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eCommerce FAQ

What is eCommerce?
eCommerce, shopping carts, merchant programs, the ability for your business to accept credit cards on the Web as a method of payment, are confusing areas for most new businesses.

Why is that? Perhaps because not too many educational institutions offer courses in it, you don't know how bad one service can be until you're stuck with one and then it's too late, and probably the most compelling reason why they are so confusing is because not too many web sites offer true unbiased information on them. They want you to be confused. If you ask too many questions then the weaknesses of their programs are exposed.
As merchant account specialists we know we must offer more than one program and from more than one sponsoring bank.  Why?
Honestly, a "one size fits all" merchant program still does not exist!

Fortunately you've stumbled across our web site which is one of the most informative sites on eCommerce, payment services, merchant programs, and eBusiness related online fraud.

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What is an Internet Merchant Account?
A regular Merchant Account is an account set up between a retail company and a merchant bank which allows the retailer to accept a credit card order from a customer, and in turn receive the monies through the bank.

If you wish to accept credit cards online in your own company name you will need your own Internet merchant account.

Obtaining an Internet merchant account to accept credit cards on the Internet is more difficult than obtaining a 'regular' merchant account because the card is not present nor is a signature obtained.

This site compares the services of credit card processing companies that will perform the credit card billing under their company name using their merchant account (for a percentage of the total sale amount) and forward the monies to your bank account or send you a check.

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What is a third party credit card processor?
A third party credit card processor' is a company that can accept credit card orders on behalf of you or your company. This makes obtaining a merchant account for your company unnecessary, although it could be worthwhile if you sell enough goods to warrant the expense involved.

Third Party credit card processor companies own merchant accounts with the additional rights to use that merchant account to accept credit card orders on behalf of other companies.

Generally it is illegal to obtain a merchant account for your company and then sell another companies goods through your account. As I mentioned, additional rights have to be bought to enable a company to accept credit card orders for another company or individual.

Interestingly, CCBill will sell the franchise for such a merchant account for $60,000, so this is not a cheap venture!

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When should I get my own "Online Merchant Account" and when should I use an "Online Credit Card Processing Service"?
Let's look at the advantages and disadvantages of using an "Online Credit Card Processing Service"...

The advantages are that you simply link your products to the validation service who then accepts credit card payment on your behalf. They check the card, process the card and send you a monthly payment for the amount you are owed. Bingo! Your own e-commerce solution!

The main disadvantage is that you will pay for the service. Costs vary, but usually the credit card processor has to make a profit and so charges you a few extra percentage points on the transaction in comparison to having your own online merchant account.

Perhaps the best way to look at using a processing service is to see them as a stepping stone for your business. Initially you will pay more *per order* but with no setup fees. Then, if your business is a success, you will pay a large setup fee for your own online merchant account, but then pay less per order.

This page is sponsored by Do  you know what ACH Processing is?  ACH stands for automated clearing house.  Our company proviceds easy web-based payment processing plans for your business.  Do you need help with  electronic check processing?  What about recurring billing?  If you are involved with ecommerce and electronic payments, we can help!  Sign online today for all of your payment needs!
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