Payment Processors: Moving the Money Around
Payment processors or merchant processors are the conduits between you, your Internet Merchant Account provider, and your customer. They provide the secure system that allows you to charge the order against your customer's credit card and receive those funds into your own bank account several days later.
Companies that act as a payment processor are providing three key services:
- they provide the secure connection between your Website's shopping cart solution and your merchant processing account provider through a secure payment gateway, and
- they poll the card network to check the validity of the credit card and the availability of funds, and
- they transfer the monies due you from the card holder's bank account to your processing bank which ulimately moves the monies to your business bank account.
Some of the more well-known companies that provide this service include Authorize.net, CyberCash, VeriSign, and PayPal. There are a number of other providers, however, including Card Service International, iTransact, iBill, CCNow and many more.
Depending on your needs, it can be worth it to shop around and check out your options. for example, Authorize.net has over 700 resellers, all of which can determine their own application fees and other charges, so one might give you better rates than others.Many payment processors also have existing relationships with specific Internet Merchant Account providers and can offer you a combined solution without having to go elsewhere.
The fees that payment processors typically charge include a one-time licensing or setup fee, purchase or lease of their software programs, and a monthly gateway fee. It's important to note that many better shopping cart solutions may already have these programs integrated into their solutions. Determining which shopping cart program you plan to use before finalizing your payment processor relationship could save you $600 or more!
We recommend that you identify the organizations you want to work first and make sure they are compatible with one another before making a financial commitment. Then you can be sure you are not paying duplicate fees or for duplicate services or need to find another provider because they don't work with one another cost effectively.
To learn more about Internet Merchant Accounts or Shopping Cart solutions, continue reviewing this section. Or if you are ready to discuss your specific goals and needs, please contact us for a free initial consultation.