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  1. #1
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    Accepting credit card payments

    I've seen many threads on which systems to use, but sadly, they're all still over my head.

    I'll soon be launching a site that provides a subscription-based service. I want to accept all my payments via credit card, and obviously need some way of doing so. The two methods I see most commonly are third party processors and merchant accounts. However, I don't have any clue what the difference is between the two types of services, the benefits that each provides, and examples of good providers. I've been doing a lot of research for the past week, but frankly am still kind of lost. I appreciate any advice you guys can give me.

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    And of course, as with any other question I ask, I find something perfect just a few minutes afterwards.

    http://www.sitepoint.com/article/onl...t-acceptance-1

    I've just started reading it, but there are four more articles in the series, and it seems to go over exactly what I want.

  3. #3
    Texan at Heart Corey Bryant's Avatar
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    What kind of subscription based services - classified ads, adult related? There are only two major third party processors for the US: 2CO & Paypal.

    A few differences with third party & your own. Third party you eiher have to wait for your money for at least a week or you have to sing in & get it. A merchant account, your money is deposited to your account 24-28 hours. With a third party processor, their name appears on the consumer CC statement. With a merchant account, your name appears.

    If you think you will be doing more than $1,000 a month, then get a merchant account. Most gateways offer free recurring billing as well.

  4. #4
    He's No Good To Me Dead silver trophybronze trophy stymiee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Corey Bryant
    If you think you will be doing more than $1,000 a month, then get a merchant account.
    Definitely

    Quote Originally Posted by Corey Bryant
    Most gateways offer free recurring billing as well.
    There's software that's good for this, too. PC Charge Pro is probably the one I would recommend.

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    SitePoint Zealot mattyj's Avatar
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    Are there other reasons to get your own merchant account if doing more than $1000/mo? - other than faster access to money and the professionalism of your own business name on the statement. Is it basically cheaper to use a third party processor with low volumes than it is to use your own merchant account, but more expensive to use a third party processor when volume moves higher?

  6. #6
    Texan at Heart Corey Bryant's Avatar
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    It all depends on what they are charging you. If they are charging you 5.5% and say .45 a transaction. And you have 40 transactions at $100. Assuming there are no other charges, that is about $238 in fees you are paying. And if you had a merchant account that even charge you say 3% with a $.50 transaction fee, you are looking at about $140 in fees (plus probably an additional gateway fee & statement fee).

    So with just $4,000 in sales a month - you would probably save about $80

  7. #7
    He's No Good To Me Dead silver trophybronze trophy stymiee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattyj
    Are there other reasons to get your own merchant account if doing more than $1000/mo? - other than faster access to money and the professionalism of your own business name on the statement. Is it basically cheaper to use a third party processor with low volumes than it is to use your own merchant account, but more expensive to use a third party processor when volume moves higher?
    Third party processors usually have much higher fees then true merchant accounts. However, they usually don't include monthly fees or gateway costs. That's great if you're low volume. But if you're volume starts to get serious, those fees will more then negate any other advantage they more offer.

  8. #8
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    Alright, so it seems like a third party processor is the way to go right now. The next question would be which one to use? 2checkout has a $.45 + 5.5% fee for every transaction, and after spending a lot of time on the site, it appears to have excellent integration into an ecommerce site. I can't find a rate on PayPal, other than the $.30 + 2.2% fee for which I don't think I qualify, nor do they seem to have an example integrated into a site.

    As for the kind of site, it's a DNS monitoring service.


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