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July 17, 2017

8 Common Misconceptions About Setting Up a Merchant Account

merchant account set upWhen you run your own business, staying in touch with the times isn’t just a good idea. It’s a necessity if you’re serious about succeeding. This is especially the case when it comes to the payment options you offer your customers. Cash and checks are becoming less and less common by the day. In fact, many consumers don’t even carry them anymore. They simply assume they’ll be able to use their credit or debit card wherever their day happens to take them.
In other words, you need a merchant account if you want to stay relevant. If you’re not willing or able to offer your customers the convenience they’re looking for, you can bet your competitors will be. The good news is getting a merchant account isn’t nearly as complicated or difficult as you may think it is. Let’s go over a few of the most commonly held misconceptions about the process and address the truth behind each one.

1. Merchant accounts are too difficult for certain types of businesses to get.

Back in the early 2000’s, ecommerce was a relatively new concept. Not only were consumers not yet used to doing the bulk of their shopping online, but the entities in charge of granting merchant accounts weren’t sure what to make of it either. It didn’t exactly help that the only real way to set up a merchant account was to go through a traditional brick and mortar bank. There were certainly a lot of hoops to jump through if you were in ecommerce or ran any other business that could be considered high risk.

These days, that’s no longer the case. To begin with, there are lots of different merchant account providers to choose from when you’re ready to open yours. Many of these specialize in setting up accounts for small businesses or ecommerce companies.

Also, the requirements attached to the process are relatively easy to satisfy. For instance, registering your business as a sole proprietorship instead of incorporating is a great option for self-employed service providers. Modern business bank accounts can be obtained with little hassle and at a very low cost. Even registering a business name is pretty simple and inexpensive. You don’t need much else to qualify for a merchant account here in 2017!

2. You can’t get a merchant account if your business is a start-up.

Traditionally speaking, a bank sees a start-up business similarly to the way they’d see a person with no credit history. Although there’s no tangible reason to think that business isn’t a good risk, there’s no positive track record to definitively prove it is one either. In the past, this made getting a merchant account notoriously difficult if your business was still just getting started.

Today, people are more entrepreneurial than ever and many merchant account providers recognize this is a chance to connect with an emerging market. Some of those providers actually specialize in working with smaller, newer, or independent entities. They pride themselves on their ability to provide personalized service, strong client relationships, and unique solutions designed to help start-ups succeed.

3. The application process is always difficult and confusing.

In actuality, the application process could be difficult if the criteria attached to your unique business are very complicated. However, in most cases and for most businesses, the application process itself really isn’t that daunting or complicated. The key to success lies in making sure you select the right service provider.

A good merchant account provider that’s right for your business will pride itself on simplifying the application process for its would-be clients. Many allow you to begin the process online by entering basic information about your business via a web form. They then use what you’ve told them to prepare the correct documents for you. All you need to do is read them, sign them, and return them along with anything else you’re asked to send (i.e. a void check).

4. Merchant accounts are expensive, both to set up and to maintain.

Here we have another myth rooted in a distant past when ecommerce businesses still weren’t understood or accepted as a valid concepts. This meant they were almost always considered high risk ventures by default and high risk often also means high cost.

These days, all sorts of people are in business for themselves and the fees associated with having a merchant account often reflect that. Many account providers provide options that don’t call for set-up charges or continuing monthly fees. Instead, you pay a small fee each time you actually process an associated transaction – perfect for very small businesses or sole proprietors that only process credit card transactions occasionally.

In other words, there are options out there that were designed with your business and budget in mind. You no longer have to be a big corporation or a large company doing lots of volume when it comes to credit cards to benefit from having a merchant account.

5. It takes forever to receive funds attached to a credit card transaction.

Back in the day, it wasn’t uncommon for credit card processing agencies to deliver a merchant’s deposits once a week or even once every other week. The perceived risk attached to a given transaction was a lot higher then. Holding onto funds a little longer gave that processing company a bigger buffer against possibilities like chargebacks, fraud, or merchants that closed their accounts while still owing service fees.

The more common credit cards, debit cards, and the like become as payment options, the lower the perceived risk of such transactions. Here in a day and age that finds most consumers using credit or debit cards to complete their everyday transactions, processing companies are often on a daily (or near daily) deposit schedule. Depending on where you bank and who you work with as far as credit processing, you’ll probably see funds hit your account within 48-72 hours of the original transaction.

If you choose the right merchant account provider, you’ll have some choice as to when and how often you receive your deposits though. Most business owners do prefer to receive daily deposits, but if you actually prefer weekly deposits instead, that can be arranged.

6. Establishing PCI compliance is also difficult and expensive.

If you’re exploring the possibility of opening a merchant account, you may already be familiar with the concept of PCI (Payment Card Industry) compliance. The term refers to the standard every merchant needs to meet in regards to data security if they’re going to accept credit cards as payment options.

