4 Benefits of a Merchant Account

Customer making payment

You might be wondering if a merchant account is beneficial for your business. Perhaps you’re a small, at-home operation, and you're worried about security and credit card processing fees. Or maybe you own a family-operated restaurant and are still committed to using traditional payment methods like cash or check.

As today's consumers are increasingly using credit and debit cards to make purchases both large and small, it becomes crucial to provide customers with multiple payment options in order to keep revenues up and attract new customers.

What Is a Merchant Account?

A merchant account is a special type of business bank account that allows you to securely accept credit, debit, and other electronic payments within your organization. It acts as the intermediary between your business and the banks that issue the credit and debit cards your customers use to make purchases.

This is not a traditional bank account where money is moved in and out, but rather a business account/relationship with an acquiring bank that essentially “loans” the merchant the funds from the transactions (less the fees). This minimizes delays so you get paid quicker, since the acquiring banks get paid from the issuing banks at a much later time.

What Are Some Merchant Account Benefits?

Getting started with a merchant account may seem intimidating, but once you find the right merchant account provider, it's actually a simple process with invaluable benefits.

  1. Increase Revenue: Just about every adult consumer has some form of credit or debit card, decreasing the need to carry cash. While the average cash transaction is $22, the average non-cash transaction is $112. As customers are more likely to use their credit cards to make large or impulse purchases — or any purchase, for that matter — the ability to accept and process a wide range of major credit and debit cards can help your business increase sales.
  2. Improve Cash Flow: With credit and debit cards, authorizations take seconds and funding happens within 1-2 business days. This isn’t always the case if you solely invoice your customers and wait to be paid by check. The process could take 30+ days once you consider the time it takes to make the roundtrip through “snail mail” and wait for the check to clear the bank.
  3. Gain Customer Satisfaction: Today's consumers enjoy flexibility. Providing your customers with several options for payment, including checks, cash, gift cards, credit cards, and debit cards, gives them complete control over how they spend their money. Keep your customers satisfied by giving them the freedom and flexibility they expect.
  4. Receive Online Payments: Taking your business online is crucial, as people rely more and more on the Internet to do their shopping, bill payment, and account management. A reliable merchant processing service gives you the ability to provide invoicing, receive credit, debit, and eCheck payments online, set up recurring billing, and take your business with you wherever you go.

Ready to Learn More?

These benefits are just the beginning! Once you get started with your merchant credit card processing account, you'll be able to take your business to the next level of success.

To apply for a merchant account with First Data, connect with a payments expert today for your:

Small Business
Large Business