Any recommended with good fees & protection?
I am starting my first ecomm site and I am having trouble choosing a merchant provider. I am fairly set on Authorize.net as opposed to Vsign Pro, although I am open to reasonable arguments for the later. My question is simple... can anyone recommend a good merchant account? I am trying to avoid gross setup fees and high discount rates. The industry is jewelry so the risk shouldn't be too high.
I am trying to move quickly on this so if anyone can help, please sticky or respond.
Where your business is located? I think you need merchant account from a reliable payment gateways those who are dealing with high volume merchants in secured environment.
'The industry is jewelry so the risk shouldn't be too high.'
Depends on the average order amount. Jewelry is a broad description, do you sell diamond watches or just some cheaper necklaces and braces?
If the average price per product is more than USD 500, you bet it is high risk, especially if you don't have very many sales in the beginning and someone issues a chargeback.
If you are located in the U.S., you might want to consider to apply for your own direct merchant account. I believe Charge.com is one of the biggest ones in the U.S., but other people do have more knowledge than I have regarding merchant accounts in the U.S.
Miklo, come on! Jewelry seems as a dangerous merchandizes but it's not really so bad. I work with jewelry. I have got one chargeback only.
authorize.net is good enough.
Maybe I misunderstood your question, but Authorize.net is a gateway, not a merchant account.
I used them as my gateway for a year, with Citibank providing my merchant account. I had very good luck with both of them. The fustration I had was with figuring out my monthly statement. It was impossible to calculate if it was correct or not, because of all the different rates and fees involved. AmEx, Discover, mid-qualified rates, corporate purchasing cards... they all have different rates.
I've since switched to PayPal Website Payments Pro. I appreciate the simplicity of the 2.2% + 30 cents per transaction.... regardless of the brand or type of card. They combine the gateway and merchant account into one, saving me on monthly fees. And the transactions settle into my account the moment I capture them. Worth a look, IMHO.
Authorize.net is just a gateway, not a merchant account. This gateway can be used with most large merchant account providers, including Wells Fargo, BofA, cardservices, etc...
In my previous jewelry business our merchant provider was Cardservices (as is the case with my current biz). We had great experience with them, but much worse experience with using some smaller merhchat resellers before them.
From experience, jewelry is a very high risk business. Many times Cardservices would place funds on hold (up to 50k) just because we were going over our processing limit (which wasn't easy to increase - but it also depends on how fast you grow) and because of the high chargeback rate.
I would suggest you put very stringent verification systems in place for verifying orders to make sure they are not fraud. My previous company still only ships to the billing address only which I'm sure is causing them to loose many sales, but they have no other choice for fear of loosing the merchant account. And that's with doing over 150k/month in processing, that risk is still there!
Give me a call if you want to discuss further, I have some good experience with merchant accounts, and the jewelry industry as it relates to them.
Jewelry can be consider high risk because no matter how great of a picture you take of that ring, it might look different to the consumer when he / she opens the box. Try to maintain communication with the customer to see if he / she is happy with the merchandise. This way, they are more apt to contact you rather than the bank.
As far as the electronic payment gateways you mentioned - there is also LinkPoint which is owned by First Data. All three gateways actuallly use the First Data platform to help process the transactions.
Getting a merchant account with your type of business - it can be done & each processor is a bit different a far as it is handled. Talk to a few agents - if they tell you no problem - time to go somewhere else. I am not trying to scare you, and I won't say that it will be a breeze. It will be a bit difficult setting up a merchant account in this industry than if you were selling office supplies but it will be easier than setting up a merchant account if you were doing online gambling.
In my experience jewelry was also a high risk item, because it's so easy for the thief to find a buyer for it. For example now I'm in skin care and it's so specific by person that you can't just go "slang it" on the street. Anyway have you ever had some one come up to you open their jacket and have a bunch of hand creams hanging inside their jacket?
LOL... if you do... run!
At least that thief will have no excuse not to have nice smooth, younger looking hands! *chuckles*
All kidding aside though. Yes, it's common sense that something like jewelry and other high priced specialty items are going to be high risk and thus getting a merchant account (whether it be drop ship or in-house inventory) is going to be difficult.
Now, I'm just guessing on this since I haven't opened my e-commerce store yet, but wouldn't anything sold on the internet be high risk? It's so easy to buy something on the net. Thus, it would be so easy to return something, do chargebacks, claim someone stole your credit card, whatever just so the "customer" gets a free item, or claims the moonlight was in my eyes and thus didn't' realize what I was buying, etc etc. That's a lot of work and chances a merchant account company has to deal with between you and your customers. Plus I'm sure there are other disadvantages that I haven't mentioned that you can fill-in-the-blanks with.
You can try out loudcommerce, I hope they are providing merchant Accounts with reasonable fees.
Have you guys every used Verepay from BankCard Central? I use them with a few of my websites.
[edited by: lorax at 2:17 pm (utc) on Nov. 30, 2005]
[edit reason] No personal names please [/edit]
I would recommed PROTX.co.uk, very good company and pleasant to work with.
Talk to Corey Bryant ...he's very knowledgeable and can probably provide you with all you need....
If you call Bankcard Central tell them William sent you and you will get a service that can help almost any merchant even accepting some high risk stuff like cigars.
Awesome, the more accomodating merchant providers the better!
We all need them to do our business ..without them, well..we wouldnt be in business
Good Point, Very True