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How Can You Accept Credit Cards Without a Merchant Account?

Accepting credit cards is an important part of running a successful business, especially if you want to sell products online, but even if you run a small store, a gym, or a personal training service.

Traditional merchant account providers often expect high trading volumes, or will work only with established companies in specific industries, making it hard for newer companies to open an account. The good news is that there are alternative options that you can look at to accept credit cards if you don’t have access to a traditional merchant account.

Third Party Merchants

Third party merchants are a form of service that will accept credit card payments on behalf of other businesses, for a processing fee. If you are in a high-risk industry or you expect to take a relatively small number of credit card payments then it may be worth using this kind of service. The merchant will handle the payment for you, and then send it to you once it clears.

The merchant will do the hard, technical work for you, and will leave you free to focus on the things that you do best – developing products and services, and working with your customers.

Third party merchants are ideal for companies that process less than $1,000 per month, but once you start getting to higher volumes you may decide that it makes more sense to work with a merchant account yourself. By then, however, you should have a better credit score and be in a position where you can look at getting your own merchant account. You should also Know How To Apply For A Merchant Account For Your Business .

Simple Offline CArd Processing

If you want to handle credit cards in a bricks and mortar environment, then you should consider PayPal Here, Square, or Intuit GoPayment. These are all handy card reader services that use a card reader and a bluetooth or WiFi connection to accept card payments, which will then either be sent to your PayPal account, or to your bank account. Some of them will even take contactless or phone payments.

If you’re going to use these, then you should look at the set up fee and hte transaction fee. Don’t be wowed by a low fee, though. Think about the cost of the transaction. Square’s 2.75% (at the time of writing) fee might seem like it’s very high, but Paypal charges a sliding scale PLUS a per-transaction fee – and if you’re selling lots of low value items then that per-transaction fee could rapidly eat into your profits. That said, if you’re selling higher value items, the higher percentage fee could end up costing you more with Square. It makes sense to run the numbers for a typical month, and see what would cost you the least overall. Shop around, and think carefully before you commit.

Remember, also, that some third party merchants will hold a small amount of your revenue in reserve as a protection against fraud. Plan this ahead when working out your cash flow, so that you don’t get caught out by this temporary hold. Visit us at .

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