An e-commerce merchant account is a type of bank account that allows businesses to process credit card payments for the products or services they sell online. This type of account is essential for any business that wants to accept payments from customers via credit card, but what functions does an account provide?
When researching merchant accounts, it’s important to look at the features on offer to see if they fit your business needs. Some of the key features to look for in an e-commerce merchant account include:
Payment Processing – As mentioned in the introduction, the primary function of an e-commerce merchant account is to process credit card payments. Ultimately, this means that businesses can take advantage of online sales without having to worry about the hassle of processing payments themselves.
Fraud Protection – One of the key advantages of using an e-commerce merchant account is the added layer of protection it offers against fraud. With an e-commerce merchant account, businesses can utilise fraud detection and prevention tools that can help to minimise the risk of fraudulent activity (let’s face it, nobody needs this negative press this year!).
Customer Service – In addition to processing payments and protecting against fraud, e-commerce merchant accounts can also provide businesses with the peace of mind of knowing that their customer service needs are being taken care of. Once you’ve created an account, businesses have access to various resources and a team of experts that can help to resolve any issues that may arise.
Quick Deposits – Rather than having to wait for customer payments to reach your account, e-commerce merchant accounts offer quick deposit times so that you can have your money faster and get back to running your business.
Real-Time Updates – Who is making card payments, where are they, and what terminals are they using? For those with multiple physical locations, this can be difficult to keep track of. E-commerce merchant accounts offer real-time updates so that you can see all the details of your transactions as they happen. Naturally, those who sell products exclusively online don’t need to worry about this as much but the real-time updates are still valuable.
Simple Transfers – If you’re like most businesses, you don’t want money to sit in your merchant account. An e-commerce merchant account will allow you to quickly and easily transfer money into your bank account so that you can use it as you wish. For businesses of all sizes, this is very useful for cash flow management.
Mobile Management – If you like to manage your business on the go, you’ll need a merchant account that can keep up with you. E-commerce merchant accounts are available on mobile devices so that you can view your transactions, transfer money, and more no matter where you are.
Choosing an E-Commerce Merchant Account
With all this information in mind, you’re probably wondering how to choose an e-commerce merchant account. The first step is to assess your needs and figure out what type of account would be best for your business. Once you’ve done that, you can start comparing merchant services and finding the right provider for your e-commerce business.
As well as analysing their features, think about your budget and what you can afford to pay in fees. Thankfully, some merchant accounts are free from fees, so bear this in mind. It’s also important to read the fine print and make sure you understand the terms and conditions before signing anything.