Alternatives to Merchant Accounts

Dec 4, 2012 by

Alternatives to Merchant Accounts

Merchant accounts allow business owners to accept credit and debit cards to pay for transactions. Merchant accounts are not always easy to get, however. It may depend on the owner’s credit history or how much they have as a cash reserve. But there are alternatives to these merchant accounts where the requirements aren’t so harsh and the costs are not so expensive.

Physical checks are one alternative to merchant accounts. Whereas the requirements are a lot less than a merchant account, the fess may be slightly higher. When using a merchant account that accepts credit cards, the transaction goes through immediately. Checks do take about 3 or 4 business days to clear the bank. When accepting a check, be sure to compare the signature on the check and the signature on the customer’s driver’s license.

Another alternative is third party providers. The most popular third party provider is PayPal. With PayPal, credit card and debit card transactions can be performed with online and offline purchases. This is ideal for businesses with low numbers of transactions or for businesses who don’t want to deal with the complex issues of merchant accounts. Third party provides are also the lower of the cost options.

Money orders are not very common in the business place these days but there are still some who use them, especially when ordering online. This can be a slow process if you have an online business and a customer uses a money order. The customer has to mail the money order, which could take several days to reach you.

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