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Merchant account tips for business owners: story archive

This story archive brings together the expert tips from the staff.

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Latest merchant account news

Tips Tips

How to negotiate card processing fees -- There is a way to cut costs with card processing fees without passing on the charges to the customer. We'll show you how. ... (See Card processing fees)

Processing terms you should know before negotiating -- You should know these card processing terms before entering into negotiations. ... (See Card processing fees)

The small merchant's 2013 holiday calendar -- The 2013 shopping season is shaping up to be a unique one. Here are four events to prep for -- and tips for working them to your advantage ... (See Holidays)

Holiday marketing do's and don'ts for merchants -- With the holiday shopping season about to kick off, electronic marketing can make your business stand out when customers have so many options ... (See Holiday shopping)

Small Business Saturday: 5 ways to wow shoppers -- If you plan to participate in this year’s Small Business Saturday, now is the time to think strategy. Here are the Top 5 game plans and how to make them work for you ... (See Small Business Saturday)

A guide to merchants' E-check options -- Plastic is becoming the norm, but some customers still prefer to pay by check. E-checks can help merchants eliminate some of the extra legwork involved in paper check acceptance ... (See E-checks)

A new way to accept credit cards -- with a webcam -- Payment companies such as Jumio are introducing innovative new tools that securely read credit cards with a simple click of a webcam. ... (See Netswipe)

Merchant-funded rewards programs: Worth your participation? -- Merchant-funded rewards programs may be a short cut to customers and more effective than media advertising campaigns, say some experts ... (See Rewards)

Back to School, Part 2: Credit card processing, 4 key issues -- In Part 2 of our "Back to School" series, we look at four key issues that merchants should consider before choosing a credit card processing system ... (See Part 2)

What You Need to Know About Equifax's New Business-Scoring Model -- Equifax has just launched a new credit-scoring system that reflects the new economic realities in the small business environment. Here's what you need to know about it ... (See Score)

How to decode your merchant payment processing statement -- You don't need a master's degree in statistical analysis to decipher your merchant payment processing statement -- it just seems that way ... (See Statement)

Study: Get ready for mobile wallets -- Mobile payments are poised to become a major player in credit card transactions. Here's how to take advantage of the new payment landscape ... (See Mobile wallets)

5 ways to reassure your customers about payment security -- Want to keep your customers happy? Convince them that you value their privacy even more than they do. Here are 5 tips for reassuring your customers that their credit card information is secure ... (See Customer service)

Should you switch to a mobile payment system? -- Mobile payment systems make sense for mobile businesses because they need their equipment to be portable. But could regular brick-and-mortar establishments benefit too? Experts say: Maybe ... (See Mobile payment)

5 ways to boost your business, despite low consumer confidence -- Consumer sentiment plummeted in March, foretelling new challenges for merchants. Here are 5 ideas for surviving and thriving in a difficult climate ... (See Consumer sentiment)

Time for a new merchant account? -- It may be time to do some rethinking of your business. If you don't already accept credit cards, perhaps this is the time to consider taking the leap. These tips can help. ... (See Merchant account)

Visa announces PCI compliance program -- but not for U.S. -- The Technology Innovation Program, recently announced by Visa, will reward merchants outside the U.S. for using chip-enabled technology and will help combat fraud ... (See PCI compliance)

Florida case shows risk of checking, credit card scams -- A woman from Clearwater, Fla., who owns a fashion shop has been charged with depositing stolen checks and raiding her patrons' credit card accounts -- for the third time, no less ... (See Scams)

5 mistakes made with merchant accounts -- These are some of the most common -- and most easily avoidable -- mistakes business owners make with merchant accounts ... (See Merchant account mistakes)

High-risk merchant account mean higher fees for merchants -- Some businesses fall into a high-risk category, which could involve higher fees when opening a merchant account ... (See High-risk merchant accounts)

PCI data security standards: What they are and why they matter -- Merchants that accept credit card payments need to defend customers' sensitive personal data against theft and fraud. But where should your security measures begin? That's where PCI standards come in. ... (See PCI standards)

8 reasons why a mobile merchant account is for you -- Whether you run an online-only business or a brick-and-mortar store, or something else entirely, a mobile merchant account can provide welcome flexibility. ... (See Mobile)

