Setting up your credit card processing can certainly be confusing. There are numerous middlemen involved and, depending on whether you sell your goods through a brick-and-mortar store or online, you might have to familiarize yourself with different setups.
When it comes to e-commerce, most business owners have to set up a merchant account and work with a Payment Gateway to accept web-based transactions. We’ll explain the difference in a moment, but having multiple providers tends to be a hassle. In this context, it means multiple contracts, bills, monthly fees, support teams, etc. When taking payments is just one aspect of your business operation, any opportunity to streamline is a blessing. Lucky for you, there is a way to do just that if you’re operating an e-commerce business.
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Defining Payment Gateways and Merchant Account Providers
Simply put, businesses that wish to accept credit cards, debit cards and ACH payments must have a merchant account. A merchant account allows approved payments to reach the business’s bank account.
Merchant Account Providers supply individual merchant accounts to businesses that pass a merchant underwriting process. In contrast, a Payment Gateway acts like a credit card terminal for web-based payments. Retailers cannot partner directly with a Payment Processor, so a Payment Gateway works as an intermediary connecting the business to the processor, which allows the payment to go through the approval process.
If you have a brick-and-mortar location where you accept credit card payments alongside an e-commerce component, you could be partnered with a Merchant Account Provider, a Payment Gateway and an online shopping cart provider. That’s multiple partners to manage, and can potentially increase your vulnerability to credit card processing pitfalls, like unethical billing practices.
Each of these providers charge transaction fees and monthly fees, making it difficult to know your effective processing rate. Focusing specifically on Merchant Account Providers and Payment Gateways, you might pay 2.29% plus a $30 monthly fee to your Merchant Account Provider and a $0.15 rate per transaction plus a $15 monthly fee to your Payment Gateway.
To bypass this, we advise partnering with a provider that can streamline your services and that is rooted in ethical, fair billing practices. We recommend turning to a trusted all-in-one provider.
How to Streamline Your E-Commerce Providers
PayJunction is a Merchant Account Provider and a Payment Gateway in one. We have over 80 existing shopping cart integrations, making setup as simple as selecting PayJunction from a drop-down menu.
Working with an all-in-one provider eliminates the complex billing we outlined above. You’d receive one bill with PayJunction, making it easier to understand your true processing costs. Have any questions? It only takes one call to our California-based offices to get the help you need.
With a provider rooted in ethics, you can rest assured that unethical billing issues that plague the payments space won’t impact your business. At PayJunction, we value our ethics above all else and prioritize long-term relationships over short-term profit. With one bill, one provider, one support number and a seamless integration within your shopping cart (or the ability to host simple checkout buttons on your site), there’s no reason to complicate matters with multiple providers that lack transparency.
As a Merchant Account Provider, PayJunction can also handle your card-present transactions if you run a brick-and-mortar shop as well. This consolidates your bills and your deposits and makes reconciliation much simpler. Let’s face it, you’re busy making sure your entrepreneurial dreams become a reality. Let us simplify and improve your credit card processing setup.
Do you have an e-commerce business? Are you left juggling multiple providers and struggling to understand your merchant statements? Tell us about your experiences in the comments section below!
Editor's Note: This post was originally published in June 2017 and has been updated for comprehensiveness and accuracy.