The first step to success for any business is figuring out how they can accept electronic payments. This is where business owners are required to acquire a merchant account. This account is quite similar to a normal bank account. If you have made a successful sale, the amount will be transferred into your merchant account. These accounts are capable of accepting multiple forms of payment, such as credit and debit cards, along with alternate payment methods.
You can consider the merchant account as an online holding tank. Once the amount is paid via credit or debit card, the money is deposited into the merchant account. The amount will be transferred to your business bank account. You can then withdraw the funds from your normal business account. The process of transfer takes place as per a set schedule, such as daily, weekly or monthly. Generally, the waiting period for transferring the funds available in the merchant account to your normal account is an average of two to seven days. However, this period depends on the terms that have been agreed between the merchant services provider and you. Merchant accounts are particularly important for online retailers, but due to the rise in popularity of credit and debit card payments amongst customers, physical stores have also started obtaining these accounts.
If you are thinking of acquiring a merchant account, you need to be aware that there are 2 types of merchant accounts – dedicated and aggregate merchant accounts. Dedicated accounts mean that the account is solely for you and you have the ability to get custom rates from your payment processor as per the volume of your sales. These accounts will give you total control of your rate and money. On the other hand, aggregate merchant accounts are those that are merged together with other companies. Even though this type of account is easier to obtain, your control is diminished.
Customers are always looking for only one thing and that is convenience. By acquiring a merchant account, you will be offering your customers with the ease of transactions using their credit or debit cards and that will make them keep coming to you. In order to survive the cut-throat competition and be a step ahead from the rest, adopt innovative solutions.
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