During the last five years, the word economy was enriched with the prefix digital. This is because most of the processes in all types of businesses and the experiences of people are enhanced with the use of digital technology. One of the industries which have been hardly altered by these digital processes is retail, brick and mortar stores to be more specific. As people have become busier with work and time for the usual chores and relaxation is scarce, e-commerce has wiggled its way into our daily routines, determining shop owners and not only to offer their services or selling their goods over the Internet.
It may seem simple and cheaper to start an e-commerce business and it is, however it also requires additional steps, among which having a website and a merchant account. Protocols for protecting personal information must also be set in place, which make it a bit more complicated when deciding to start this type of venture.
E-commerce at global level
With all the additional requirements to create an online company, e-commerce has evolved a lot in the last few years. At global level, the number of online stores are starting to surpass that of traditional shops, as large retailers have started closing the latter and focusing more on the e-commerce side of their business. By 2021, the global e-commerce industry is expected to reach close to 5 trillion US dollars.
E-commerce has triggered the development of other businesses such as merchant account providers. These are companies offering secure payment solutions for e-commerce companies all over the world. There is the possibility of starting the online business without a merchant account, however consumers prefer not only to buy, but also pay for their purchases virtually.
What is a merchant account?
The merchant account is a bank account available for businesses, all type of businesses, and a requirement for e-commerce companies. Through a merchant account, the company can process debit and credit card payments in a blink of an eye.
The opening of a merchant account is possible with the bank where the business bank account is opened or with one processor offering merchant account solutions. All one needs is a contract with the payment processor or the bank where the merchant account is registered for the latter to process the payments made through a device installed in the shop.
There are various types of merchant accounts available and the company can choose the one suiting best their business model. The variety of merchant accounts available and banks offering this service today make it easy for companies to choose the one that fits them.
One of the best examples is France where the number of e-commerce startups has soared in the past two years. Most banks offer merchant accounts in France as the largest part of consumers pay for their purchases by simply swiping the cards against the processors.
Opening a merchant account requires a business license and a business bank account, in other words, one cannot open such account without having some legal form to back them up. The process for opening the account is simple: an application form and information about the business will suffice, which is one of the greatest advantages of setting it up.
Why open a merchant account?
There are several advantages linked to the opening of a bank account. The large number of banks and independent companies offering this service has led to lower processing fees. Internet security has developed a lot and payment processors and banks have established protocols meant to offer enhanced protection to customers, so it is safer for both the seller and the customer to go through a merchant account, rather than other payment methods, from this point of view.
The comfort of the client is one of the top priorities of e-commerce companies, therefore offering them access to modern, fast and reliable payment methods is something normal nowadays. A good example in this sense is Spain where merchant accounts are something common for online businesses.
Having a merchant account for any type of business will save the time of both the seller and the client and will offer better protection to online transactions. Also, opening these accounts is no longer a problem, as they come in many types and can be personalized depending on the need and size of the business.