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Payment Gateway / Merchant Account Services :

Answers to some common Authorize.net and PayPal questions.



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What is a merchant account?

A merchant account is an account established for a "merchant", or online store owner, in order to process credit card transactions online.

What is a payment gateway?

A payment gateway provides the "secure" transfer of information between a payment portal (ex: a web site) and a processor, a.k.a. a merchant account.

When do you need payment gateway & merchant account services?

If you plan on accepting payments on your web site then you will need to have these merchant services. It is a simple process to get these services up for your site. All you have to do is fill out an application and, after a short approval process, you will have an account. Sometimes you can even get up and running the very same day!

Who are the best merchant account service providers and where do I get one?

As far as defining who is "the best," There really is no clear answer to that question. However there are a couple who, in my humble opinion, have proven themselves to be very reliable and ultra-secure providers. As far as the price is concerned they're all pretty close, generally ranging from $25-$30 per month (Fees include both Payment Gateway and Merchant Account). The same goes for the percentages that they charge per each of your transactions. Chances are you won't see a large variance in percentages. The average percentage for Discover, Visa and, Mastercard is between 2.11% - 2.5%, and the percentage for American Express is slightly higher.

Preferred Merchant Service Providers

Keep in mind, this is just my opinion, based mostly on a few points. Their high level of security, The infrequency of technical issues, from a developers point of view, and their customer service.

#1. Authorize.net / CyberSource

Authorize.net / CyberSource (Same Company) have been around for ages and continues to be probably the most widely used gateway on the internet. Authorize.net offers Both Payment Gateway / Merchant serivces. They have a robust control panel for their client accounts, and it is very user friendly.There are a lot of customizations you can make. Two important features to note: Ability to customize email notifications that are generated when someone makes a purchase and Second there are a lot of filters that you can setup regarding the payments you are willing to accept. The second is a key feature *especially if you are selling items that would be more likely candidates for attempted fraudulent purchases, such as electronics. They also have great customer service and extremely competitive fees. Currently, there is a Gateway fee of $17.95 and Merchant Account is $10.00 per month, keeping them within that $25 - $30 range.

To find out more or to signup for an Authorize.net account:

Click on the banner below.

#2. PayPal Website Payments Pro

PayPal Website Payments Pro (sometimes referred to as PayPal Payflow Pro) is another quality service, offering both Payment Gateway / Merchant Account services. Ever since Ebay purchased PayPal it has expanded it's client base tremendously. This is yet another extremely secure service provider. The fees are standard and they offer good support as well. PayPal offers a lot of features but, in my opinion, offers a little less customization options. Nevertheless, all the important stuff is there and it is very easy to integrate into most any web site configuration.

To find out more or to signup for a PayPal Pay Website Payments Pro account:

Click on the banner below.  
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