You’ll Die Without Credit Cards!
by Mike Banks Valentine
A major issue for small business is finding a reasonably priced option for an online Merchant Account so that they can accept credit cards for instant “real-time” approval of online payments.
Small businesses are finding the routine charges of up to $150 monthly to be out of line based on their small sales volume. There are “free” services for this like Yahoo Stores and Amazon zShops. Or the pay-per-transaction model used by ccNow.com which takes ten percent of each sale.
The basic issue is that online sales are driven by credit cards and if someone is forced to print a form and mail a check, then wait for their merchandise, they are likely to go elsewhere . . . FAST. So this issue troubles many new online merchants.
Hosting a shopping cart program on a site without the secure server opens you up to huge liability from your own customers and it is unlikely that your Merchant Bank will allow it anyway. This is a major issue for small businesses online and is frustrating many small operators trying to operate with minor online sales.
The expenses aren’t justified by the income. The major player in online Merchant accounts is Authorize.net and the application fee alone is a barrier to most businesses – $450, plus about $50 monthly in statement fees plus software leases averaging $25 monthly for 4 years!
The same is true of companies like Charge.com that offer Merchant accounts without the large appplication fee, but don’t tell you up front about the software lease fees and statement fees in their promotional materials.
A reasonable resource is a site called CCNOW I have set up CCNow for several clients that offer products online. They take a flat 10% fee per sale with no other charges at all and transfer the funds into your bank account after each sale is confirmed and shipped. There is that delay and you lose the additional 10 percent, but it is difficult to find a better deal for small business. If your sales are small and your marketing budget limited, go with the free resources like Yahoo stores or Amazon zShops.
If your profit margin can sustain a ten percent take from the top, go to ccNow.com and if you expect sales above $1,000 monthly, then it’s worth the application fees and software leases to go with the big boys, AuthorizeNet.
Online payment solutions proliferate like flies, but this is too important to risk the smaller companies and you need the reliability offered by the major companies I’ve mentioned above.
Good luck with your store!
Mike Valentine does Search Engine Placement for the Small