Comparing the various types of merchant accounts -- There are countless different merchant account types -- but just how are they different? And which one is for you? ... (See Merchant accounts)

How to keep merchant account fees low -- Fees are an unpleasant part of dealing with merchant accounts. However, with a little homework and extra knowledge, you can likely help keep them manageable ... (more)

PayPal: Is it enough merchant account for your business? -- PayPal may be one of the best options for a merchant account for a growing business. But consider the following pros and cons of PayPal, and benefits of opening a second merchant account. ... (See PayPal)

More payment options for merchants on eBay -- For the first time, eBay is allowing multiple payment processors to manage transactions for sellers on the site ... (See eBay)

The scoop on multi-currency merchant accounts -- Multi-currency merchant accounts are of great benefit to merchants who wish to increase sales and brand awareness. There are some concerns with keeping such an account, however, including both the cost involved and the risk of fraud. ... (See Currency)

Can you afford your merchant account? -- Find out what minimums and fees need to be calculated in order to figure out if your business will be able to afford a merchant account. ... (See Costs)

5 ways to know you've outgrown your merchant account -- Here are signs that you may need to start looking for a new merchant account ... (See Merchant account)

Mail order merchant accounts: What they are, how they work -- To sell by mail order in the 21st century, you'll need a mail order merchant account that meets the payment desires of an array of customers. ... (See Mail order)

Credit card usage decline slowing, study shows -- After 11 straight quarters of decline, consumer credit card use continues to fall for restaurants and retailers -- but at a slower pace than in recent months, according to a new study from Capital Access Network. ... (See Usage)

Franchisers becoming lenders in tough economy -- Ready to open a franchise? Things like bank loans and merchant accounts might not be as easy to secure as you thought. ... (See Franchise)

How long should my merchant account contract last? -- Avoid the pitfalls of account termination fees by learning about the different types of merchant account contracts. ... (See Contracts)

5 things to remember about mobile credit card processing -- While applications, or apps, have made it possible for small businesses to process credit card transactions using their Apple iPhones or other smart phones, there are a few drawbacks to using this technology. ... (See Mobile)

Trade group offers credit card fee calculator -- The National Restaurant Association is assisting restaurateurs with a card processing rate calculator, leading the way for other business associations to develop similar tools. ... (See Calculator)

Your merchant account's been shut down -- now what? -- Providers will shut down a merchant account for a variety of reasons. Fortunately, there are ways to get them reopened. ... (See Shut down)

BBB warns of credit card processing scam -- The credit card fraud involves a sales representative who offers to save the small business owner money on credit card processing fees if they sign a long-term agreement. ... (See BBB)

5 reasons mobile credit card processing is good for you -- Mobile credit card processing has made it easier for people to do business outside of brick-and-mortar stores. Merchants can benefit in a variety of ways from this new method of collecting funds. ... (See Processing)

Pushing your merchant account's limit -- As a business owner, you are trying to increase sales and customer interest, but going too far, too fast, could result in problems with your merchant account. ... (See Limits)

Finding the right merchant account for you -- With so many merchant account providers to choose from, how do you find one that's right for you? Here are some quick points to consider. ... (See Accounts)

10 things you must know about merchant account fees -- One of the most important parts of a merchant account agreement is the fee structure. Merchants should know the 10 basic types of fees before opening a merchant account. ... (See Fees)

Heartland releases new swipe terminals -- New debit and credit card swipe terminals have been introduced by Heartland Payment Systems that offer E3, a security technology that encrypts transaction data. ... (See Heartland)

Which merchant account type is best for my online business? -- When choosing a merchant account for your online business, you need to determine what services are included, such as shopping cart software. You should also compare the fees such as the discount rate and transaction fee. Here's more of what you should look for. ... (See Online)

Study: Businesses still don't understand PCI standards -- The new PCI standards have a September 2010 deadline, but only a small percentage of companies that accept credit cards have taken steps to meet them. ... (See PCI)

Should you consider a multifunction POS terminal? -- Multifunction point-of-sale (or POS) terminals offer many advantages over traditional ones, including cost savings, customer convenience and PCI-standards compliance ... (See Terminal)

