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Merchant Services and Merchant Account

Updated on April 30, 2012

What is a Merchant Bank Account?

Many of my followers at Hubpages are specifically interested in business and finances, whether it be eCommerce, Marketing or general sales of a great new product available and this is why I wanted to talk here about a process which is at the heart of retail outlets throughout the UK and Worldwide.

Of course I am talking about credit card payments, but you're now asking 'what haven't we heard about credit cards already?', well it is more the actions that go on behind the scenes that I wish to discuss and the generic term for this is called 'Merchant Services'.

It should be one of the main priorities of every new business to set up card processing since in this modern age the vast majority of customers expect credit card payment acceptance as standard. In fact, 84% of all adults possess a debit card and 95% of all payments occur via the new Chip and PIN method that emerged over the last decade as the replacement of 'keyed in' and 'signed for' card payments.

The difference between 'keyed in' card transactions and the new Chip and PIN method is that the retailer must apply for a dedicated Merchant bank account and then they are able to receive secure payments once the customers card details are requested electronically through a card machine. Ownership of the card is confirmed via a four digit password that only the card owner knows, this guards against card theft.

Merchant Account Providers

Many beginners to credit card processing have seen the Chip and PIN card terminals that other outlets use and want to acquire these for their own business, however, they are aren't aware of the dedicated market and primarily inquire at their bank.

Banks usually rely on the naivety of new business owners and will quote high prices for requesting Merchant Account approval, however, there are specialist companies who's primary objective is finding a merchant account provider with the lowest rates.

My first instinct when hearing the high rates the bank offered, was to search online using general words such as 'payment gateways', 'merchant account comparison' and 'accept card payments' but then I remembered a term which the bank adviser had said so I typed in 'Merchant Services' and immediately found a great website dealing with Merchant bank account's in the UK.

Payment Service Provider

The website I found was a Merchant account provider specific to the UK called 'Seymour Direct' and it was immediately inviting with its easy to navigate and user friendly presentation.

Images clearly showed the card machines on offer, these ranged from 'Counter-Top card machines' for in store payment, 'Mobile' card machines for delivery payments and 'Bluetooth' card machines for businesses such as restaurants who need to charge customers whilst dining at their table.

Most of the card machines use a land line to contact the bank while the mobile device obviously requires a network provider, however, advice was also given by the Merchant Services company on how to set this up.

Merchant Account Comparison

The best thing about undertaking Merchant Account Comparison was that I found great and friendly advice from Seymour Direct. It is always handy to have a live helpline where you can discuss any queries about setting up this feature in your business and banks are not concerned with your investment.

You also need not worry about the tiresome process of submitting the application forms because you easily fax it to a Merchant Services adviser who will help you edit any mistakes. You also know that you are going to have a swift call to action and your card machines will be delivered within a matter of days.


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