In order to accept credit cards for your business you first have to set up a credit card merchant account for your business. You can do this through online sites such as PayPal or you can select a merchant vendor to help you with the process. If you happen to have a lot of money to spend you can also contact credit card companies directly, but this is usually the exception rather than the rule.
You can compare credit cards online today by using the free credit card chaser tool at the top of this page!
In addition to credit card account merchants, you can also go to your local bank and talk to them about helping you set up a credit card account. You don’t have to choose your own bank either; you can choose any bank that is local to you or any national bank as well. In some cases, a bank will require you to be in account holder or a member in order to help you process credit card payments.
How long does it take to start accepting credit cards for my business?
The bottom line is that it depends upon whom you use as to how long it will take to get your credit card acceptance off and running. Sites like PayPal provide you access instantly all you have to do is open an account agree to their terms and put their insignia on your website.
The problem with using PayPal is if you have a brick-and-mortar store, PayPal cannot help you. PayPal is specifically designed for online merchants.
Online credit card account merchants can take anywhere from a couple hours to several days in order to set up your credit card account. When you are considering a credit card provider, it should clearly state on their website how long it takes to get you up and running. You may want to consider only companies that provide a guarantee of their service times.
Banks can sometimes take longer. Often they require more paperwork to be filled out and have more questions to answer in order to help you then you might find with an online merchant.
However, you do not want to rule them out as an option, they could potentially be the source for the lowest rates, and you need to include them in a comparison.
Are there fees associated with accepting credit cards?
Yes, there are fees associated with accepting credit cards. In addition to transaction fees, some companies will charge you fees in order to set up your account. If you have a brick-and-mortar store, you will need to also invest in a credit card keypad machine and a connection in order to accept those credit cards. That connection is called Gateway.
You will be charged a transaction fee for each transaction made by a customer. However, what a merchant will do is base that on the total sales for a day, a week, a month, or even a quarter depending on the company you choose and the contract you signed. You can expect to pay between 2% and 5% to the merchant for your total transactions.
The U.S. Dodd-Frank financial reform law has minimized some of those fees. However, Banks that have less than $10 billion a year in assets are able to charge the same piece today as they did prior to the U.S. Dodd-Frank financial reform law.
If you decide to choose a bank to provide your credit card services, you will want to choose a bank that has larger than $10 billion a year in assets. This will to reduce your overall costs for accepting credit cards.
Can I charge fees to my customers for using a credit card?
Many people charge a convenience fee for accepting credit cards. However, according to the Merchant Counsel, you’re only able to charge a convenience fee for providing a service you normally do not provide.
What’s interesting about this is that it is the credit card companies that determine whether you can charge a convenience fee. In addition, the credit card companies define the actual term, convenience fee. What this means for you is that if you plan on accepting credit cards regularly for purchases, you cannot under these definitions charge a convenience fee. What’s more, convenience fees are not allowed to be used to offset the cost of the fees charged by your merchant or credit card company either.
Use the credit card finder tool now to do a credit card comparison to make sure you are not paying more fees than you should be.
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