The reason why every business requires a merchant account at the earliest

A merchant account is a necessity for any modern business. It is something that most businesses won’t be able to do without, especially in modern times when people are hardly paying cash, even when the purchase is in the real world. That is right; people are making their purchases using plastic money, i.e. cards.

They use Credit Cards and Debit Cards mainly and then there are those strange hybrid cards that are sort of both. So when you get a customer who wants to pay through card, what do you do?

If you have a merchant account, you smile, take the credit card, swipe it and do the rest of the things as the need to be done. If you do not have a merchant account, you frown and say that you do not accept cards and would the customer please pay in cash; resulting in a failed sale.

A merchant account allows you to accept payment through credit cards and debit cards. This is can be either physically in a shop or virtually through your e-commerce website. To accept credit card payments anywhere, you need to have a merchant account.

There are many companies that provide businesses with merchant accounts and if you Google them, you will come up with many options. There are so many companies offering this service, you will be hard put not to find something that suites you. There are plenty of payment packages and services and one of them at least will fit your bill.

Once you have a merchant account, you will get your swipe terminal for your physical transactions. For electronic transactions you have a few choices. You can choose to have a link to the payment gateway used by the account provider to process the payments. Many companies offer custom branded payment gateways for merchant account holders, so your customers won’t feel uncomfortable going to someone they don’t know.

You can also connect the account services to your shopping cart feature on your website. This way you can receive payments on your own website. There are several issues here like having a secured SSL connection, getting security certificates etc. But most companies offering merchant account will help you with setting up your website with your account, so you do not need to worry. There are many good services on the internet who will allow you to host 128 bit secure SSL websites and quite a few are very reputed companies.
So once you have chosen your preferred company and the payment package offered by them, your are almost ready to start accepting credit card payments.

Before you apply for a merchant account, here are a few things you should know. Firstly, watch out for scams that are simply waiting to dupe you in to losing your money. Use this simple rule to judge potential offers for scams – if it is too good to be true, it probably is. Second thing to do is to read the list of required proofs and documents and arrange them accordingly. Reputed providers will put you through a strict checking process, it is quite normal so do not get turned off.