If you're doing business on the Internet, accepting payment through your website is an absolute must. If you're not processing orders online, you're losing a great deal of money in lost sales. Studies have shown, you can increase your online sales by up to 400% simply by accepting credit cards. With today's technology, processing your customer orders online can be as simple as pasting a code within your web page HTML.
Preparing your website to process orders online isn't as difficult as you may think. There are basically two options. The first option is to set up a merchant account. This entails either making arrangements with your bank or using an online company. The second option is to use a third party credit card processor. This option requires no merchant account and usually entails setting up a form or placing a link on your order page.
If you'd like to set up a merchant account, keep in mind, you will also need a shopping cart system and access to a secure server. Many web hosts will provide you with both. If yours doesn't, this professional web host does: host4profit.com
The following websites can provide you with a merchant account:
Total Merchant Services (TMS)
This outstanding company comes highly recommended by Corey Rudl - author of the #1 selling online marketing course, “Insider Secrets to Marketing Your Business on the Internet. "
The TMS Merchant account, for Internet transactions, will enable you to accept Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Discover. They offer two merchant processing software packages to choose from. The first package is the TotalPay powered by Authorize. Net™ Virtual Terminal. This package will enable you to authorize, process, and manage credit card transactions from any computer with an Internet connection and a Web browser. This package ordinarily runs $995, but for a limited time is being offered for only $287. The second package is the TotalPay powered by Authorize. Net™ Virtual Terminal that includes the Total Merchant Manager Shopping Cart. This package includes everything the first package includes, plus all of the following:
Their discount rate is 2.4% and $0.35 per transaction fee. Monthly fees include a $10 monthly statement fee and a $10 gateway fee that includes secure, online, real-time credit card and e-cheque processing and only applies to merchants processing transactions through their Internet payment gateway.
Third Party Credit Card Processors
If you'd rather not have your own merchant account, third party credit card processors will process your credit card orders for you. There are usually no monthly fees. They charge a “per transaction" fee and send you payment for all of your orders processed, minus their fee and a reserve fee. A reserve fee is withheld to cover and charge backs you may have. If you have no charge backs within a period of time, your reserve will be refunded to you. Each company has their own guidelines in regard to reserves.
The following websites will process credit card orders for you:
IBill will enable you to accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, JCB and online checks. They also offer a telephone billing service (900 toll phone number). There are no setup fees. They charge 12%-15% per transaction fee for credit card and check purchases and 20%-30% per transaction fee for phone purchases. Services available for US and non- US merchants.
PayPal will enable any business or consumer with an email address to securely send and receive payments online. You can also accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover and electronic checks. You can sell with PayPal through an online auction, on your own website, or as part of an online marketplace. They also offer recurring billing. There are no setup fees. They charge 2.9% + 30¢ per transaction. Services available for US and non-US merchants.
ClickBank will enable you to accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, Eurocard, Visa-Debit, MasterCard-Debit, Novus cards and electronic checks.
They charge a one-time $49.95 activation fee, and a $1 + 7.5% fee per sale. There are no monthly fees. The great thing about this company is that they'll enable you to run an affiliate program. Services available for US and non-US merchants.
Revecom will enable you to accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover and JCB credit cards in real-time. They also offer Check Processing in Real-time and recurring billing. There is a $49 set up fee. There are no monthly fees. They charge 3.95% + $1 fee per sale. Services available for US and non-US merchants.
2Checkout.com enables you to accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover. They also offer recurring billing and a free shopping cart. There is a $49 set up fee. There are no monthly fees. They charge 5.5% + $0.45 fee per sale. Services available for US and non-US merchants.
If you're just starting out, you may want to use one of the third party credit card processors, as this is the easiest route for new Internet businesses. Each company provides you with step by step instructions to assist you in getting your website set up to accept credit cards. The great thing about third party credit card processors is that they handle everything for you. You don't have to hassle with processing your credit card payments or charge backs, as all of this is taken care of for you.
If you're serious about your online success, you must have the ability to process your orders online. With today's technology, even the smallest homebased business can now accept credit credits almost instantly. Visit one of the websites mentioned above and get your website set up today. Your success depends upon it.
Copyright © Shelley Lowery
About the Author:
Shelley Lowery is the author of the acclaimed web design course, “Web Design Mastery" (www.webdesignmastery.com ) and “eBook Starter - Give Your eBooks the look and feel of a REAL book" (www.ebookstarter.com )
Visit www.Web-Source.net to sign up for a complimentary subscription to eTips and receive a copy of Shelley's acclaimed ebook, “Killer Internet Marketing Strategies. "
You have permission to publish this article electronically, in print, in your ebook, or on your web site, free of charge, as long as the author bylines are included.