Internet Merchant Account

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Internet Merchant Account

If you are not doing business on the Internet, you should be! The 21st century has launched, and those on the cutting edge of profit making are moving the marketing of their goods and services online into cyberspace. An Internet merchant account will help you set up, operate, and maintain a website that features your business prominently, and in some cases, in advance of the competition. Here are the easy steps to follow when pursuing an Internet merchant account.

Steps to pursuing an Internet Merchant Account

1. Find a lender. This could be your business banker or lending institution that is already familiar with your company's operations. Or you might want to look for another lender that works specifically with this type of business account. A merchant services account lets you accept credit payments from your customers instead of relying solely on cash and check transactions. You can receive funding to accept credit card and debit card payments in addition to other, more traditional modes of payment.

2. Submit an application. By searching the Internet and locating a pool of possible lenders, you can quickly narrow down the possibilities to those that seem best suited to your company's interests. Many post an online application that is easy to complete. In fact, most applicants can quickly answer the few questions required, and submit their application in a matter of minutes. Some lenders respond in as little as a few hours, while others may take a couple of days. Either way, you soon will know the status of your account.

3. Design a company website. Today's technology makes it easy for even the most technologically phobic business owner to set up a site. But if you don't want to do this, or lack the time to do a good job, you can farm out this task to someone else, perhaps even a high school or college student, and simply approve the final design and format.

4. Organize your site. The website may be a read-only design, with plentiful information about your business posted for the world to see. This might include product descriptions, color photos or graphic images, and other types of information someone might be interested in. Then you also might include a toll-free number or email address to let interested customers get in touch. Or you may opt for an interactive site, where visitors can click on links for additional information, such as free informational articles, related links, customer testimonials, and perhaps even a discussion board.

5. Provide website maintenance. Depending on the type of merchant account you have, the lender may include maintenance fees or services with the contract. Or you may need to handle this aspect of operations. Either way, make sure you get someone who is knowledgeable about your company and e-business strategies to ensure that your site is fully operational and consistently updated.

An Internet merchant account provides an exciting opportunity to move your business into the technical realm. Start attracting customers from around the world who will be able to check out your inventory and register orders any time they wish. You won't even have to keep a staff member on hand around the clock. Simply have one or more persons check orders periodically and fill them promptly to keep customers coming back for more.

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