Merchant Account and Credit Card Processing Comparison

If you are like many business owners, there are times when you wish you could simply do everything yourself to ensure that your business operates at peak efficiency. Unfortunately, you are limited by your own humanity and the simple reality is that you cannot ever hope to have all of the skills necessary to make your business succeed. While you may be a restaurant owner with some of the best organizational and cooking skills, you probably lack the legal expertise to keep everything operating.

By the same token, you might be the best lawyer in your city, but the idea of bookkeeping or office administration is completely foreign to you. There are countless of examples of this in life and your business is probably no exception. When you look at merchant accounts and credit card processing, you may or may not have the expertise necessary to make the best selection. Fortunately, if you take the time to understand the finer points you can make the best decision and gets your business moving forward.

What is a Merchant Account?

Put simply, a merchant account is simply a bank account that allows your business to accept credit cards. Going deeper, merchant accounts allow your business a certain amount of credit to receive payments. This is because each time a transaction is made with a credit card, the merchant account provider deposits the money almost immediately, and before the credit company actually transfers the money. In effect, merchant accounts are also a way for businesses to build credit.

Beyond simply offering your business the ability to accept credit cards though, merchant accounts have a variety of other helpful features. This can include helpful accounting and bookkeeping software to ensure a smooth operation as you accept credit cards. Some companies also offer additional services to help ensure you get the most out of your processing experience.

Why You Need Credit Card Processing

Of course, part of any merchant account is setting up payment gateways. Payment gateways are what actually give you the ability to accept credit cards either in your online store or from a POS terminal. This is where credit card processing enters the equation. Without payment gateways, you would not be able to actually transmit the information and accept cards.

In today’s economy, accepting credit cards is an absolute must if you hope to stay competitive. More and more people are starting to rely on their credit cards for every day purchases. They make shopping more convenient, and many companies offer reward programs that are hard to resist. If you are not accepting credit cards, you are missing out on a large segment of your potential customers.

Working with the Right Company

If you want to get the best deal on your credit card processing and the most from your merchant account, you need to find the right company to work with. Once you find the right company, you will find that a merchant account gives you a variety of tools and resources to help you not only accept credit cards but also improve the efficiency of your business.