Merchant Services & Merchant Accounts
With the advances and breakthroughs in easy payment technology, the card industry has continued to flourish and this has led to a large number of companies competing in the market for your business. For the very reason that it has become so confusing for retailers, banks have been able to get away with charging unnecessarily high rates and hiding additional costs. A merchant services provider such as Seymour Direct works as a third party in helping you find the best deal by closely analysing revenue forecasts, business type and trading area. We've worked closely with some of the largest acquirers that operate in the country for over twenty years, allowing us to take advantage of a huge buying power in securing the lowest possible rates. This means that by using the services of Seymour Direct you'll ultimately be paying less, therefore increasing your return on investment.
While the traditional credit card terminal (or PDQ machine) is still in widespread use, it is now possible to safely accept card payments over the phone using what is known as a 'Virtual Terminal'. The birth of the Internet has also opened further fields for reaching your target market and by using something called a payment gateway, such as SagePay, with your acquiring bank, you may now operate sales via credit and debit cards online. This is called ecommerce. All the while, both merchants and cardholders are being kept safe from fraud; MasterCard SecureCode and Verified by Visa are two common safety measures practiced by retailers online, working in a similar way to chip and PIN technology when using a PDQ.
Having chosen your high street bank for the day to day trading of your business, opening a merchant account is easy, ordinarily taking a few days. It only requires a certain amount of paperwork which is handled by Seymour Direct in preparation for the dispatch of your terminal or setup of your ecommerce facility. This might include proof of identity, product or service details that you offer your customers or any financial information such as forecasts (perhaps included in a business plan). Should you be switching from another acquiring bank then we may request a sample of existing processing statements too. The only likely scenario whereby the set up process may take longer is if your business is classed as 'high risk'.
A business could be regarded as high risk for a number of reasons, at times simply because of the nature of the industry they operate in. For example, debt collectors, holiday agents, gambling sites and international organisations are all subject to being categorised as high risk because the banks see a greater probability of future insecurities and implications for those merchants. A business will also be judged, however, on its history, returned goods or services, proposal for payment acceptance and also on its charge backs.
Charge backs occur when the issuing bank of a cardholder initiates an incontestable refund from the merchant's account back into that of the cardholder. The higher the probability of charge backs, the more likely a business is to be classed as high risk.
In fact, when a transaction has ultimately been approved by the issuer and the retailer's terminal (be it a machine or virtual) receives authorisation to process it, the funds do not get transferred straight into the retailer's personal bank account, but rather into the merchant account. This means that the retailer cannot access those funds until typically three working days after the transaction is made. However, the merchant can keep an easy track of any transactions that are made on any given day, because acquiring banks such as Elavon, Streamline and First Data Merchant Solutions also allow their customers to keep a permanent log of all their statements online.
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As the number of consumers wanting to use a credit or debit card continues to rise, more and more businesses across the country have begun enabling themselves the facility to accept card payments, and Seymour Direct is responsible for many thousands of such installations. Of course, it is vital that while merchants enjoy and reap the benefits of card acceptance they also remain mindful of the dangers and pitfalls presented by fraud. Card fraud is broadly the theft of funds from an account, often by assuming a false identity using a credit card. A fraudulent transaction could harm the merchant as well as the cardholder and so merchants should practice the most advanced safety measures (and there are a variety of them!) available. For an in-depth look at how to protect oneself from fraud click here.
So remember, if you're looking to see your gain on investment grow as a retailer then consider those possibilities on offer from a merchant service provider like Seymour Direct. By using Seymour Direct you can take advantage of the huge buying power that we can utilise alongside some of the largest acquiring banks, meaning much lower transaction charges and more profit for you!