Obtaining an Internet Merchant Account is the first step for online payment processing. Merchants with internet or online retails stores would need an account to accept payments via credit card, debit card, and other payment methods for goods and services sold. An internet merchant account is specifically catered for online retail shops and should not be confused with general brick and mortar merchant accounts.
Online merchants should have an internet merchant account because it is another step in technology to capture a larger market. Traditional brick and mortar businesses may capture a large market in a certain area, however an online retail business is borderless. Today, almost all retail stores have an online store as well so that they don’t lose out, mainly to their competitors.
One of the advantages of an internet merchant account is that it has real time approval. When customers have chosen a product to purchase and proceeds to pay, the payment is settled in the merchant’s account almost instantly. This is an advantage where merchants can close the sale much quicker and proceed to ship the products to the customers.
As mentioned earlier, an internet merchant account has different regulations compared to a normal merchant account. This is because almost all transactions made online are a card-not-present. This directly means that fraud and risk has almost multiplied by ten or more. Financial houses are generally more stringent when approving internet merchant accounts. There are a few factors in the underwriting process which are usually the financial aspects of the merchant and his business, the type of products or services offered, experiences, monthly sales volume, standard and practises of the business, and marketing skills.
Merchants are highly recommended to seek for a Payment Service Provider when applying for an internet merchant account. Payment Service Providers generally have a wide knowledge of the industry and have many banking and acquiring partners, to help you find the right solution that best fits your business needs. The right PSP will also offer great support, especially when there is a technical issue to be solved.