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credit cards faq/glossary
The most common questions asked about Credits Cards.
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Retail Merchant Accounts
Merchant accounts are designed for people who own businesses and want to make it easier for their clients to pay for the goods they buy. In other words, if a business owner has a merchant account; his clients can pay for the purchased goods by credit card. Having a merchant account is good for both parties: the business owner has an extra offer to the clients, and the buyers can pay for the purchased goods more convenient.

A retail merchant account is one of the three merchant account types. In this case the business owner should have a shop, a restaurant, a hotel or any other kind of business where the customers go in for the purchase. This is very important because when customers want to pay by credit card, the card must be physically there. The card must be passed through a credit card terminal given by the bank with which the business owner has an agreement. So, the presence of the credit card is mandatory every time a customer wants to pay by credit card, in some cases (when it is a debit card) the owner of the credit card has to enter the card’s pin code so the payment can be made. In case the customer’s account does not have enough funds, the card will be rejected, so you should not have to worry about this part. If the card has enough funds for the payment, the bank will process the sum, and the money will appear on your business account in two or three working days. Now that we know how to make a payment with credit card, let us now see what a business owner has to do in order to sign a contract with a bank.

A business owner can turn to a bank, a credit card company or any other payment processor institution if he wants a retail merchant account. A retail merchant account has the lowest transaction fee, but read the contract carefully, because there might be some restrictions. The restrictions could be something regarding the minimum amount of money transitioned per month or the number of credit card payments per month. You should check the offer of a few banks or other payment processors and choose the best one.

Now a few words about the preparation: before you sign the contract, you should think about where you want to put the credit card terminal, or Point of Sale (POS). This is a very important matter because the Pos needs a telephone line through which it communicates with the bank, but it has to be accessible for the clients, since they will have to enter their pin code. So you need to have access to a telephone jack, it also might be a good idea to ask for another phone number from your telephone company. Also, you should decide on the type of the equipment, because there are two main types: integrated terminal or separated one. In this latter version the pin pad is separated from the terminal, so only one part of the equipment has to be accessible for the client.

Having a retail merchant account enables you to accept credit or debit card payments, and make the payments easier for the clients. If you want your business to be more appreciated, you should open a retail merchant account, since nowadays more and more people pay by credit cards. Once again, you should pay attention and read the contract carefully, and make sure you understand every restriction!