Miva HeLp! E-commerce for the rest of us.
E-commerce for the rest of us. 

one.gif (80 bytes)
Click Here for information on the East Coast Miva User Group meetings
one.gif (80 bytes)
one.gif (80 bytes)
Miva HeLp! HomeReady, Set, Go!TutorialsResourcesReviewsContact Us
one.gif (80 bytes)

Search Miva HeLp!

one.gif (80 bytes)
one.gif (80 bytes)

one.gif (80 bytes)

Quick Links

one.gif (80 bytes)

 

In Depth
Getting Your Merchant Account
By Ahmed Saad, Technology Matrix Group - Copyright 2001
Before you can accept credit cards, which is about the only reasonable way to conduct e-commerce, you must have a merchant account.  Merchant accounts give you the power to charge people's credit cards so each company will have its own requirements before it will "grant" you an account.   Generally there are credit issues involved and a fee schedule.  Usually, the less the stringent the requirements the higher the fees - but this is not a rule.

In order to be able to compare offers, we suggest you ask about the following:

bullet_depth.gif (138 bytes) Application fee:

Who doesn't charge you an application fee for just about anything you want to do? ;-)

bullet_depth.gif (138 bytes) Setup fees:

Setup fees are almost always there, either for equipment, software, or just because.

bullet_depth.gif (138 bytes) Transaction fees:

There will be a set fee per transaction and a discount rate (a percentage of each sale); they are always there and you need to ask what the rates are for Discover and AMEX if you plan to accept them as well.

bullet_depth.gif (138 bytes) Real time processing gateway fees:

These apply to companies like Cybercash, Authorize.net, etc. who allow you to process credit card transactions in "real time".   These fees can be quoted as "instead of" or "on top of" the transaction fees mentioned above. Check to see which option is better for you, and how much you will end up paying. 

Sometimes it is good to have both "real time" and manual processing just in case the gateway is down, or you do not process all your orders via the shopping cart. This way you can still take phone orders and not have to enter them in the shopping cart if you so prefer.

bullet_depth.gif (138 bytes) Monthly minimums:

These are almost always there and are around $20. This means that even if you do not generate enough sales to hit the monthly minimums they will take the set minimum anyway. In other words, if you just started last month and had only $100 worth of sales, you would still pay $20 for  credit card processing even though your "real" fees would add up to less than $5.  If you have $100,000 in sales then the monthly minimum will not apply since you will naturally exceed that $20 in processing fees.

bullet_depth.gif (138 bytes) Statement fees:

Some companies may charge a statement fee. It means nothing, other than another way for them to extract money from you.

bullet_depth.gif (138 bytes) Charge back fee:

Charge back fees are what the credit card processing company will charge you if your customer disputes charges you placed on his card (always there).

  IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO VERIFY THAT THE CUSTOMER IS REALLY THE ONE ORDERING YOUR PRODUCTS AND THAT HE RECEIVED THE GOODS.  IT IS NOT THE CREDIT CARD COMPANY'S RESPONSIBILITY EVEN WHEN THEY AUTHORIZE THE TRANSACTION. THEY ARE MERELY FACILITATORS AND YOU SHOULD REVIEW YOUR CONTRACT TO FAMILIARIZE YOURSELF WITH YOUR RESPONSIBILITIES BEFORE YOU FIND YOURSELF CAUGHT BY SURPRISE.

We recommend getting your merchant account through   Costco who has negotiated great deals with Nova, the largest Credit Card processor in the USA. You can get more info at https://costco.novainfo.com/application.asp
or call 1-888-474-0500.

Click here for some ways to protect yourself from fraudulent orders.

 

Quick Tips

one.gif (80 bytes)

one.gif (80 bytes)

one.gif (80 bytes)
one.gif (80 bytes)


Fotolia
    

Miva Merchant, and the Miva blades logo are registered trademarks of
Miva Corporation.

Miva HeLp! is not affiliated with Miva Corporation.

 

 

Please e-mail site related issues to webmaster@MivaHelp.com and content corrections to content@MivaHelp.com

Copyright 2001- 2008 Technology Matrix Group Ltd.

Site Design by: A Design Elf Site