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Why Transfer Speed Matters in eCommerce

Transfer speed refers to the speed at which money is transferred between merchant accounts and customer bank accounts. Transfer speed is important, because it determines when you’re paid for the work or items you’ve sold. For small businesses, transfer speed plays a major role in operations for the first few years, as it can impact your operating expenses.

Call customer support for the payment gateway services you’re considering, and ask them how long it takes to process a particular transaction. You might find that you’re only paid once a month, or two weeks after a transaction has been approved. For many, that presents a problem.

The only way out of this dilemma is to shop around, but that’s not possible (or easy) when you’re locked into a contract with a payment processor. Make sure you inquire about payment transfer speed, and get some background information on online credit card processing.

Transfer speed also refers to the amount of time it takes for the user’s browser to load a page, which also plays a significant role in whether he or she completes a transaction. If your site is image heavy, as most eCommerce websites are, then you’re probably going to have trouble loading immediately. You can try compressing your thumbnail images, and using a caching plugin (if you’re utilizing WordPress), to speed up the time it takes for the customer to see a static page.

If you can process transactions in a reasonable amount of time, and present the customer with the Web page he or she wants to view in a decent amount of speed, then you’ll retain more customers and ultimately sell more product.


Bio: Charge.com offers a reliable method of online credit card processing with free software, and no setup fees.

Do You Still Need a Credit Card Terminal?

The future of the payment gateway is starting to look like it lies in mobile, so some businesses that are looking to cut costs have a question: is the terminal still worth it? Is the now old-fashioned cash register slowly going the way of the dodo? Before you make some snap decisions, here are some thoughts.

Terminals are Secure

Credit card processing services offer top notch encryption when moving money between accounts, and it’s only getting better. It’s true that NFC technology is also secure, but public perception of this technology isn’t very high yet. In other words, as secure as mobile is people still trust a credit card terminal just a little bit more.

Mobile payment options are getting better, but some businesses are betting big on this technology. Should you follow suit? There’s conflicting opinion on the usefulness of a POS system to a small business with only one location. You could upsell customers at your POS, and use it as the central hub of your store. However, if you have a busy day your customers will end up waiting in long lines to buy from you.

A better option is to take a hybrid approach. Use a credit card swipe machine, and a mobile unit. Deploy your staff around the store, ready to take a customer’s order with the option to get rung up at the front in a more traditional transaction. This will also prove useful for returns, and other transactions that tend to take up a lot of time.


Charge.com Payment Solutions, Inc.  is the simplest and most affordable payment gateway available online, and has been named the #1 merchant account provider for six years running.

Why Customer Service Is Important For Merchant Account Holders

Customer service probably isn’t the first thing you think about when you’re trying to consider credit card processing services offering competitive rates. You’re usually thinking about the costs to your business, so you can control overhead. That’s not the wrong approach, but don’t just dive into an account with great rates. What they lack in fees, they may make up for in poor customer service. You don’t want to be stuck on Black Friday with a register that won’t boot up and no cause to request help.

First Point of Contact

When you’re searching for a payment gateway, you need to speak with customer service to ask some basic questions. Depending on how easy it is to get someone on the phone, you should have a good indication of the quality of customer service. Talk to the representative and see what kind of knowledge he or she has on hand. Good customer service will give you the answers you need, without jostling you from one department to the next.

Support

Whether you operate a high risk merchant account, or a standard business with typical rates, you’re going to require setup and maintenance assistance. Modern payment systems rely on the Internet within your store to help you transmit payment information. If your system is non-responsive, and you’ve confirmed your Internet service is active, customer support will be your safety net. Make sure you’re not being charged for instructions on how to reboot your system.

Final Thoughts

Based on their response time, you should be able to form a solid picture of what kind of service to expect. Customer service is very important to merchant account holders, so make sure your representatives are accessible.


For 6 years running, Charge.com Payment Solutions, Inc. has been voted the number one merchant account provider offering low fees and current hardware.

The Pros and Cons to a Cash-Only Business

By Phineas Upham

If you’re looking to open a retail business, you might be wondering whether you’ll need a merchant account or if you can get by as cash only. The good news is cash is the most common form of tender, and it’s only up until recently that the idea of a cash-only business has started to fade. Here, we’ll discuss the pros and cons of a cash-only business.

Cons

If you run a cash-only business, you can only accept cash. What happens when a customer doesn’t have enough cash on hand? In addition to the potential for lost customers, your business becomes a target for theft when it’s known you keep large sums of cash on hand. You’re also not exempt from tax forms either. You’ll need to complete form 8300 if you receive more than $10,000 in cash from one buyer.

Pros

A business that runs on cash stays funded. It takes time for funds to clear, so running a business on cash helps eliminate a waiting period that can hurt smaller businesses with low liquidity. Cash also involves less bookkeeping since it’s a simple tender, which means businesses save money on hiring bookkeepers or keeping accountants.

Accepting only cash also dramatically reduces the chances a business can be defrauded. It’s still possible to commit cash fraud, but it’s far less common than say check or debit card fraud.

Choosing the Best Option

Ultimately, it’s up to you which choice is yours. Some businesses find it easier to start as cash-only establishments and eventually switch to merchant accounts. Others may find the legitimacy of a merchant account essential to their brand. Either type of business is viable.


Phineas Upham is an investor from NYC and SF. You may contact Phin on his Phineas Upham website or Facebook page.

Every Business with a Merchant Account Needs to Know About This Fee

Every-Business-with-a-Merchant-Account-Needs-to-Know-About-This-FeeMerchant accounts have two fairly common pricing tiers consisting of three and six-tiered pricing. This is by design, of course, because these are the easiest pricing tiers to explain to potential buyers. All fees present some form of risk to the merchant, but chargebacks present the greatest potential risk to banks and providers so merchants tend to feel the brunt of these the most.

Chargebacks and Refunds

There is a major difference between a chargeback and a refund. Refunds are mutual because the merchant agrees to take the purchase back and refund the buyer the money they’d spent. Refunds can include re-stocking fees as well. Chargebacks are initiated by the user and carried out between the user and the bank.

The provider can potentially be exposed to millions of dollars in unpaid debt if the merchants the provider deals with are unscrupulous. If the merchant fails to pay those costs, for whatever reason, the cardholder must pay to make the deal right.

Therefore, most merchant companies will take that risk into account when they underwrite the contract. There may be in-depth assessments of a merchant’s potential risk on the bank’s part, which is all a normal part of the process.

Some banks may also impose limits on the amount a merchant is able to charge back to a buyer. Failure to stay within these limits can lead to fines or strict regulations on the merchant’s account. That’s in addition to the chargeback fee that accompanies these transactions.

Bio: Firoz Patel is a passionate marketer and technology enthusiast who founded AlertPay Inc. in 2005. Currently, Firoz Patel lives in Quebec and oversees development of the Payza platform.

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