Why some don't accept plastic -- but should reconsider -- Some small business owners, for one reason or another, do not accept plastic as a form of payment. If you're one of them, here's why you should reconsider. ... (See Plastic)

7 fees to know about when shopping for merchant accounts -- Merchant accounts can differ greatly based on what fees and charges are incurred during their setup and use. When shopping for a merchant account, be sure to look at several providers before making a decision. ... (See Merchant account)

Combining merchant accounts and iPhone apps -- Merchants can now do business anywhere and at anytime with iPhone and iPod Touch apps that process credit cards. ... (See iPhone)

7 things you must know about credit card processing -- Credit card processing can be a complex thing. Here are seven key things that every merchant should know about it. ... (See Credit cards)

Can't get a merchant account? Here's what to do -- It can be extremely frustrating and discouraging to have your merchant account application denied. Luckily, there are steps you can take to help you get approved. ... (See Rejected)

What is a merchant account? -- Most business owners realize a merchant account is necessary for credit card processing, but what exactly is a merchant account, and how will it benefit your business? ... (See Merchant)

How to pick a payment gateway provider -- Online merchants should understand what a payment gateway is, why it is important, and how to select the right one for their business. ... (See Gateway)

Which business credit score should you get? -- Business credit is often measured with a Paydex score. It is important that a high Paydex score be maintained so that your business can obtain easy credit at low interest rates. ... (See Business score)

Accepting credit cards is crucial for your Internet business -- As a business owner with an Internet presence, you need to be able to accept credit cards on your Web site. Not only does the ability to accept credit cards online grow your potential customer base, but also it will make things easier on your customers. ... (See Online)

How telephone merchant accounts work -- Not everyone uses the Internet, at least not yet. A telephone merchant account system helps a business owner reach customers who don't go online or who don't trust making credit card transactions online ... (See Phone accounts)

New rules bring merchants new credit reporting burdens -- If a consumer contacts your company with a complaint about information that you have supplied to a credit bureau, you will be obligated to investigate under new federal rules that take effect on July 1. ... (See FACTA)

California officials examine credit card interchange fees -- Various government and private reports on rising interchange merchant fees have caused officials in California and Washington to consider solutions to help small businesses and consumers. ... (See Fees)

4 tips for cutting credit card processing fees -- There are a few things that you can do to reduce your credit card processing fees and maximize the amount of money that your customers spend. ... (See Tips)

4 tips for keeping credit card processing fees low -- There are a few things that you can do to reduce your credit card processing fees and maximize the amount of money that your customers spend. ... (See Tips)

FBI warns small businesses about rising cybercrime dangers -- Online banking might not be as safe as you thought. The ABA and FBI are encouraging small business owners to be vigilant about online financial transactions. ... (See Cybercrime)

How to pick, use small business credit cards -- Learn about how to choose small business credit cards and how to use them more effectively when making purchases and reaping rewards. ... (See Small biz)

New year, new merchant account? -- During the new year, while you are looking over ways to improve your business, don't forget to take a look at your merchant accounts and see if you are utilizing the right products ... (See New year)

Credit card processing iPhone apps keep coming -- At the 2010 Consumer Electronics Show, credit card processing iPhone apps will be in the spotlight. ... (See iPhone)

5 big mistakes to make when choosing a merchant account -- You might be pumped and ready to start selling online, but it is important to avoid these merchant account mistakes that are so common with business owners today. ... (See Mistakes)

6 questions you must ask before you pick a merchant account -- Businesses must understand that it is important to know all of the details about the merchant account vendors seeking to supply services to their business. Here are some key questions to ask. ... (See Questions)

Breaking down the various types of merchant accounts -- What your merchant account does and doesn't do depends on what type of account you have ... (See Breakdown)

Visa releases data encryption best practices -- Securing credit card data is crucial. Visa has published a list of best practice recommendations in an effort to help merchants with that big task. ... (See Data)

Study: Businesses lack policies for tackling cybercrime -- Small businesses are lagging in the quest for cybersecurity, a new study reveals. This can be costly for merchants who accept credit cards, for they may be in violation of PCI security standards. ... (See Cybercrime)

