If you plan to run a successful business, you need a merchant account. A merchant account is offered through a financial institution, and it facilitates credit card processing. If you want to accept credit cards, debit cards and gift cards, it is vital that you have a merchant account. A merchant account is a line of credit that you are extended. The merchant account takes care of credit card transactions, and after everything settles, directs the funds to your business account – after deducting transaction fees of course.
Without a merchant account that is “plugged in” to a payment processing group, it is impossible to connect with the necessary parties for you to accept credit cards. Unfortunately, it can be expensive to set up a merchant account. Some accounts require a start up fee, and you usually have to buy or rent card processing equipment. And then there are the regular fees the come with using a merchant account. It can be worth it however. Studies show that people who use credit cards tend to spend more than people who don’t. And besides, most people pay with plastic, even if it is a debit card instead of a credit card.
One of the companies that try to offer savings to companies is Bank of America. When businesses get a Bank of America merchant account, a $200 equipment rebate is offered, as well as a $250 guarantee to meet or beat your current processing fees. It’s an interesting offer, and one that many companies these days could use.
Bank of America merchant services
Bank of America offers a merchant account with a number of products and features designed to help you in your business. In addition to offering point of sale terminals, Bank of America also offers peripherals that can help make things a little easier for businesses:
- External PIN Pads: An equipment upgrade that has detached PIN pads so that customers can have the security of entering their own PIN.
- Check readers and images: While few people use checks anymore, they are nonetheless accepted methods of payment. Check readers can scan the check and then compare them for authenticity. It only takes a few seconds.
- Mini Card Readers: This type of card reader works with software processing on your PC. You plug these readers into a USB port or your keyboard, and then swipe cards.
- Manual card imprinter: This is a rather primitive form of accepting credit card payment. It takes an imprint of a card, and you submit the information later for processing. The thing about a manual imprinter is that it works as a backup. If the Internet is down or the power is out, you cannot accept credit or debit cards. An imprinter can solve this problem and allow you to continue doing business – although it will make for more work later.
Bank of America can also help you with virtual terminals and payment gateways so that you can manage your merchant account online and accept payments from anywhere you have Internet access, as well as provide you with the needed tools to accept credit cards through your ecommerce Web site.
Like many other merchant account providers, Bank of America will work with you to try and come up with a personalized solutions. You can talk with a salesperson over the phone, and figure out whether Bank of America would really be the best solution for your business. By and large, though, most major merchant account providers can probably do a good job fulfilling your needs. But it never hurts to shop around.