Why a Paid Online Merchant Account is Better Than a Free Merchant Account ?

Posted on 6:40 AM by merchant account

An online merchant account is a specialized account with the bank that allows the merchant to accept online transactions using a credit or debit card. With several merchants opting for online businesses, presence of an online merchant account is fast becoming a necessity.
One important factor that determines the selection of a merchant service provider is the cost associated with a merchant account. These costs tend to differ from provider to provider and are usually high. Hence, many online business firms tend to be apprehensive about these accounts. In order to increase their business, merchant service providers or banks are always coming up with innovative business strategies. One such strategy is offering free merchant accounts. In this context, it is important to understand the differences between a paid merchant account and a free merchant.
A free merchant account is one where the merchant service provider doesn’t collect any membership charges from the merchant nor charge any setup fees. This means that the merchant need not pay anything in order to register with the merchant provider and receives the necessary payment gateway information and setup guide free of cost. Many merchants tend to have an impression that free merchant accounts are much better than a paid one. However, these accounts have their own set of advantages and disadvantages. It is important to know about these before opting for a free account or a paid account.
In this world, nothing comes for free. If one is underpaying for something that needs to be compensated by overpaying for something else. The same is happening with free accounts. The only advantage of a free account is that the merchant gets the account without paying a single penny. However, the disadvantages are many. These include higher processing rates and chargeback rates that can cost much more than the costs incurred on a paid account. These high rates are charged by service providers so as to compensate the money lost due to free registration process.

One can easily determine the difference in charges by doing a simple comparison. For example, assume that the average costs on a free account levied by a merchant service provider for every online transaction is equal to $1.00 + 5% of the entire transaction amount. This means that if a customer has purchased an item worth $100, then the same is paid by the customer. However, the merchant doesn’t receive the entire amount. The service provider deducts the costs and deposits the remaining amount in the merchant’s account. Hence, for every $100 transaction, the merchant has to lose $6 towards charges. As a result, he/she will get only $94 (5% of transaction amount=$5.00 + $1.00=$6.00). In reality, service providers have been known to even charge rates as high as $14 on free accounts. In contrast, charges on a commercial or paid account are much less. As a result, greater savings and higher profits seem to be possible through a paid account.

Another major disadvantage of a free account is lack of technical and customer service from the service provider. As a result, merchants have to compromise on the security and stability of the payment gateway and the transaction.

On the contrary, a paid account has all the advantages including lower processing rates and providing secured transaction gateways to the customers. Also, banks tend to offer rewards on transactions where paid accounts are being used. Free accounts usually don’t have any such offers.
one should choose an online merchant account depending on the requirements and needs of the business firm.

No Response to "Why a Paid Online Merchant Account is Better Than a Free Merchant Account ?"

Leave A Reply