Going global with a merchant account -- If you have not taken your business international, then now is the time to go global. Don't worry about how you will get paid for an international sale; your merchant account will handle it for you. ... (See Global)

PayPal emerges as strong merchant account option -- Businesses across the Web accept PayPal. But can PayPal really replace your existing credit card merchant account? It sure can. ... (See PayPal)

How wireless merchant accounts work -- From the new Square to the many other credit-card-related smartphone apps that have appeared in recent months, 2010 has seen a huge expansion of use of wireless technology. And if your business isn't up to speed, you could cost yourself money. ... (See Wireless)

U.S. merchant fees higher than those in other nations -- Recent credit card legislation sought to make credit card companies more transparent. The end result was that credit card companies can't arbitrarily raise interest rates or charge consumers hidden fees. But what about merchants? ... (See Fees)

Follow these best practices for accepting contactless payments -- Contactless payments have grown significantly in popularity over the last few years, and are expected to continue growing as the public becomes more reliant on credit cards and fobs rather than cash and checks. Here's how to handle them. ... (See Contactless)

Which merchant account type is best for my small business? -- Different types of merchant accounts allow you to process credit card payments in different ways. These include retail, Internet, wireless, telephone and mail order merchant accounts. Choosing the right type of account will save you money on fees. ... (See Small biz)

Beware of credit card processing scams -- Both buyers and business owners need to do some research before dealing with a credit card processor. Here's some hints of how to start. ... (See Scams)

Credit crunch forces firms to look elsewhere for funding -- Alternative funding sources have replaced credit cards and business loans because of the credit crunch. ... (See Funding)

So many merchant account types -- which should I choose? -- A merchant account gives a business credit card processing capabilities. There are five main types of merchant accounts: retail merchant accounts, internet merchant accounts, wireless merchant accounts and mail order merchant accounts. ... (See Merchant account)

Financial services company unveils new safeguard vs. ID theft -- PSCU Financial Services of St. Petersburg, Florida now uses CreditLock, a service that lets customers at over 600 credit unions lock and unlock their credit cards with a quick phone call. ... (See CreditLock)

More states adding data breach notification laws -- New data breach notification laws make merchants and vendors responsible for notifying customers when their private data is illegally accessed. More and more states are jumping on board. ... (See Data breach)

Police ramp up efforts to prevent ID theft -- In an effort to crack down on credit card thieves, police detectives in Oviedo, Fla., make it a point to investigate all reports of identity theft, even if the amount is just $5. Learn more about what they're doing -- and what you can do -- to prevent fraud. ... (See Police)

Hacker pleads guilty to giant ID theft; learn how to protect yourself -- Ehud Tenenbaum, also known as "The Analyzer," recently pleaded guilty to a single count of credit card fraud that stemmed from a more than $10 million theft of credit card numbers. ... (See Hacker)

4 steps to help you keep credit card processing fees low -- Merchant account providers charge fees for payments made using credit cards. These merchant account fees can really add up, making profits from credit card transactions less. Here's the scoop on how to keep your credit card fees lower. ... (See Fees)

How retail merchant accounts work -- An overview of how retail merchant accounts work, the hardware you need and the options you should consider for your business. ... (See Retail accounts)

It's never too early to plan for the holidays -- Black Friday is the launch date for the Christmas holiday shopping season. Smart merchants understand that planning for this season can make the difference between having a profitable year or a loss, so don't wait. ... (See Holidays)

Starting a business? Don't forget a merchant account -- If you are starting a business, you need to realize that merchant accounts help you collect receipts from your customers -- whether they're paying in person, over the phone or even online via an iPhone app. ... (See Starting)

Man charged with massive credit card data theft -- The recent theft of millions of account numbers points out that better data security is needed at companies that process credit card transactions. ... (See Data theft)

What to watch for when switching merchant accounts -- Your merchant account for credit card processing is a vital tool for doing business; if you aren't fully satisfied with your current merchant account, it may be time to shop around. After all, competition to provide and oversee your merchant account is high. If your current provider isn't up to snuff, plenty of others want your business. ... (See Switching)

