What is a Merchant Payment Provider?

What Is a Merchant Payment Provider?

Give your customers several different payment options for your products or services.

In order to accept online payments from your customers you need the services of a merchant provider to complete transactions.

Depending on your product or service, a third party provider can make life much simpler for your small business. One of the oldest providers that most people are familiar with is PayPal. Third party providers are a good alternative for Internet businesses because they create an easy gateway between your site and the financial institution.

With a third party provider you receive your payment for goods sold from the provider instead of from a bank or financial institution. If your product is digital, these providers are a great choice.

How It Works

What the third party provider does is give you a secure site you can link to. Your customers are directed to the site to place orders using their credit card or check.

Pros and Cons

The advantage of these services are convenience and fast set-up. The drawback is higher transaction fees.

Great For Start-ups

This is a great way to get started, and as your business grows you can always apply to your bank or with a traditional merchant provider to save on transaction fees.

The Costs

The provider takes a share of sale – which can be up to 15%. Since there are differences among the various providers (some only accept sales of digital goods), you should check into several and choose the one that fits your business needs.

Typical fees include an activation fee and transaction fees. For example, CCNow has a one-time $39.95 activation fee, and a 4.9% + 40 cents fee per sale. There are no monthly fees.

Do a little research to find a provider that meets your needs and you can start accepting payments right away. Just price your products and services appropriately to account for your payment processing costs, and never miss a sale. It’s easy!

Brett Krkosska provides how-to advice on small business and home-based work issues. He is the founder of HomeBizTools and the publisher of Straight Talk, a syndicated column that offers a unique perspective on today’s business issues.

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