Your own merchant account
As you may or may not know (depending on the amount of spam in your e-mail), thousands of merchant credit card brokers are out there guaranteeing that they can set you up so that you can take credit cards yourself. These people are merely middlemen. You have to pay for their services, either in an application fee or as part of a hefty percentage for the processing software. Some of these brokers are dependable businesses and others are nothing more than hustlers. But if you have decent credit, you don’t need these guys:
You can go straight to your bank!
Your bank knows your financial standing and credit worthiness better than anybody. It’s the best place to start to get your own merchant account, an account in which your business accepts credit cards directly from your buyers. You pay a small percentage to the bank, but it’s considerably less than you pay to an online payment service. Some banks don’t offer merchant
accounts for Internet transactions because ultimately the bank is responsible for the merchandise related to the account if you fail to deliver the goods. Remember that your credit history and time with the bank play a part in whether or not you can get a merchant account.
The costs involved in opening a merchant account can vary, but you’ll need between $300 and $2,000 to get started. Here are some of the possible costs you’ll face:
_ A monthly processing fee if you don’t reach the monthly minimum set by your bank
_ The discount rate (your bank’s cut) of 15–30 cents per transaction
_ An average of $700 for software that processes your transaction costs
_ A monthly gateway fee of as much as $40 This is quite an investment in time and effort.