Network Solutions data breach stirs controversy -- Network Solutions announces breach that impacts thousands of retailers. However, some retailers fear that customers will blame their small enterprises rather than blaming the company that merchants feel is responsible for the breach. ... (See Breach)

Merchant accounts victimized by hackers' unusual scheme -- Even with the data encryption methods currently in place, hackers still have found a fairly large loophole in the credit card processing system. By exploiting merchant accounts, unscrupulous individuals can commit credit card fraud without ever stepping into a place of business. ... (See Hackers)

'World's largest online merchant network' launched -- What would you give for a free merchant account? launches a free basic option for credit card processing, but is it worth it? ... (See Largest)

Merchant account provider creates new BlackBerry app -- If you are looking for "on the go" merchant account solutions, Merchant Warehouse's MerchantWare Mobile might be a welcome alternative. ... (See BlackBerry)

New rules let consumers dispute credit report errors with merchants -- Under new rules which go into effect next year, consumers can take up disputes over inaccuracies on their credit reports directly with the businesses that provided the information. Businesses, in turn, are required to investigate these disputes. This could have a significant impact on your record-keeping systems and administrative procedures. ... (See Rules)

New study sees flaws in data security standards -- Payment Card Industry data security standards aren't as effective as merchants may believe, according to a new report. ... (See Flaws)

Compare small business payment methods -- Gone are the days when the one-person company operating out of the spare room had but two options: cash or checks. Today's in-home entrepreneurs have more choices, from credit cards to PayPal to branded "shopping cart" programs. ... (See Payments)

How tokenization works -- Tokenization is a way to eliminate security concerns about the storage and transmission of sensitive credit card data over a merchant's network. Click through the graphic to learn how it works. ... (See Tokenization)

Credit card processing for nonprofits -- Considering accepting credit card donations for your nonprofit? There are a number of factors to weigh. ... (See Nonprofits)

Merchants eye mobile phones to transact card payments -- Smart-phone credit card transaction processing applications are coming online, offering convenience for consumers and the potential for higher sales to businesses. ... (See Software)

7-11 gathers signatures to fight credit card fees -- Popular convenience store chain 7-11 objects to high swipe fees on its credit card transactions and has organized a petition to try and get 1 million signatures. It's all to get the attention of Congress. ... (See 7-11)

A brief history of merchant accounts -- Merchant accounts can revolutionize your business by offering more technologically advanced financial services for your customers' ever-changing needs. However, merchant accounts have changed over the years as well. Here's a look at how the merchant account business got to where it is currently. ... (See Accounts)

Merchants use high-tech tools to reward loyal customers -- Rewards-based loyalty programs have gone digital. New customer benefits such as sale-price refunds and mobile coupons have taken the retail industry by storm. ... (See Rewards)

How do I get my business credit score? -- As a business owner, you have another whole set of credit reports to worry about. Fortunately, there are some simple ways to keep an eye on your business' economic reputation. ... (See Business )

Agencies issue frequently asked questions on ID theft rules -- The government is still implementing the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003. The latest update is the report "Identity Theft Red Flags and Address Discrepancies." Here's what you need to know. ... (See ID theft)

Consider all possible fees before picking a merchant account -- Once you've decided to get a merchant account to accept customer payments by credit and debit cards, our new columnist says you should begin your search by first considering all the basic fees. ... (See Merchant fees)

What is a virtual merchant account? -- Use a virtual merchant account to increase sales and give customers what they want: an easy and secure way to purchase your goods and services when and where they want. ... (See Virtual)

Get answers to your questions about PCI data security standards -- Small business owners, with the help of merchant account providers and trade associations, can learn more about PCI standards for data security. ... (See PCI standards)

Study: Credit cards may not really increase spending -- A recent study found that customers who use credit cards don't actually spend more. It turns out that convenience of payment is just one part of a customer's overall shopping experience. ... (See Study)

4 key tips for negotiating with merchant account providers -- All aspects of credit card processing are negotiable if you are willing to discuss options with a customer service representative. We'll give you some tips on how to do it. ... (See Negotiate)

Using merchant accounts with third-party software -- Small business owners wanting financial software often choose Quicken. Now you can use Quicken to perform credit card transactions, too. ... (See Software)

