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Internet Payment Solutions - Need One?
by: Shane Penrod

So your business has expanded to reach the point where you need to find an effective Internet payment solution? The first option to consider is applying for a merchant account. If your business enjoys a solid credit history, pays its bills on time, and avoids controversial dealings, your application should be approved without a hitch. Then you can set up a company Website where you can sell more products and services and let customers pay with a credit card online.

This Internet payment solution is one of the fastest growing e-commerce innovations today. No matter how large or small your company, it is always a good idea to put up a Website to establish a cyberspace presence. At their leisure, your current and potential new customers can visit your site and browse all kinds of information, such as hours of operation, product lines and price lists, testimonials, FAQs, and other useful details. When you install a credit card processor, guests can shop on the Website and pay with plastic by inserting the cardholder's name, account number, and date of expiration. There is no need to wait around for a check in the mail or a hand-delivered money order.

Pricing for this type of Internet payment solution will vary. After being approved for a merchant account with a participating financial institution that will most likely be a bank, you can shop for the best deal associated with your new merchant status. In some cases, the installation fee will be waived. In other situations, you can get a low transaction fee or an inexpensive monthly percentage rate that will be paid on your account. Other fees may apply, like those associated with membership, maintenance, and gateway service, so you will need to ask about these and other possible costs before signing up for your account with a particular bank or credit union.

Your individual Internet payment solution can be tailor-made to suit your company's needs. For example, you can apply for a high-volume merchant account if you are doing a brisk business, or you can stick with the conventional merchant account if you are still building a client base. Then you can decide whether to use the regular credit card payment method via the Website or whether you prefer guiding guests to a toll-free number that can be dialed for orders. Discuss you specialized needs with a merchant account associate who can explain the pros and cons of each option so that you can make an informed decision rather than buy the least expensive or the most up-to-date equipment.

Doing business on the Internet can seem a little overwhelming to entrepreneurs who worry about transactional security, fraud, unwanted spam, and computer viruses. Take a short course like those offered by the major computer manufacturers to learn about Internet payment solutions and how to secure your Website. When you are ready to take the plunge, open a merchant account, set up a company Website with ordering capabilities, and provide customers with your Internet payment solution.


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