As our world economies have shifted away from cash and towards the use of electronic and alternative payment methods, the need for merchant services by business owners has never been more apparent. Businesses that operate retail storefronts have seen customers every year using more and more credit or debit cards while the demand for e commerce continues to grow exponentially.
Merchant account services entail both retail and online businesses. There are many different facets to the merchant account industry, from point of sales dealers that work with businesses such as restaurants to payment gateway providers that specialize in online transactions. The payment processing industry is expansive with many different types of merchant account providers.
What are Merchant Services?
Merchant services can include a variety of different offerings by financial services companies. Encompassing services such as merchant accounts to maintenance on storefront credit card terminal hardware, the industry has a variety of different niches within the merchant services umbrella. With the advent of the internet, the ways in which money can be sent and received has continued to evolve and grow to include many new ways to solve problems while simplifying other tasks.
With the internet, the marketplace has become global. This means that not only are merchants located around the world, but the products and services being sold can anywhere to customers at any point. While some industries have remained practically constant, mainly retail, the online and international markets have carved out their own niche and created their own industries.
Types of Merchant Account Services
- Higher Risk
Each of these industries has different needs than the others. Though they will vary, the constant remains the movement of money. Payment processing services that alone can have a number of different means for transferring funds. There are a number of different products that have become available for sending and receiving money through the internet or directly between mobile phones. Other methods of more traditional payments have been improved to increase the speed and accuraccy of payments, helping ensure merchants do not lose money due to fraud or other problems.
Most Common ways to Accept Payments
- Credit and Debit Cards
- Electronic Checks
Payments have exploded with the growth of the internet. As the different technologies have been taken online, the accessibility and ease of each method have been improved to provide ease and speed to customers and merchants alike. These changes have led to, and continue to fuel, the future growth of the merchant services industries, and the new products offered to consumers.
Almost half of the payments today are made using some sort of bank card, either a credit card or debit card. The trend of consumers moving away from physical currency has continued for years and made the need for merchants to keep up with this trend ever so important. As more financial products and payment services have become available, such as e-wallets, the usage of credit and debit cards has grown and continues to thrive.
With improvements to the electronic check networks and guidelines to increase payout timelines, merchants have increasingly turned to electronic check as one of the lowest cost alternatives to accepting payments. An easy service to integrate into most payment gateways, merchants have become very receptive to its faster settlements and increased leniency for business terms when compared to the payment card industry.
Aside from the credit card networks managed by companies such as Visa and MasterCard, the most known type of online payment type is cryptocurrency. With many different types of coins available, each offering its own security and promises of valuation, the crypto industry has exploded on the scene. Loved for the anonymity it offers users, this type of currency has been wildly popular with higher risk merchants looking to provide customers with a reliable yet secure way to purchase their products or services.
The many different methods of accepting payments will continue to expand the merchant service industry into new territory. As technology allows for more reliable and secure methods of payment, the demand for these alternatives will continue to thrive while providing the opportunity for new products to become available.
How do these Services Help Businesses?
Merchants accepting payments from customers will have different needs depending on the type of business and types of payments that are to be accepted. The equipment and types of transactions accepted at a restaurant will vary significantly than what an online forex brokerage will need. For this reason, finding the proper merchant services company that specializes in a business' industry is necessary to prevent problems for both customers and merchants.
Payment processors that specialize in retail merchant processing will help storefronts set up the type of credit card terminals needed for their industry. Some businesses can operate solely on a countertop machine where cards are swiped and the sales amount is manually entered with the keypad. Other types of businesses, such as restaurants or wholesalers, usually require more sophisticated setups that allow users from multiple locations to enter in sales, send orders while tracking inventory.
On the contrary, businesses that operate e commerce businesses will want to seek out the services of a specialized online payment processor. Here merchants can be paired with a payment gateway and discount merchant services to offer the best solution for online sales. Partnering with an experienced team will help merchants receive the services and support they need to grow their online business into a thriving and successful enterprise.
The right services can make a significant amount of difference to merchants, whether it means having the right equipment installed or knowledgable staff, there are many different types of service providers working to grow the payment processing industry.
Start Your Merchant Account Services Today
Businesses looking to accept payments through alternative methods besides physical cash will need the services of a payment processor. Speak to one of our helpful merchant service agents to find answers to any of your business' questions or for suggestions on payment services that your customers might want.
Our team of payment processing professionals is able to help merchants with nearly any type of need for their business, from credit card terminal installation to high risk merchant accounts. No matter the needs of our merchants, the team at Allied Payments can help set merchants up with the best solutions with an affordable price for their business.