When should you change merchant accounts? -- Here are some signs that your current merchant account provider just isn't that into you. ... (See Change)

What happens when you set up a merchant account? -- Some small-business owners avoid establishing merchant accounts for credit card processing because they feel intimidated by computer equipment. If you're one of these, it's time to get over that fear. ... (See Setting up)

All you need to know about the discount rate -- When you're shopping for a merchant account, paying attention to the discount rate will help you make the best decision for your business. ... (See Discount rate)

Best privacy practices for businesses with merchant accounts -- Merchants need to take steps in order to guard their customers' credit card information. ... (See Data)

Alternatives to merchant accounts abound -- Online companies that provide easy alternatives to traditional merchant accounts have revolutionized credit card processing for the better. ... (See Alternatives)

What are interchange fees, and why should you care? -- Each time merchants choose to make a sale via credit cards, an interchange fee is charged for credit card processing. It's crucially important to make sure you know about them, so you can maximize your profits. ... (See Fees)

Does one merchant account work for all types of credit cards? -- A business wants its customers to be able to buy goods and services, no matter which credit card they have. But how does a business owner know which merchant account provider to use? ... (See Cards)

Why a good business credit score matters -- As an entrepreneur, you simply can't afford to gamble with your business credit score. Fortunately, there are some tips you can follow to shore it up over time. ... (See Scores)

How struggling businesses should handle merchant accounts -- If your company is struggling to stay afloat in this turbulent economy, or you're facing the reality of shutting down operations, paying attention to all of your merchant accounts is critical during this time of change. ... (See Struggling)

5 reasons why data security is a really big deal -- With online and offline identity theft on the rise, it's more important than ever to pay attention to data security and how it applies to your business. Here are some reasons why data security needs to be a top priority for your business. ... (See Data security)

What is a merchant account? -- A merchant account allows a business to accept credit cards and may offer other merchant services, too. A merchant account can be obtained through a credit card company, a bank or another payment processing provider. ... (See Merchant accounts)

What you need to know about third party merchant accounts -- Qualifying for merchant accounts can be difficult for new and small businesses to do. They also can be expensive to maintain. One option that business owners have is to use third party merchant accounts. ... (See Third party accounts)

Consider these factors when selecting a merchant account -- Everything else aside, you will want your ability to accept credit card payments to be versatile. You're convinced that your business needs a merchant account telephone system for credit card processing. You have many merchant accounts from which to choose; now your task is to pick the best one for your needs. ... (See Choosing an account)

Merchant account fees: Are they worth it? -- Between the merchant account discount or interchange fee, the initial fee, merchant account monthly fees, minimum fees, gateway access fees and others, merchant accounts aren't cheap. But there are also plenty of good reasons to have one. ... (See Fees)

Can you increase your sales just by accepting credit cards? -- If you have a business and want to increase your competitive edge, then you need to accept credit cards online. Today, businesses have to accept credit cards online to survive. If you have a business and want to increase your competitive edge, then you need to accept credit cards online. ... (See Sales)

Tips for merchants on how to combat charge-offs -- There are several ways you can dramatically limit the number of credit card charge-offs your business encounters. Credit card charge-offs happen when a purchase is deemed uncollectible, which can put a big dent in your enterprise's merchant account. ... (See Charge-offs)

How to accept credit cards with your iPhone -- Can you use your iPhone for credit card processing? With the help of iPhone applications, accepting credit cards on your iPhone is a snap. ... (See iPhone)

How the credit card interchange process works -- When you use a credit card to make a purchase, a large network of companies comes together to make it all happen. It's called the credit card interchange process -- the system by which credit card payments are processed. ... (See Interchange)

What to look for when choosing the right merchant account company -- Finding a merchant account should not be a rush job. Once you've decided that your business needs to accept credit card payments, take your time to evaluate the costs and services offered for merchant accounts from a variety of credit card processing companies. ... (See Choosing)

