate levels. It would be wise for businesses, while shopping for virtual merchant services, to compare services and fees of different companies. One company may offer a free service where another may tack on an extra fee. Different fees can include the following: application, set-up, customer support, different types of internet transaction, Gateway, fraud screening, etc. These fees can add up and be costly. Also some companies may not accept all major credit cards.

There are websites that compare services and costs of merchant account companies that can assist in one’s research. They compare the application process, monthly fees, transaction fees, features offered, fraud protection, types of cards accepted and help support offered by the company. These comparisons are listed in a graph format and can be of great assistance while doing comparison shopping.

Merchant accounts may routinely run a credit rating on the account holder applicant. If the account holder returns a poor credit rating, the application may be denied. There are options for the denied: they can secure a co-signor, find a high risk merchant provider. or use a third party provider such as Paypal.

The application process is normally simple and fast. A virtual merchant account can be up and running within 24 hours. Quickly and easily a business can expand and increase profits!

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SMBReviews is committed to providing small and mid-sized business owners with the information and resources they need to select the best service or product for their company.

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