[thelist] Online credit card processing.

Tom Dell'Aringa pixelmech at yahoo.com
Wed Feb 26 09:23:48 CST 2003

--- Rob Whitener <rwhitener at DesignOptions.com> wrote:
> I am trying to make sense setting up an online merchant account and
> how much I should pay. I have been looking at a company known as
> innovative merchant solutions through a web design company known
> as Avalon (they basically sell flash websites to resellers.  The
> sites look nice, but I am not completely sold on the idea).

Rob, welcome to the world of cut-throat. I briefly sold merchant
accounts, so here's some advice: Make sure you go with a company that
has been around, check them out. This is the most cut-throat business
around, there are so many companies out there selling merchant
accounts and they all claim they are the best and the biggest. So
make sure you get a company that will give you service and is always
available to you.

> Discount rate: 2.59% (max)
> transaction fee $.30

Those are about average, although you should be able to get a $.25
trans fee.

> customer service fee $10/month

You can get as low as $5, not a big deal.

> monthly minimum: $25.00  <-- typical
> Gateway Access fee: $10.00 <-- typical
> Gateway Transaction fee: $.10 <-- typical
> Set up and activation of merchant account including internet
> payment gateway: $995.00

That sounds high, but its been awhile for me.

> Their discount rates and monthly fees seem high compared to places
> like Charge.com, and gotmerchant.com, but I am not sure about the
> set up and activation which includes the payment gateway.  Isn't
> this just the shopping cart wrapped up in some fancy language? If
> so, a thousand bucks seems pretty high.  Any input would be
> greatly appreciated.

Just make sure you have all the fees up front too, sometimes they
will try and stick it to you other ways - read the application and
anything you sign VERY carefully. Don't know if you have a terminal,
or if they are offering a virtual terminal or what, but you can buy a
used terminal on ebay and have it programmed for your merchant
account and save money. You could just capture the card numbers on
your site and run them manually that way.

Probably not a lot of help but something to think about. I too have
to do this soon so I will be watching for more info.


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