Accepting Credit Card Payments Online

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Today the Internet, and the evolution of ecommerce  provide a business owner with a multitude of options for accepting  credit card payments online. Depending upon your monthly volume of online credit card transactions, fees and rates will vary. Before you start a relationship with any institution, make sure you understand the charges and fee structures.

Before the advancement of online credit card security, there was usually only one cumbersome, expensive way to accept credit cards, which was to use merchant account services and a payment gateway to connect your business to that merchant account.

 This area of technology has been evolving rapidly and now offers a variety of choices for being able to accept credit card payments online.  The pioneer in this area is PayPal.

The quickest and easiest way to start accepting credit card payments (Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover cards), debit cards and bank transfers online is by setting up a standard PayPal account.  In addition, your customers do not have to have a PayPal account to use their credit card. PayPal does not have any monthly, set-up, or cancellation fees. The bad news is that their transaction fees are high (up to 2.9% of the transaction amount). PayPal is incredibly popular. It has more than 100 million users and powers 60% of all online shopping traffic.  Given this, it may be prudent to combine PayPal with another service. By doing so, shoppers who prefer it can choose it, and those who don’t can have another option.

Today, in addition to PayPal, there are other options for business owners to accept online credit cards. Recently, new payment services like Stripe have removed much of the complexity out of taking payments online. From a merchant’s perspective, these are very similar to the all-in-one solutions, but they usually integrate seamlessly with your store’s checkout, meaning the shopper never leaves your site.

And they can be much quicker to set up.  

Accepting credit cards online is a great alternative to a brick and mortar operation because the Point of Sale (POS) is transacted on the internet which is much less overhead.  When first starting a business, this way of doing business with customers could prove to be a massive area of cost savings while the business ramps up and begins to develop. 

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