Merchant Accounts

Link Building For Your Store Brain Dump

Link Building Brain Dump

Here's a list of link building ideas and rules of thumb for store. I'll update as I think of ideas. Got any of your own? Drop them in the comments below and I'll add them to the master list.

  • Some blog and forums that have NoFollow for links. Only Google uses the nofollow attribute. Post anyway. Let the other SEs index the links. Google is the largest but not the only show in town. Bring something to the table and add links in posts or sigs. Never spam.
  • All About Merchant Accounts

    Merchant Account 411

    For those new to ebusiness, here is an overview of all you need to know about merchant accounts. Merchant accounts offer a way to ease your tasks while dealing with all your financial transactions in the form of the Merchant Service Provider system. This payment system allows you to conduct all your credit card payments whether its goods or services. The Merchant Service Provider facilitates you in easy processing of credit cards.

    Going ahead of the traditional credit card terminal, the merchant of today can opt to rent, buy, and lease or secure the terminal in exchange for some contractual obligations from a merchant processor, of course, the business owner must carefully review the terms and conditions before selecting a merchant processor and a credit card terminal

    The Importance of PCI Compliance

    Accepting credit card payment online carries great responsibility. Merchants must take every step to protect the integrity of ALL the data collected from their customers. Why? You can lose your shirt if you don’t.

    The credit card companies have banded together and created a standard for the use and storage of credit card data for ecommerce companies. This standard is called the Payment Cart Industry Data Security standard (or PCI for short). It applies to ALL ecommerce merchants both big and small. If you sell something online and accept credit card payment, you HAVE to be aware of the PCI standard. Why? If your store is found to be non-complaint, you can lose the ability to collect credit card payments, be targeted by a class action suit and face HEAVY fines. Believe me, it’s a whole lot easier being complaint.

    Selecting a Gateway and Merchant Account Provider

    Selecting a Gateway and Merchant Account Provider.

    Every online store that wants to accept credit card payment needs both a payment gateway and a merchant account. The tricky part is selecting which company (or companies) to go with. You can use one company for a gateway and another for your merchant account but that might over complicate things. I suggest taking the one-stop shopping approach. Most merchant account providers also offer merchants a payment gateway. I use both Paymentech and Authorize.net and I’m happy with both.

    If you’re in the market for a merchant account, you be best serve to contact these two companies:

    What is a Merchant Account? E-Commerce 101

    E-Commerce 101: Merchant Accounts

    I’m going to start a series of blog entries that cover the beginning steps of opening an online store. This is the first of the series. Enjoy!

    A Merchant Account is a relationship between an online retailer and a merchant bank that enables retailers to accept web-based credit card payments from their customers. This is the account which a Merchant Account provider deposits payments into the merchant's business checking account from the transactions that are made online. To qualify for a merchant account, retailers must meet the bank's requirements.

    Preventing Chargebacks for Online Sales

    Just about every merchant will get the dreaded chargeback notice sooner of later. Unfortunately, it’s part of ecommerce and truly hard to avoid. Bearing this in mind, merchants are forced to stay on their toes as the credit card company place all the risk upon merchant's shoulders. An important part of running a successful ecommerce website is minimizing chargebacks so as to not only avoid monetary loss but also to stay in business. If you store racks up too many chargebacks, it won’t be long until the store’s merchant account is revoked.

    What is a chargeback?

    A charge back occurs when a customer disputes a charge on their monthly statement. The customer calls the issuing credit card company and answers a few question on the charge in question and then the chargeback process is set in motion. A letter is then sent notifying the merchant of the chargeback or charge dispute and from this point forward, it’s up to the merchant to prove the charge is legitimate. If the merchant can’t successfully argue this case, the charge is reversed and money is automatically withdrawn from the merchant’s bank account. To make matter worse, the merchant is then charged with a chargeback fee that is typically in the $20.00 dollar range.

    E-commerce and Protecting Credit Card Information

    The industry is racing to tighten security standards and the online merchant is now burdened with becoming an expert in all the different credit card industry regulations. The onus is on the merchant to protect all the informationthat they gather. Each credit card company has very specific regulations that all merchants that process their cards must follow. Leading the charge are the CISP and the PCI regulations.

    About the CISP and PCI regulations:

    CISP compliance is required of all merchants and service providers that store, process, or transmit Visa cardholder data. The program applies to all payment channels, including retail (brick-and-mortar), mail/telephone order, and e-commerce. To achieve compliance with CISP, merchants and service providers must adhere to the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard, which offers a single approach to safeguarding sensitive data for all card brands. This Standard is a result of a collaboration between Visa and MasterCard and is designed to create common industry security requirements, incorporating the CISP requirements. Other card companies operating in the U.S. have also endorsed the PCI Data Security Standard within their respective programs.