MO/TO Merchant Account

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MO/TO Merchant Account

Are you thinking about establishing a merchant account for your business? If so, you may have some questions or concerns about the "MO/TO" option for accepting credit payments. "MO/TO" means "mail order/telephone order", which some merchants use instead of letting customers type in the credit card number to a website. Here are a few things to consider about the MO/TO merchant account.

1. When you set up a merchant account with an online website, you will need to determine which types of credit payments your site will be able to accept. If you or your financial lender are concerned about the risk involved with letting customers digitally enter credit card numbers at your website, you may decide to implement a "MO/TO" system instead. This may require a little bit more work in initial setup, but some merchants feel it is safer than taking the risk of letting customers possibly enter the wrong account number online.

2. With mail order credit payments, customers will need to fill out and mail an order form for the products or services they wish to buy. You may be able to let them download the form from your website, pick up a form at your place of business, or request that one be mailed to an address of choice. This creates an extra step for the customer, which may slow the purchase process and perhaps even cost a few sales from customers who decide for one reason or another not to follow through. However, mail orders can be accurately and more safely processed than online orders, and you will have "hard" records for your file.

3. A telephone order can be managed in one of two ways. The first option is to staff the toll-free line with one or more employees during specified hours. These employees will answer the telephone line(s) and orally take orders over the phone. This provides a "human" dimension to the ordering process, which many customers like and even prefer. However, this can be costly in terms of paying for staffing time during hours of operation. You will need to weigh the pros and cons to determine if this choice is right for you.

4. The other telephone order option is to set up an automated system. This lets customers call in any time of the day or night, if you so specify, or during the hours when the system is operational. New and return customers have the convenience of flexible shopping options, and this may bring in less-traditional business than your business has seen previously. Potential problems to this possibility include technical failure, long holding patterns, or customer dissatisfaction with a pre-recorded vocal operator.

There is no single, perfect way to promote your business globally, because each company is unique, and customers are individuals. You may even want to experiment with two or more options to see which works best for your clientele. With a few trial-and-error modifications, you may soon enjoy greater revenues than ever before, thanks to the innovations of modern technology.

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