internet merchant accounts for innocents abroad

If you appetite to sell on the internet, your charge to accept credit cards. To accept credit cards, you charge a merchant statement, or access to one. There’re two ways of getting this: Amuse your own merchant statement, or ‘pimp’ off someone else’s.

The second is the choice most advanced merchants choose. You statement a third-affair to action your payments, and they booty percentage. Here are a few popular ones: (

I don’t recommend them as your main processor. Beam PayPal is popular as it was ‘firstest with the mostest’ on auction sites. For this astuteness, eBay bought them out. alleges that if you accept a bad adjustment they freeze your statement, and can even dip into your bank statement to accomplish up any shortfalls. Mitigating circumstances are not taken into statement. I’ve peruse enough complaints about PayPal on webmaster forums to heed them.

The usual rejoinder is; “But I’ve never had any problems with PayPal”. To which is usually retorted “Aloof wait ’till you amuse a chargeback!”

A chargeback occurs when someone asks their credit-card company for a refund. They add they didn’t amuse the goods, or they never fabricated the adjustment, or the goods were not as advertised. This is passed on to the processor, who in turn debits the merchant. Or drops him entirely. You don’t appetite too abounding of these.

I’ve used them for age for baby amounts, with no botheration, but on the basis of others’ complaints in webmaster forums, I wouldn’t statement them for ample ones. Don’t allowance ample amounts ‘on deposit’ in any internet-based company; they’re not banks, and even banks action bust occasionally.

The ace statement for PayPal is to entice customers who already statement it. Acquisition another provider to be your main one. One according to … (

This is a factoring service according to PayPal. Unlike them, they accept a appealing acceptable reputation with webmasters. According to PayPal, they don’t accommodate you with a merchant statement; they action your orders buttoned up their own.

This is why such sites accept to be actual stringent; they are answerable to their own merchant statement provider. Too abounding bogus orders, and they action out of bag.

This is why third-affair factoring services according to 2Checkout are actual advantageous to a newbie merchant: fraud prevention. They can screen out suspicious orders.

Most merchants would according to to anticipate they can sell worldwide. The actuality is most of the apple is bad off; MOST countries can’t afford your goods. So some citizens ace shot to amuse them fraudulently.

A acute merchant would bar most of the apple from accessing his cart, and alone accept orders from the USA, Canada, western Europe, Australia and Advanced Zealand, and his at ease country. Pungent, but you’ll sleep bigger at after aphotic.

WorldPay (

A able-bodied-regarded service. I activate adding it to the Oscommerce cart ( a bit of a chore, but it worked. Added expensive to accompany than 2Checkout. You don’t hear abounding gripes about WorldPay, which is abnormal in webmaster circles. (

Handy if you’re selling a few items of inexpensive software to alpha off your bag. They’ll let you up the price once they’re sure of you. I managed to amuse them to action up to $150 (whoo!). I was actual grudging of their system. It’s able-bodied designed and decidedly ‘viral'; they’re basically a huge affiliate program. Accompany ClickBank, and others will ace shot and sell your product for you.

They acquiesce you to block entire continents from trying to buy your product, and that is acceptable. The odds are that a $25 adjustment for an ebook, from a third-apple country, is fraudulent.

If an adjustment looks dodgy, it probably is. Contact the customer by ‘phone or email. If you don’t amuse a satisfactory reply, refund the card.

When you’re manufacture $1000 a month, amuse your own merchant statement.

MerchantSeek (

A advantageous collection of affiliate links to merchant statement and processing providers. Scroll down their front page to their search tool. You can acquisition an statement that suits your needs. This is most accessible to non-U.S. merchants, or those seeking ‘international merchant accounts’.

In the UK, attending for ‘merchant services’ at:

Barclays bank (
NatWest (
Bank Of Scotland (
Royal Bank Of Scotland (
Streamline (

UK processing services are:
Secpay (
Netbanx (
Protx (

Having one’s own merchant statement means paying less in processing fees.

IMPORTANT: You should specify up-front that you are looking for an internet merchant statement. Internet transactions are viewed as higher risk than those by bricks-and-mortar businesses. The mechanical chat is ‘card not ad hoc’.

Some things you may charge, if applying for an internet merchant statement of your own:

Bag bank statement;
Photocopy of a voided cheque for said statement;
Copy of the articles of incorporation of your company;
Photocopy of your return policy advice;
Trade references;
Photocopy of your driver’s license or passport.

In short, you charge to prove that both you and your company are what you add they are. Your statement provider is captivating a chance on you. You might send them a ton of bogus orders. A bank is a bag too, not a community service. Advice them to accomplish the adapted accommodation! The added you can authorize that you are bona-fide, the lower the cost of your statement.

Things to avoid, if you can:

a) Expensive credit-card processing software rental or hire-purchase.
b) Monthly fees.
c) Aerial discounts (the % of your sales they accumulate).
d) Fat fees up front (anything over $500 is a antic).
e) Salesmen calling you up with a spiel.
f) Getting lumbered with hiring their shopping cart as able-bodied.

Things to attending out for at sites offering merchant accounts:

If you charge to advance a U.S. presence – full U.S. incorporation, U.S. server, U.S. assistance, U.S. bank statement – or NOT.

Again if they appetite a deposit, and the size of their application charge. And the usual monthly minimums, discounts etc.

Avoid getting into any software purchase or equipment rental. You can sort all that out subsequent, for less almighty dollar. There are plenty of acceptable payment gateways, according to Authorize.grasp (http://www.authorize.grasp) aloof itching for your bag.

PS: Don’t accept a merchant statement from an Eastern European bank. I did, some age ago. The bank went bust. One guy wailed on Usenet that he’d absent $10,000 dollars. Luckily for me, bag was bad that year!


T. O’ Donnell ( is an ecommerce consultant in London, UK. His latest projects are a mortgage calculator and ebook, available at

Originall posted November 19, 2012