If the account is for internet you will have to get a gateway way like Authorize.net that can cost around $7 a month and the discount rate of Visa and Mastercard shuld not go higher than 2.2%.
Is it possible to use Authorize.net for non-USA residents ? So it can be wired on a non-USA bank account :-)
You need to find the resellers of Authorize.net, but not sooo easy for me :-( I am very interested.. if not I need to use 2checkout.com, because Paypal is a hassle because you can't withdraw to bank account which isn't in my country nor in the USA :-(
I usually recommend Paypal.com. It seems to be the quickest and easiest way to get set up selling. Get a bank account then link your paypal account to it (a few other steps are involved here). The only real drawback to paypal is that it charges ~5% processing fee for credit cards, which is a little steep. But if your looking for a quick solution thats the way to go.
I can suggest you go for a hosting company offer FREE eCommerce site for you and you can even include Paypal as a payment option for your customers online. If required eBay auctions is a good options. The best part is that there are some eCommerce sites which can get customised to show eBay auctions also within your personal site with other products.
Before selecting any merchant account or gateway, I'd first suggest thinking about what features you will need for your processing. (The fact that you are a U.S. citizen based in the U.S. will make it easy to get approved by virtually any U.S. merchant processor barring no unforseen circumstances, so that part should be easy enough)
On the products/services that you sell - are they all one-time sales or is there a recurring billing component to it? Also, are you using or planning to use any 3rd party billing software or shopping cart?
These will be some questions that you'll want to think about first and then discuss with any prospective provider - or here on the forums, to make sure that whatever solution you select meets all of your needs so that you are setup properly from the beginning.
In terms of other variables with selecting a merchant account provider, I think that reputation is one of the key ones. You'll want to review various providers to see which one has a solid reputation and a proven track record and don't hesitate to ask for references... whichever company you select will be handling your funds.
If you are talking to agents who represent ISO/MSP's as opposed to a direct ISO/MSP, make sure to also research the company that they represent so that you know who you are dealing with.
In addition, two additional pointers for you on the pricing/terms side - since you are just starting out, make sure that you have it in writing that there is no early termination/cancellation fee of any kind with an account that you start up.
This gives you the power to change at a later point and also protects you from getting hit with a large fee if you sell your business or simply no longer need the service any more.
Monthly minimums are also something you'll want to avoid when you are just getting started. A monthly minimum is a minimum monthly billing amount that is charged each month - on top of any gateway/statement fee. Some providers will waive these if you make a point to push the issue, and other providers do not charge them in the first place.
You'll also make sure that you understand ALL of the fees involved before signing up with any provider. It is very common for AVS fees and other costs to be separated and put on an agreement but not openly disclosed upfront which can be unpleasant once you find it out after the fact later. So definitely confirm the total setup (if any), monthly and transactional costs involved with any provider prior to signing up.
Lastly, make sure that you ask about how chargeback and risk management issues are handled by any prospective merchant provider. This can vary greatly from one processor to another and any processor should be able to give you a reasonably detailed understanding of what to watch for, the key areas of concern that they have and how they handle these kinds of situations. This can often make a huge difference to you as your processing grows down the road.
Best of luck with your search, hope the info is helpful!
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