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Credit Card Processing Terminal
Advance your Business With The Right Credit Card Processing Terminal
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By: Arlette Measures
Avoid These Pitfalls and Keep Your New Merchant Account in Good Standing

Once you have gone through the process of selecting a provider and establishing an account, you will want to keep your account open and available for use at all times. Reasons for merchant account holds typically fall into two categories violation of the account service agreement and suspicion of fraudulent activity.

Here are a few tips to prevent either of these situations from occurring:

• Study your merchant agreement carefully when you first sign up for an account. Many credit card processing providers will ask you to declare the average volume your business will experience each month, as well as the expected average ticket amount. Exceeding these limits can result in your account being frozen, so make a note of the amounts you project, or find a vendor that does not impose these limits.

• Never accept payment for goods or services other than those described in your merchant agreement. Consider carefully what you agree to sell when you sign up for the account, and give yourself some flexibility. If you own a carpet cleaning company, for example, listing your business as “floor care” will allow for the future addition of related services. If you plan to sell items that are completely unrelated, you may need a separate merchant account.

• Excessive charge backs can also constitute a service agreement violation and cause your account to be frozen. Good customer service and communication will prevent many charge backs. Some merchants find it worth the effort to call their customers to verify each sale, and customers usually appreciate the extra security measure.

Suspicious processing activity can be more challenging to prevent. However, there are some steps you can take to avoid having your account frozen for suspected fraud:

• Let your bank know ahead of time if you expect any changes in processing behavior such as a sudden increase in your average ticket amount or if you expect an unusually large single transaction. In this case, you should ask to speak to someone in your bank’s risk department.

• Be aware of your ratio of swiped transactions to card-not-present transactions, and try not to deviate from the amount set out in your agreement. If you see this becoming an issue, you may need to open more than one merchant account .

• Reputable credit card processing providers are as concerned about their customers as you are about yours, and finding such a provider will prevent many future frustrations. Plans and pricing differ, however, and most businesses find they need help sorting through all the variables. Below is a list of top vendors, and the services they offer.

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