Benefits for small businesses accepting credit cards -- Accepting credit cards is essential for small businesses that want to increase their revenue, satisfy their customers and keep their bottom line in line. Arranging to accept credit cards at your small store or e-commerce site makes good business sense. The amount of money it takes to accept credit cards will be quickly recouped by increased sales. Everything else being equal, a consumer will choose the small business that can accept credit cards online or in the store over those that do not. ... (more)

What's a payment gateway and how does it work? -- Do you conduct business online? If so, a payment gateway account might be beneficial for accepting credit cards. A payment gateway is simply an authorization service for Internet credit card transactions, and is used to facilitate communication between the business, the card issuer and the business's bank. ... (See Gateways)

What merchants must know about PCI security standards -- PCI security standards help to ensure that credit card transaction processing runs smoothly in regards to protecting cardholder data. Merchants should familiarize themselves with the standards before accepting any of the major brands of cards. ... (See Security)

Capital One releases emergency checklist for businesses -- Capital One Small Business released a checklist of steps businesses should take to prepare for emergency situations, such as hurricanes, tornadoes, fires and floods grows. ... (See Checklist)

Breaking down the pluses, minuses of alternative payment systems -- When deciding how your business will accept credit card payments online, you might want to consider an alternative payment system. But how do you know what is best for your business? Alternative payment systems, for example, provide business owners with different ways to accept credit cards online. ... (See Alternatives)

Which merchant account is right for your home-based business? -- With today's challenging economy, many who have been unemployed for a substantial amount of time are considering starting up a small business at their home. However, it's not easy. ... (See Home business)

How Internet merchant accounts work -- You can increase online sales and profits by accepting credit cards on auction sites or your own Web site. No matter if you have your own merchant Web site or simply sell stuff on eBay, credit cards can become a vital part of your business. ... (See How Internet merchant accounts work)

6 questions you should ask about merchant accounts -- The average consumer and merchant is finding it hard to escape credit and debit cards. Merchants, in particular, need merchant accounts to accept a card transaction. However, do merchants know enough about merchant accounts to make the right choice? ... (See Questions)

6 tips for keeping merchant account rates and fees low -- A cautious approach to getting a merchant account -- an arrangement with a bank or other provider that will allow your business to accept credit cards -- and a little homework now can help keep those fears of rampant fees and extra charges from becoming a reality. ... (See Rates and fees)

Missing payments on business credit card can hurt personal credit -- Merchants who are propping up their small businesses with credit cards are risking damage to their own personal credit if they fail to make payments on their company cards, experts say. ... (See Credit scores)

Merchant account terms: Glossary, definitions -- Merchant accounts have their own special language, and for the business owner accepting credit cards, they're crucial to know. ... (See Glossary)

FAQs about applying for a merchant account online -- Frequently asked questions about merchant accounts, which are easy to use, but sometimes tricky to set up. ... (See FAQ)

How merchant account transactions work -- This interactive guide to merchant account processing and transactions lays out, in simple fashion, each step, from the customer's credit card swipe to money in the businessperson's pocket. ... (See Interactive)

'Red Flags Rules' require merchants to help fight ID theft -- On Nov. 1, 2008, credit card issuers and businesses that extend credit must establish policies -- called the Red Flags Rules -- to help detect fraud. ... (See Identity theft)

6 keys to finding the right merchant account for you -- Shopping around for a merchant account can really pay off. We'll take a look at what small business should know so they can find the best account for their needs. ... (See The right account)

5 ways to prevent employee credit card abuse -- Here are 5 steps small business owners can take to prevent unauthorized credit card purchases by employees. ... (more)

Merchants struggle to secure user data, deter identity theft -- Merchants' battles to secure consumer credit card data never end. That's why the credit card industry imposes mandatory security standards on merchants, processors, manufacturers of PIN entry devices and application developers. ... (See ID theft)

Rules changing for merchants handling credit card data -- Safety concerns for consumers' credit card information prompt changes in the way businesses handle data. ... (See Changes)

Business credit scores: What they are, how to boost yours -- Just as an individual has a credit score, so does a business. As with individual scores, the number determines whether your business gets credit and at what rate. ... (See Scores)

Cashless businesses slowly catch on -- An Oregon cafe is one of a small but growing number of businesses that accepts credit cards or debit cards only. No cash. ... (See Cashless)