If you have items that you want to sell online but you don’t really do a lot of volume and can’t afford all that a regular merchant account costs you may want a personal merchant account.
Another reason you may want a personal merchant account is if you have a high risk business or you can’t get approved for a traditional merchant account. For most merchant accounts you have to go through quite the long process to get approved and have everything set up. For personal merchant accounts it is pretty quick and easy. Especially since PayPal paved the way online for personal payment processing. Now most merchant services will take care of personal merchant accounts. Just be wise and shop around.
With a personal merchant account from companies like PayPal, PayNow or any number of companies you can accept credit cards, debit cards and even e-checks. These services can help you increase your clientele as well as lessen the amount of accounting you will have to do because most of them have great integrated software to help with inventory, shipping, and more.
As for the cost of personal merchant accounts you may find that the transaction fee and the discount rate are higher than the traditional merchant account. This is because these accounts are a higher risk and you are being given a great service, so you need to pay for it. On the other hand, you will likely pay less in setup, statement fees, and you probably won’t have a monthly minimum.
If you conduct business on the web you need to consider the fact that your website is seen globally. This means that you may have people from anywhere in the world ordering your goods and/or services. You will want to be sure and check with your personal merchant account company about currency conversion. If you want to avoid the costs involved in this then you can state clearly that you don’t accept anything but one form of currency for all payments. This may cost you a few sales so only you would know what it is worth to accept other forms of currency.
You will want to really look at the pros and cons of a personal merchant account compared to a traditional merchant account so that you get what will work best for your business needs. Just remember that you can always start with a personal account and move into a more complex plan as your business grows. The bottom line is most people insist on the ability to pay online and if they visit your site but can’t conveniently order, you will most likely lose them. Better to get an account where you can please your customers and keep them coming back.