Choosing a Payment Provider
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Processing Credit Cards requires either a
  • Merchant Account from your bank
  • Processing Company Account
  • Combination of a Merchant and Processing Account

Merchant account

These are usually provided by banks and allow business to accept credit/debit card transactions.

If the following circumstances applies to you then you may want to apply to your bank for an Internet merchant account

  • You already accept credit card payments for "card holder present" transactions. (The customer is physically in your store or business.)
  • You expect to handle a high number of online transactions, the majority of which will be simple and straightforward.
  • You need a payment option which is flexible and gives you the most freedom in managing your cash flow and business.

Even if you choose the merchant account option. You can still use the payment gateway of a processing company. This can offer several advantages including better security.

Payment Processing Company

such as Authorize Net or WorldPay. These will process your payments for you.

These are suitable for the following type of business

  • You are a new business with a relatively low turnover, and can not offer the bank a long documented history of sales.
  • You do not expect to process a large number of online transactions.
  • You do not accept credit card transactions at the moment and have no merchant account.
  • You value the ability to attract online sales more highly than the ability to collect sales income quickly.
  • You wish to set up business quickly. Some processing companies can set up an account instantly.

If this fits the description of your company then you should apply for an account with a payment processing company such as Worldpay or Authorize Net. These are sometimes known as payment bureaus. This still gives you the option of moving to a less costly merchant account at a later date.