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Running a business requires a lot of enthusiasm and a never give up spirit. Within that comes the goal of not letting any sale go by. Achieving that goal requires many tools; supporting credit card transactions is one of them. To do this you will need a small business merchant account.

Processing credit cards is a very specialized industry. If one plans to accept credit card payment, you will need a small business merchant account. You can deal with banks directly or deal with credit card processing merchant services to get an account. Using the latter is very advantageous for small businesses, especially those that are home based. This is because banks will refuse merchant accounts to businesses that don’t satisfy requirement criteria. Some of the general requirements are:

• being in a certain geographical location

• having a physical storefront

• being in business for a certain period

Merchant service providers, also known as independent sales organizations, are more accommodating of small businesses that fail to meet these criteria. Although there are other third party companies that will process your payments, it is better to go with the established methods as customers feel better about them. Another advantage with the established methods is that you will receive your payments faster.

However, dealing with credit cards is always a tricky business. Before you choose a provider to work with, engage in extensive research. Keep in mind the fees charged by the providers, the risks involved and the penalties you will encounter if you do not function within the guidelines. This will help you to choose the best provider for your business.

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