Searching for the best option for an e-commerce business can sometimes lead merchants to the point of discouragement. With thousands of providers to choose from, you could hardly decide what business to venture. With today’s local financial institutions tend to shy away from e-commerce due to the increased risk of credit card fraud. While they may already be a trusted business services provider in the brick-and-mortar world, local banks are usually unwilling to get involved in e-commerce.

Getting a merchant account is one of the first steps in creating an e-commerce business. But before anything else, check your credit report and clean up any potential issues before approaching merchant account providers to get the best rates. Choose a merchant account and ask for a list of compatible shopping carts and payment gateways, before choosing any shopping cart solution. Installing a shopping cart that doesn’t work with your merchant account can only lead to future conflicts; there is no point in doing so.

With little exception, payment processors expect that websites have a few important things before they will consider processing the application. Once the website is built, ensure that it has the following components before applying to payment processors:

  • Terms of Use
  • A shipping policy, including detailed costs
  • A policy for returns or refunds
  • A privacy policy

Fees associated with various merchant accounts vary widely and can change depending on the e-commerce website’s average ticket size and average number of transactions per month. If the payment gateway service is not included in the merchant solution, remember to compare compatible gateway prices, as well.

Choosing a payment processor should not be in an impulse decision. Compare prices, understand available features and examine several options before applying. Switching payment processors can be disruptive and complicated, so it is best to ensure the fit is a good one before launching an e-commerce business.

About the Author

Anatolgy Gilderman is directly connected with AlgoZone, a leader in creating top notch shopping cart templates. He is also the owner of the Ecommerce Wisdom blog, the blog that brings light to eCommerce, giving you all the information you need from the how’s-to the why’s and even the best shopping cart solution software for your online business.