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"The Basics of Accepting Credit Cards"

So what are the primary benefits about getting a merchant account and accepting credit cards?

The following article explains the key benefits of using a merchant account - as well as the key things to look for when deciding on a merchant account provider...

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"Accept by Phone is one of those ideas that works just like it sounds. You can process payments from a client quickly by dialing a toll-free number, entering your client's credit card number through an automated system, and then authorizing and processing the payment, all in a few seconds...

Dennis Kennedy


"Accept by phone was an excellent way for our new business to begin accepting credit cards, without the need for complicated contracts and expensive equipment..."

Eric M. Jukes
Capital Region Limousine


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For all those who have newly started a business, the terms merchant account, merchant account provider, credit card machine, online payment processing, etc will come up at one time or other. The Net is full of advice on this matter and you are bound to find the comparison between merchant accounts and other payment gateways.

This article will break down the basics of what's actually involved in accepting credit cards - online, offline or otherwise...

What is a Merchant Account?

A merchant account is an account hosted/offered by a reputed financial institution such as a bank whereby you are permitted to accept payment by credit cards. The merchant account can also be obtained from specialized financial institutions called "merchant account providers", which work directly with banks to provide unique features that would be otherwise unavailable.

It's not uncommon for some businesses to see an immediate boost in sales after obtaining the ability to accept credit cards, solely because it's now more convenient for your customers to pay you. Since the customer today loves to pay with plastic, the sales are faster, and there's less risk and less effort in terms of customers parting with their money.

There are many advantages that can potentially increase your profits after you get a merchant account for yourself - (i) customers can buy impulsively, (ii) the transactions are processed in real time, (iii) the flexibility provided attracts more customers to close sales without delay, and so on. Very soon, you will find that your business profits (and word of mouth marketing) will take a turn for the better - just by having the ability to accept credit cards and cater to more customers...

To establish a merchant account, a few things need to happen: The bank or financial institution will take a quick look into the credentials of your business. They will check your credit history, your business plan, the financial stability of your organization (should be able to pay the fees - fixed and per transaction - charged by the merchant account, etc). Once the bank and/or financial institution is satisfied that business is ready for a merchant account, they will give you the ability to accept credit card payments.

This is why any organization that has a merchant account is more credible to the customer - since it is a well known fact that they've undergone the basic inspection by a bank or financial institution and were found satisfactory. It's like having a "stamp of approval", besides the fact that it simplifies the transaction on many levels.

You should be aware that most merchant accounts charge minimum monthly fees that will be due even if you had no sales to create fees during that month. It's wise to compare prices of the fees and features offered by a few merchant accounts providers before you decide which one you should take up. And whatever you do, make sure to read the terms and conditions of each prospective merchant provider before signing the dotted line...

The other benefits that you will get from your merchant account is a complete monthly statement of transactions, it will give you the credit card number of your customers so it will be easy for you to match chargebacks or returns, and give accurate monthly and yearly sale figures and reports whichever way you need it. (Hopefully, you won't be dealing with any charge-backs...)

Besides the fact that - with the right merchant account - you can get excellent service at the minimum possible costs involved (the profitability shoots up after your sales volume increases), you also have the ability to simplify and automate your business if you're selling on the net.

And that's what we call working smarter instead of "harder". Having the ability to accept credit cards makes it that much easier to experience a true level of success with your business...

Find out more about affordable small business credit card processing >>


With Accept by Phone, swiped transactions are only 2.69% (keyed transactions are 3.49% and $0.19 per transaction).

No signup fees, no monthly fees, no PCI fee, no monthly minimum, and no cancellation fee.

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