All over the internet you will hear that it is essential to get an e-commerce merchant service if you want to accept credit cards, debit cards and e-checks online for your business. To many people's surprise, there are alternative methods to receiving payment processing online. The reason e-commerce merchant service's get fired up so highly is because of their convenience and high success rate.
Before we talk about alternatives to an e-commerce merchant service, let's talk about what you need to begin payment processing online. The first thing you need is a secure server with certification. This will allow your server to prevent data interception and ensure you that no unauthorized decoding occurs. The next two aspects are obvious in that you need an order form and a gateway to allow for authorization and processing.
The next thing you need is some form of shopping cart software. This will make life a lot less stressful during the payment processing online because it will automatically calculate purchases, taxes, and shipping and much more for you. Finally, you need an e-commerce merchant service, so let's take a look at some options now.
If you are looking for alternatives to begin payment processing online, one option is to contract with companies providing the processing on your behalf. The downside to this option is that it is more expensive than using a merchant account. The reason the prices will be higher is because the company will take a larger percentage of the ticket price off of each credit card payment you receive.
Another problem with using third parties is that you will not be able to collect your funds near as often as going through your own e-commerce merchant service. By using a third party you have to put your order form on the payment processing site, where you will probably only receive your funds two or three times a month. By using your own merchant service, you can expect to see the funds in two or three days.
If you try out third parties and just are not satisfied, another option to begin payment processing online as from merchant services is deferred processing. Deferred processing is when the customer inputs all data and you receive the data manually.
The advantage to using this is that you have the ability to manually look over every order form put in and correct any errors to ensure that your customer gets the right product and you really get the payment. The downside is that it is extremely time consuming to look over every order that comes in.
As you can see, there are alternatives to using an e-commerce merchant service, but it comes with disadvantages and risks. This is not to say that you 100% positively will have failure with a different option, but the safe bet is to pay for a merchant service and begin your payment processing online on the right foot.
Copyright (c) 2007 Jim Saka