Whether at the beginning of your ecommerce journey or looking to take those next steps along your growth path, your choice of merchant account will be one of the key decisions you take. The experience of many ecommerce businesses with whom we work is that they have previously been talked into signing merchant account agreements without fully understanding ongoing costs.
The costs of merchant accounts cannot simply be expressed as a number on a spreadsheet. There are plenty of hidden charges and expenses that need to be considered before signing on the bottom line, and discussing these with a knowledgeable, unbiased agent will help you choose the merchant account that will help you to grow your online business. Here we look at the costs you need to consider when making your merchant account selection.
Beware rates merchant accounts charge
You may have a monthly fee to pay, but it’s the transactions rates that might cripple. Generally speaking, the higher the volume of business the lower the per transaction charge. Different types of transactions may also be charged differently, as may the cards of different providers.
It’s important to consider all these factors, and make accurate assessments of how your customers will use their cards, as well as what cards are most likely to be used.
Requests for confirmation
Customers can be infuriating creatures, requesting confirmations of transactions or using helpline facilities unnecessarily. This could cause administrative nightmares, and increase your costs.; Payments could be held back and slowed up, and there will be more paperwork that needs processing.
Making it easy for customers to contact you, a comprehensive FAQ page, and easy-to-use account printing facilities will cut down on the costs of customers’ self-inflicted difficulties.
Slow release of funds
Merchant accounts might hold up your funds for a number of reasons, while they ensure validity of transactions. It may be something simple such as a transaction flagged as suspicious because of an extraordinarily high value. Any delayed payments into your business account could cause cash flow problems.
Setting out the ‘rules’ beforehand will help to ensure any such problems are kept to a minimum.
Software integration problems
Payment gateways and merchant accounts need to ‘speak’ to each other. That means the software between your website and merchant account needs to be properly integrated. With mobile payments on the rise, there are even more integration issues. Then there are the potential mistakes that can be made by end users within your ecommerce business: they will need to be reliably trained and kept informed of updates that alter methods of work.
Poor customer support at your merchant account
No matter how well everything works, there will be times when you need that little bit of extra help from your merchant account. Issues will need to be resolved as quickly as possible, but if customer support is limited during certain times you won’t get the help you need when you need it. That will hold up sales and hold up payments.
Ensure you know what level of support your merchant account provides, whether by phone or online, and if you will be supplied with a named account agent.