With consumers spending every minute online, it would be an understatement to say e-commerce businesses are flourishing. When planning on buying a product or service, our first instinct is to check for it online. Keeping up with the trend, many brick and mortar businesses have started selling their products online too.
With running an e-commerce business arise the need to accept online payments too. Customers want variety, be it in products or payment options. With credit card payments on the rise, offering seamless online payment options will make sure merchants don’t lose out on those sales.
Whether you are a physical store selling products online, an established ecommerce business looking to expand payment options or a start-up online store, here’s what you need to accept online payments – Internet Merchant Account.
What is an Internet Merchant Account?
Internet Merchant Account is an absolute necessity if you want to accept credit or debit card payments through your e-commerce store. The account allows you to accept payments via your website.
An internet merchant account has the same features as an ordinary merchant account. Except, with an internet merchant account you can run online transactions in real time.
A merchant account offers two types of transactions, “card-present” and “card-not-present”. Internet Merchant Account, also known as E-commerce Merchant Account, falls into the second category. Just like how a brick-and-mortar store can accept payments by swiping their cards through a POS terminal, an internet merchant account authorizes online payments by allowing customers to simply enter their card details into your website to make the necessary transaction.
Bank or Merchant Account Provider
If you already have a merchant account, you can ask your bank to provide you an internet merchant account or switch to ‘card-not-present’ transactions to start taking online payments. The other option is to obtain complete merchant account solutions from an independent merchant account provider.
While it is instinctual and only logical to stick to your current provider, banks are usually much stringent with the application and approval process, especially if your business is relatively new.
A merchant account provider offers customized solutions tailor-made to suit your payment requirements. Chances of getting your business approved with such providers are also greater whether you are new merchant or an established one, regardless of your business type or industry.
Whichever way you choose to go, your business will be assessed for risk, credit history and legitimacy during the underwriting process.
It is strongly advised against using a standard merchant account to process online payments since it follows different set of policies and requirements. Providers can shut your account in such cases.
Check out top-rated merchant account providers such as Instabill, International Bank Services (IBS), Vantiv, TSYS, etc. that offer complete expert online payment processing solutions.
Merchant Account & Payment Gateway
Do I require a payment gateway as well? No, it is not necessary to integrate a payment gateway to an internet merchant account since you can process transactions using credit card processing software. But here payments are not processed in real time with merchants manually entering card details resulting in delay in transactions.
Merchant account accepts payments while payment gateway processes it. Without an internet merchant account, your payments option will be redirected and processed through another site. This can be a long, tedious process as well as not entirely secure.
On the other hand, an internet payment gateway complete with a payment gateway proves to be the best solution. With an internet merchant account the funds are held in your own account and a payment gateway is what you need to authenticate and process credit card payments in real time, the entire transaction process happening on your own website is an added advantage.
Choosing either an internet merchant account or a payment gateway or both should depend on the type of business you operate and your monthly sales volume.
There are several providers, such as IBS, offering internet merchant account with an integrated secure payment gateway.
Propel your business & streamline your payments with an Internet Merchant Account. Do not compromise & choose wisely!