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Merchant Accounts

For all of the new webmasters out there that have recently established a business and are looking to accept credit card payments online, here's a little Merchant Accounts 101 course for you! In understanding how merchant accounts work, you will be better able to operate your online business smoothly and effectively. What's more, by understanding the ins and outs of merchant accounts, you will be able to avoid the pitfalls many web-based merchants encounter. First, you must locate a merchant account supplier and find one that meets the needs of your business. An Internet search can help you locate a merchant account supplier in most cases. Actually, by simply entering a search in any search engine, you will be led to a number of links that will direct you to merchant account suppliers. Once you have located a merchant account supplier, it is imperative that you read all of the terms and conditions set forth by the merchant account supplier, before you sign up for a merchant account.

Will you be required to pay a set up fee? Are there other fees that you will be responsible for like discount and annual fees? If you plan to have your web-based business run smoothly, you are far better off if you understand the regulations set forth by your merchant account supplier! Bear in mind that when you attempt to sign up for a merchant account, you might be required to fulfill a number of obligations before you are accepted for account enrollment. For instance, you might be required to have a checking account and you may be required to provide the merchant account supplier with proof of identification. Finally, you might also be required to show a merchant account your business licenses and certificates. Additionally, requirements may be demanded by the merchant account supplier.

For example, a merchant, if they possess a corporation will require a federal tax identification number, and if the merchant is a sole proprietor, will require a social security number. Also, if a merchant has ever claimed bankruptcy, the claim must be at least 90 days old before a merchant will be accepted for some merchant accounts. Finally, any and all merchants must be at least eighteen years of age. If you are getting a merchant account for an online business, you will want to get a credit card processing solution that is suitable for handling web-based transactions.

For instance, a terminal solution is for a physical store where a card can be swipe through a terminal by a clerk, while a real-time processing solution is the best solution for web-based businesses. With a real-time processing solution, all sales are done automatically through the computer and the merchant solution company, and a web-based business owner should see the funds appear in their business account within a few days from the initial transaction. Most merchant accounts allow merchants to accept various credit cards; such credit cards usually include MasterCard, Visa, Discover, and Diners Club. On the other hand, if a merchant wants to accept American Express Credit Cards, then they will be required to fill out a separate application with American Express. Once you get a merchants account, you might be required to work with various software applications, depending upon the merchant supplier.

Such software applications are used in conjunction with a merchant's already existing website and come with instructions for their use. What's more, many merchant account suppliers offer live technical support, so if a merchant runs into any difficulties with installation or in creating the proper links necessary to utilize their merchant account someone is always ready and willing to assist the merchant.

Dwayne Garrett is the Author of what is being called "The eBay PowerSellers Guide" eBook and many others as well. He also offers a FREE Internet Blog that will help you to make sense of doing business on the Internet over at

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