If you operate a business from your home, you may find it difficult to accept payments only in the form of personal checks, an electronic payment service like PayPal, or cash. The business community is suddenly undergoing dramatic changes. In fact, studies show that a majority of customers prefer to pay for their purchases with a credit card. But if you lack the equipment to process credit card payments, you may lose those customers’ purchases when they go elsewhere to businesses that do accept credit card payments.
Whether you sell products like handmade dolls, or services like typing or editing, accepting credit card payments sends the message to customers that you’re a professional who cares about making payment easier for them.
If you are looking to get a merchant account that allows you to accept and process credit cards, your timing could not be any better. A new merchant account is easy to apply for, especially if you go online. Prerequisites include being 18 years of age, having a legal business based in the United States, and having a legal checking account in this country.
When searching for a merchant account provider, do not apply for an account with the first lender to come along. Talk to the bank associate where you currently hold personal or business accounts. Since you have a relationship there already, it should be easy to find out the details of opening a merchant account there, assuming the bank provides one.
A merchant account provider should be affiliated with a trustworthy bank or financial institution, one that you can rely on to stay in business, to offer equitable terms, and to protect your interests. There are hundreds of account providers that would love to have your business, so you do not have to rush into it by accepting the first offer you receive.