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Merchant Account

What are Merchant Services?

Merchant services, also called merchant accounts, are an integral part of many types of business. They enable businesses to quickly and safely secure payment from customers for goods or services, either online, via the telephone, or in person via a range of different payment methods. This can include credit or debit cards, direct debit, eWallets, and so on. Merchant accounts are most commonly found within the retail and hospitality industries, such as in stores, hotels, cafes, and restaurants, for example.

Who Benefits from Merchant Services?

There are really two categories that benefit from merchant services: your business, and your customer. Here are just some of the advantages and benefits you may experience through payment processing:

  • Customer Benefits

    At a time when online shopping is growing in popularity, the demands of our customers are changing. We’re seeing more and more wanting quick, simple buying solutions, and for many that means having the option to purchase and pay for an item online. However, fraud is still a prominent concern, which can make some consumers wary about sharing their details online with a business. One of the benefits of using merchant services for online transactions is that many make use of 3D secure technology, which helps to protect your customers online.

    3D secure technology is relatively common today, and you may have used it yourself when making a purchase online. What the technology does is act as a ‘middleman’ between your business and your client. Rather than your customer providing you with confidential payment information, the middleman processes the data and sends directly to the bank. Therefore, should your business suffer a security breach, your customers details will remain secure. Merchant services can help to give your customers peace of mind, and boost their experience.

  • Business Benefits

    There is a common misconception that merchant services are only required for large corporations. However, this is not true. In fact, smaller business and startup enterprises may actually benefit more from merchant services than larger companies! With rising costs of office and retail spaces across the country, more and more entrepreneurs are turning to home businesses, selling their products or services from home. Without a physical, brick and mortar store, merchant services make it easier to start selling goods online, and receiving payment.

    Mid-size and larger businesses can also benefit from merchant services. Even if you are already an established business with a physical store, branching out into ecommerce can help you to reach demographics that have appeared unattainable in the past, perhaps due to location. Even in terms of brick and mortar stores, providing your customers with a greater choice and giving them more control over how they pay for a product or service can play a significant role in reputation and profitability. Our customers are expecting more from us. Let’s give it to them!

If you’re interested in finding out more about how merchant services could benefit your business, simply fill out our online form today. At compareyourbusinesscosts, we’ll help to find you the best services, at the best rates, so that you can grow your business without breaking the bank!

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Types of Merchant Services

There are many different types of merchant services available to both large and small businesses in the UK. So many, in fact, that choosing a service can sometimes feel overwhelming. Don’t worry! At compareyourbusinesscosts, we’re here to help. Not only can we help find you the best deals from the best merchant service providers, we can also help to outline what merchant services are all about!

While the payment processing industry may appear complex on the surface, it’s actually very simple to understand when the types of products and services offered are broken down into different categories. This can help businesses to understand more about what they’re looking for in a service. At the most basic level, the products and services offered by merchant accounts can be broken down into three distinct categories. Some providers will offer more than one of these services, so your business will not be forced to identify just one area in which it wishes to grow and develop further in the future.

  • PDQ Machines

    Forget the strange name – PDQ machines are simply the good old ‘chip and pin’ machines that we’ve come to love over the years. They’re widely considered to be one of the safest forms of payment processing available, as your business will not have access to the client’s credit or debit card information. Instead, this is transferred directly to the bank. Therefore, if you suffer a security breach, your client’s information should remain secure. PDQ machines take around 3 seconds to process a payment, and are available in many different forms including permanent terminals (for supermarket checkouts, for example), portable terminals (the type you find in restaurants), and mobile terminals for events which process payments using mobile data.

  • Ecommerce Solutions

    With ecommerce solutions, your business will not be using any additional hardware, like PDQ machines. Instead, it is all done through software which enables your customers to purchase and pay for a product or service online, through your online store. The advantage of this is that it’s so incredibly simple. The software will be integrated with your existing ecommerce website (no need to create a new site!), and will help streamline your sales processes. Like PDQ machines, many merchant service providers now work with 3D secure technology which means your business will not have access to your customer’s payment details, helping to keep their information safe and secure. This provides protection for you, and peace of mind for customers.

  • Virtual Payment Processing

    While online shopping tends to dominate in the digital age, there are still a large number of customers who prefer to order products over the telephone, particularly those who  do not feel comfortable using the web. A common issue with telephone payments is that confidential data is often scribbled down on a notepad, increasing risk for both business and customer. What a virtual payment processing system does is reduce this risk. Your business can enter details into a virtual terminal using any device with an internet connection, including PCs, laptops, tablet computers, or smartphones. The process is so quick that you should be able to confirm receipt of the payment while the customer is still on the phone, increasing customer satisfaction.