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Tips on Setting up a Merchant Account for Wireless Credit Card Processing

When you’re set up to accept credit cards through a wireless credit card terminal, you open up a whole new world of opportunities for your merchant account and your business.

A wireless credit card terminal lets you accept credit cards on the fly, out of your car or truck, at trade shows, or even at your client’s home or office.

But while the possibilities are endless, there are still certain things you want to do to get the most out of your merchant account. Here are some tips to make sure your wireless credit card processing runs smoothly.

Avoid Wireless Dinosaurs. One of the first networks that merchant account owners ever used for wireless credit card processing was CDPD.

Now it looks as if CDPD is going extinct. Since 2004, AT&T has discontinued its coverage of CDPD.

If your credit card processing works on a shrinking wireless network, you’ll strictly limit your mobility now, and possibly lose it altogether in the future. Some merchant service vendors will offer you tempting discounts on CDPD credit card terminals. But remember that if you buy these wireless terminals you may be “penny wise but pound foolish.”

Make sure your wireless coverage works well for the locations where you plan to process credit card payments.

Generally, all wireless networks offer good coverage. However, each network tends to favor certain areas over other. Check the places where you specifically work, to make sure you get the best wireless network for your needs.

If you check the websites of most networks, you’ll find maps showing their coverage. Once you’ve chosen the best network for your merchant account, all you have to do is buy a wireless credit card terminal that works with your chosen network. Since most wireless terminals come in different versions for each network, this shouldn’t be difficult.

Make sure your bank has the capacity to serve you.

It’s a little known fact that many small, local banks outsource the processing on their merchant accounts to a third party for a commission. This is because they may not have experience in setting up Merchant Accounts or processing payments for these accounts.

You can save you time and money by going directly to a Merchant Account service. If you prefer to work with a local bank, it’s easy to arrange to have your funds deposited into an account at your local bank.

Plan ahead before setting up a wireless merchant account.

Chances are you’ll be happily surprised when you see how quickly you can set up your merchant account. However, it’s a good idea to start the process at least a few weeks in advance.

The last thing you want is to be sweating the day before a trade show or other event, still wondering if your wireless merchant account will be functioning when you need to start accepting credit cards over your wireless connection.

Let the sales representative know if your business is seasonal.

If it’s normal for your merchant account to go through a slow period followed by a sudden spike, make sure your merchant services representative understands that your business follows this cycle.

Normally, a sudden burst of activity is a red flag, suggesting a stolen terminal. You might get a call from the loss prevention department to verify that these new transactions are truly yours. In some cases, this may create problems, such as a temporary “freeze” on your merchant account wireless terminal.

But if you’ve notified your merchant account provider in advance, you can avoid this expensive headache.

Know what all your fees mean.

Merchant accounts incur a lot of different charges, and they can depend on who is providing your wireless merchant account service.

Be sure to ask what the “discount rate” will be for your merchant account. This is the lowest fee you’ll pay on any sale, and it usually occurs when your customer and his or her credit card are physically present. If you’re using a wireless credit card terminal, then you’re probably making this kind of transaction most of the time.

Be aware of fixed monthly “statement” charges in addition to the variable cost per transaction. You may also have to pay occasional fees for special situations, such as when you process a Smart Card payment or accept debit cards.

When you understand the basic issues surrounding a wireless credit card terminal, you can easily prevent or resolve any problems that may come up.

Ensight Merchant Services is committed to making things run smoothly whenever you use a wireless terminal to process credit cards. If you have any questions, feel free to call us toll-free at 866-377-2292.

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