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Internet merchants use credit cards much like other businesses and have similar requirements for handling them in the online selling process. They may very well make up 70% to as much as 100% of the payment method for your Internet sales, so become knowledgeable about the best ways to use them for your ecommerce store. Thank goodness, now you donít have to be concerned with the numerous details that plagued early adopters of credit card acceptance, but for your online sales to be successful, you will have to get an internet ecommerce merchant account.

Show Me The Money
A merchant account allows you to receive and process payments directly in your online store made by online shoppers using credit cards. These accounts are established through merchant service providers such as banks or independent service organizations.

Banks are more secure and reliable in particular with regard to who they allow to open a merchant account. Independent merchant ecommerce fulfillment organizations are more flexible and are willing to accept more risk. This usually reflects in their higher fees and charges but it can be worth it.

The usual risk of an internet ecommerce merchant account is in the fact that you donít physically swipe the credit card to scan, so you risk the card numbers from being stolen credit cards or fraudulently obtained numbers.

Getting in on the Deal
You should first try to get in account with a bank but, they may have a lot of criteria to pass before they will allow you to open an account. If you are turned down at the bank, you will need to apply with an independent organization.

Once you have made and set up the account, at the bank or independent organization, they will deposit the amount youíve collected in sales after deducting their fees and charges, usually on a daily basis. Some of these institutions also offer other services such as billing authorization as well as reporting and settlement of services; these may be very useful services for you in online selling over the long haul.

The Real Cost of an Internet Ecommerce Merchant Account
There are a vast number of organizations out there and many, if not all, charge fees. You will need to choose carefully which of these will most benefit you over time; weigh carefully the pros and cons of each one youíve selected. It really boils down to cost vs. benefit; after all, youíll have to make some profit out of your sales so you arenít driven to file bankruptcy!

Note These Common Fees
- Intercharge fee: Amount payable by yourself to the internet ecommerce merchant account provider once the credit card transaction is settled. This fee can vary from 25 cents to 70 cents per transaction. This should specially draw your attention when offering something on discount or using online auctions; the transaction fee may eat up your profit.
- Equipment and installation: This fee is usually a one time charge including hardware/software, set-up and programming. Sometimes if you get this service from your ecommerce web host provider, theyíll absorb this fee or offer another hosting option.
- Monthly fee: This includes a minimum fee in case you donít do any business, this may include financial statements and excess usage.

The internet ecommerce merchant account is a must-have for a successful online store; however, who will provide you this service is a choice you must make wisely.
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