How to navigate the nuances of online merchant accounts…
It’s hard enough to operate small and medium-sized (SMB) retail businesses online today without having to worry about how to accept credit cards online too. There are a ton of things to consider: Are you going to sell to some sort of mass marketplace like Amazon, or try to make a more personalized connection with your customers through your own website? How are you going to set yourself apart and can you compete?
The last thing you need to worry about is if you will have any problems getting an online merchant account and accepting payments. Online merchant accounts are a little different than retail brick-and-mortar merchant accounts. They are automatically considered a higher risk, are more expensive, and are more prone to fraud. Sure, there are some hurdles that online merchants have to face when looking for and applying for online merchant services. But when the right processor’s got your back, you can rest assured that the process will go smoothly.
Common problems accepting credit cards online.
Underwriting is tough.
Due to the nature of online sales and the propensity for credit card fraud, eCommerce sites are a bit higher risk to the bank than the typical merchant. Even though they’re not considered a high-risk merchant account per se, they are scrutinized more heavily than a merchant account application for a brick and mortar store.
Because we specialize in high-risk businesses, we have the expertise to navigate the underwriting process to help it go as smoothly as possible. Even if your site is not live, it must be viewable. Underwriting will audit your site and review your customer service, shipping, and return policies. We are very learned in what they like to see and are often able to look at your site in advance and coach you to make any changes ahead of time so that underwriting likes what they see.
Fraud and a Secure gateway
Unfortunately, online merchant sites are hackable making operating in the eCommerce world much more susceptible to fraud. While all businesses need to take the same steps and use the same security protocols to protect their customer’s private information, there are extra steps that online merchants should do to help mitigate the chance of fraud. Starting with picking the right gateway. Not all gateways are created equal. Once approved, as an online merchant service provider, we will provide you with a secure gateway. The gateway allows you to securely transmit transaction information to the acquiring banks and back to complete each transaction. But the best gateways also go the extra mile to protect your customers and your business.
The only gateways we provide are ones that employ enhanced Fraud Detection Services and the use of payer authentication tools. All private information should be tokenized and stored outside the native server. This will all better protect private information and transaction data from hackers and keeps the merchant twice removed if a data breach were to happen.
We have jam-packed our gateway with useful features specifically designed for our merchant’s convenience. Whether you are in need of Electronic Invoicing and/or Recurring Billing, or just want to make sure you are on top of security with Suspicious Transaction Screening and Tokenized Customer Vaults we can make sure your gateway is everything you need it to be.
And, because this can only happen through your shopping cart it is important to make sure you have chosen a shopping cart that completely fits your needs. While we don’t provide shopping carts we do integrate with thousands of them.
Which brings us to the fees. Another common problem with online merchant services is the unfortunate fact that they often pay higher fees than most businesses.
First, Interchange fees start out higher for eCommerce than for traditional store merchants. But to add insult to injury, oftentimes online merchants are strapped with outrageous processing fees simply because they don’t know any better.
There are unscrupulous salesmen out there who are more than happy to charge high rates simply because online merchants just don’t get shopped very often they know there is a lack of competition.
At Bankcard Brokers we don’t believe in that theory. We offer interchange-plus pricing precisely because it is the most transparent and fair pricing available. We earn our long term clients by offering the most innovative payment technology coupled with fair pricing and outstanding ongoing service.
Let them pay you!
You have to think about how your customers want to pay you. And generally, it’s however they please. It isn’t the same as if they were standing at the counter in the store. When people shop online they’re shopping from wherever they happen to be, at whatever time they please, and on any device they want. You have to think about the types of payment methods and make sure your merchant account is ready to accept them.
Your site needs to be mobile compatible, accept multiple forms of payment, and linked to PayPal – just in case your customer can’t get off the couch to get their wallet. Just because they can’t physically hand you cash doesn’t mean they may not want to pay in cash. You not only need to accept credit and debit cards but it is also a good idea to make sure your merchant account is set up to accept ACH and process Echecks. The last thing you want to do is give your customer a reason to walk away.
Sometimes it’s not just about accepting payments online!
Instilling Sense of Security
You may not realize this but one of your main jobs as an eCommerce store owner is not marketing your goods, it is instilling confidence. Confidence in your brand, the quality of your products, and confidence that their information is secure(now more than ever). Even confidence in your customer satisfaction policy. The only way you are ever going to get a customer to shop and buy from you is through the confidence you have instilled in them that they should.
It is not enough to have a secure gateway and display confidence logos or badges. You’re able to decide how you want your checkout process to go. And, there are a few tweaks you can do that help instill this confidence. You want to make sure you are taking opportunities to instill confidence throughout the shopping and buying experience. We can help show you how to do this with just a few insights about customer buying habits. For example, setting your checkout process to display your purchase summary prior to the payment information page. Most websites put it after. This is just one way to instill confidence in the purchase. But this small tweak can make a big difference in shopping cart abandonment. We can help you to pay attention to these small but important tweaks that will ultimately have a big impact on your success online.
Hopefully, you can see that online merchant accounts are not really the beast they seem to be when you have the right support. Bankcard Brokers is committed to being at the forefront of the payments technology industry and pride ourselves on exceeding our client’s needs. Whether you are just starting an online business or are a seasoned veteran, we are here to make sure that your online merchant endeavors are a success. Bankcard Brokers has your back!