You’ve always dreamed of being your own boss-the head honcho, the big cheese, the top dog–and, finally, your wish is about to come true. With an assortment of hot products, a catchy domain name, and a flashy website design, you’re almost ready for business. You just need to figure out one thing–how in the heck will you collect money from your customers?
The last thing a seller wants to hear is “the check is in the mail.” And C.O.D. has gone the way of the Stegosaurus. What you need is a way to accept payments online.
One way of accepting online payments through your e-commerce site is to use your own Internet Merchant Account. This is basically a bank account that is used solely for monies collected through online credit card payments. If you have already operated as a brick and mortar store, you likely have a traditional Merchant Account for accepting credit cards in person. You will still need to open a separate one for your online transactions.
In order to obtain your own Merchant Account, you will need to approach your banker and ensure that you qualify. You will also need to consider that this option comes with a certain amount of risk as you will be handling the credit card transactions yourself–without the benefit of a third party. This means that you are more vulnerable to fraud and customer-initiated chargebacks. Furthermore, the front-end costs associated with opening your own merchant account are high, although the transaction fees are typically much lower than that of a third party account.
There are a vast array of “payment gateways”–companies who will accept online payments on your behalf. In exchange, they will charge a transaction fee for each sale processed through your site.
While a set-up fee is not usually required, the transaction fees are significantly higher using this method–but these heftier costs can often be justified by the benefits this type of set-up offers.
By choosing the right online payment option, you will be making a giant step forward in launching your new website and becoming your own boss–the Big Kahuna, the VIP, and the one who can say, “the buck stops here.”
What advice can you offer someone who is starting an online business?
Image courtesy of Thinkstock.com
Kimberley Laws is a regular contributor to HowDoYou.com and the author of two blogs, The Embiggens Project and Searching for Barry Weiss. A "Jill of all trades," she is a High School English Teacher and Certified Career Counselor with a background in makeup artistry, retail banking, and graphic design. She is also a scrapbooking, PEZ-collecting, car enthusiast who loves travelling and New York City.
Sep 25, 2013 1
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