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Credit card processors: third party processor or merchant account? Which is best for your business?

One thing every Internet business must be able to do is accept credit cards. You could get a merchant account, which many of the companies to the right are offering. This is what the brick and mortar stores have, including the place you buy your eggs and milk. A merchant account is similar to a bank account, established with a payment processor for the settlement of credit card transactions. Competition has brought the prices down, and many good deals are now available on merchant accounts. Explore the links below for competitive pricing...

Another alternative for the beginning business may be third party processing, or using a third party to handle the entire transaction for you. The main difference is that with third party processors, your buyer's credit card statement will reflect the third party company, such as PayPal (see below) rather than yours. Most require no set up charge, and you pay a small percentage when you actually make a sale, making third party processors a great choice for most start-up businesses.

With third party processing, you pay only when there is a transaction, and you can often adjust your price to allow for the charge. Listed below are a few third party processors, along with their rates. By comparing several companies, you should be able to find one that works well for your needs. Most new or low profit companies start out with PayPal, which is fairly easy and the least expensive on low-cost items.

Third Party Credit Card Processors

Clickbank works in 100 countries, and is limited to content transactions, rather than products to be shipped. Clickbank has a one-time $49.95 activation fee, and charges USD $1 plus 7.5% per sale.

PayPal works in 37 countries. Fees for credit cards are 2.2% plus 30 cents, and non-credit card transactions are 1.6% plus 30 cents. This is the best value for those just starting out. Signing up is completely free of charge, and they are extremely inexpensive on low-cost items. Once you go through the sign up process, you can both send and receive money. Sending has no fee whatsoever to it.

Good luck to you!

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