A merchant account allows your business to accept card payments and acts as a holding pen for money before transferring it to your actual business account. Before you decide on which merchant account suits you best, you need to go through the different types available.
Dedicated merchant accounts
Provision of dedicated merchant accounts are explicitly for your business. With a dedicated merchant account, less processing fees and transaction proceeds are deposited directly into your bank account. While the merchant account provider can debit your account for customer chargeback claims, react to potential fraud and correct errors, he must do all this based on industry-standard credit card processing rules.
With a dedicated merchant account, the only company processing credit card transactions through it will be yours. Therefore, you are in complete control of keeping the account in upright standing. However, getting a dedicated merchant account can take some time so you need to decide whether you can afford to wait or not.
Aggregated merchant accounts
An aggregated account uses a single merchant account to provide credit card processing for an entire group of companies. With this kind of account, transaction proceeds go to the service provider who then at his discretion deposits the proceeds to your bank account.
An aggregated merchant account may suit you best if your business is very new or if it has a less than stellar credit history. While you still need to provide information about your business, underwriting for aggregated accounts is far less demanding than for dedicated merchant accounts.
Non-profit merchant accounts
Non-profit organisations occupy a distinctive position within the credit card processing industry due to their donation-based revenue model. While ordinary businesses might require features such as inventory and sales management, non-profits tend to concentrate on necessities such as event planning and donor outreach.
A non-profit organisation will have to set up payment processing through a conventional merchant account provider and then use integrated third party solutions such as Sales Force for donor management and online advertising once they decide to accept credit cards.
Internet merchant accounts
An internet merchant account allows businesses to accept credit or debit card payments over the internet. If you would like to accept credit cards for your online business, you will need to have an internet merchant account and sign up for an account with an approved payment gateway.
PDQ merchant accounts
A business needs to have a PDQ machine so as to allow businesses to process card payments. Process Data Quickly machine works by reading the data stored on debit or credit cards. Earlier models of the machine worked by sliding the magnetic stripe on the opposite of the card through a long reader on the side or upper of terminal. Most modern PDQ machines have now updated to a card slot system since the inauguration of Chip and Pin technology. As a business owner, you need this machine to facilitate credit card payments.
You will have a devoted account manager who deals with your enquiries from the first day if you decide to open a merchant account so consult as much as you can before deciding which account is best for you.