In the old days, retailers who wanted to start accepting credit cards to sell their products on-line had to obtain a Merchant Account from a bank. This was very difficult, complicated and expensive for merchants who were just starting out with only a few products to sell.
It is much easier for sites to start accepting credit cards today, you do not actually need a Merchant Account. A Small business owner can set up a fully functional eCommerce shop, and start excepting credit card payments on-line by using a trusted 3rd party credit card processor such as PayPal.
Using PayPal for accepting credit cards on-line is an ideal solution for merchants who are just starting out. PayPal provides a safe and worry free environment that will minimize your risk and give your customers the trust and confidence to buy from your site.
The disadvantage to using a 3rd party payment processor, is that the customer must leave your site to make the payment.
An Alternative Method Of Accepting Credit Cards
As your business starts to grow, you may want to obtain an eCommerce Merchant Account so that you will be able to offer your customers alternative payment options.
Having more than 1 payment option is not only good business practice to have a back up plan in place, but it will also increase your conversion rate by offering your customers alternative payment options. It is also a good idea to have more than one method of accepting credit cards because some people do not like PayPal. They have had bad experiences with them, and simply will not use them.
There are other 3rd party payment processors you can use for accepting credit cards securely. Since Google Checkout does not offer it’s service to Canadian merchants, those of us who are trying to ‘Peddle Our Wares’ from “The Great White North’ are limited to a handful of payment processing options.
I have listed a couple of alternatives for accepting credit cards on-line. There are more options, but these ones do not require you to obtain a Merchant Account.
- 2CheckOut - Allows you to accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, Diner’s Club, and PayPal on a single purchase page with a single integration point.
- Moneybookers - Can process payments across 200 countries.
Also, just like PayPal, both of these options have WordPress eCommerce Plugins available.
You Should Let Your Customers Know That You Have More Than One Method Of Accepting Credit Cards.
- Display the logos of the payment processing companies that you use for accepting credit cards.
- Display the logos of the credit cards that you accept.
What method do you have for accepting credit cards? Do you use a 3rd party payment processor, or do you have a merchant account?