The cost and effort required to continuously meet that standard can be complicated or costly… for some businesses. For others, this is hardly the case. For instance, you’d expect a really big retail company like Macy’s or Wal-Mart to have more different tech requirements to meet than an independently owned dress boutique across town. You’d also be right to expect that. What is often super involved for a large business is usually pretty simple for a small one.
Again, your choice in merchant account providers can really help you here. Look for companies that go out of their way to educate clients about how to achieve PCI compliance and make the process simple. Many are happy to provide individual clients with additional help or advice if needed or desired as well.

7. Processing rates are the only factors that are important.

Ask a business owner that still isn’t accepting credit or debit cards as payment why they do things that way and they’ll probably tell you they don’t want to waste money on processing fees. They assume they’re being smart and saving while money is actually walking right out the door in the form of dropped sales and lost business. It’s not uncommon for such business owners to assume processing rates are all that matter when it comes to a given merchant account option.

As you would when opening any other kind of financial account, it’s important to look at the big picture which includes monthly minimums (if there are any), possible cancellation fees, and setup fees. Sometimes additional fees are charged for online access or changes made to your account as well, so make sure you’re looking at your final tally when evaluating options.

8. One merchant service provider is as good as another.

Just as there are lots of different ways to price merchant services attached to an account, there are lots of different providers out there. Some will be better fits for you than others. Some specialize in working with specific types of merchants like non-profits or businesses in a certain industry. Some focus on customer service as a selling point while others may offer clients free equipment, flexible rates, or other incentives.

Just take the time to carefully evaluate each of your options from top to bottom. No matter what business you’re in or what your needs are, there’s a merchant account provider that’s just right for you. Explore the possibilities today!

MobiusPay specializes in high-risk merchant activation, domestic and international processing. MobiusPay helps online businesses with payment processing, high risk merchant accounts, chargeback & fraud prevention, online check ACH processing and with maintaining PCI compliance. Please visit https://mobiuspay.com/ to learn more.

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June 17, 2017

Saving Money When Renting, Buying or Renovating

money saving purposeWhether you’re getting ready to rent your first apartment, buy your forever home, thinking of renovating your current one, or anywhere in between, there are many ways in which you can still save money.

Statistics show that more and more people are choosing to rent rather than buy a home. This may be due to financial issues or the desire to remain mobile. However, it does not mean you can’t still use your money wisely.

Consider a professional advisor. They can sit down with you and examine your finances, help you decide whether to rent, or – often for the same cost – invest in a house with a mortgage.

If you choose to rent, you can also save money by selecting a property that comes furnished. This will allow you to recoup some costs by selling your furniture, and lowers moving costs, as a van and movers can be a significant expenditure.

Before you sign any contracts, make sure to conduct a walk-through with the landlord. Point out seemingly minor details such as chipped paint and broken appliances. By taking photos and videos, you could be saving yourself money in the future if the landlord were to claim you were the cause of the damage.

Purchasing your first house or moving into your forever home can be an exciting time. You have scrimped and saved for months or years, but that doesn’t mean your saving work is done.

Research is your best friend. There are a plethora of comparison sites such as Colleton River Real Estate that are easy-to-use and allow you to search based on specific criteria. These include: location, price range, property type, and amenities, to name a few. Most of these sites also provide material such as photographs and video; local information on schools, transport, and house prices; and in some cases, the ability to receive price change updates.

For those who feel capable, you can also save money by giving up the traditional agent. Though it is still a new avenue, when done right it can end up saving your thousands of dollars.

If you are already close to living in the house of your dreams, sometimes renovating can be the right choice. Once again, research will be your saving grace.

Get multiple quotes, make sure everything is in writing (including differentiating between labor and material costs), and don’t be afraid to haggle or ask for a price-match. Always use a company that is fully registered and licenced. Check with your local laws and regulations before beginning any work, to avoid your work being demolished at your own expense.

At a time when anxiety is high and all of this might be going over your head, it’s important to remember that, whichever route you choose, there are ways to save money. Take your time, and enjoy this new stage in your life.

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June 16, 2017

Coming to Terms with Bankruptcy

details about bankruptcy filingIt can be difficult to make the decision to file bankruptcy because most people are afraid of the unknowns associated with actually filing a bankruptcy claim and becoming insolvent. It’s scary to think that you could lose your house or your car, or any other valuable asset you have, and so a lot of people put off filing for bankruptcy for as long as possible; unfortunately, this usually only perpetuates the situation. What’s more, some people finally make the decision to file for bankruptcy and then find out they don’t actually qualify for it. It’s important to get the facts straight so you can decide what is right for you. Once you do make the decision to file for bankruptcy, you’ll want to start working toward the rest of your life.

Get Passed the Shame

There is no shame in reaching out to a Licenced Insolvency Trustee to discuss the option of bankruptcy. Once you have discussed your options and it is decided that you will file for bankruptcy, your credit counsellor can help you determine how to move forward. They will talk you through what the next few weeks, months or even years may look like for you in terms of your financial standings, and you can start to put together a plan to get back on your feet.

Work Toward Goals

Now that the bankruptcy has been filed, it can seem overwhelming to think that you need to start rebuilding your financial status. It’s important to have a list of things you want to work toward; for example, make a long term plan for holding a credit card again. Make a short term plan of building a savings account for yourself so you can cushion unforeseen financial issues in the future.

Talk to Your Family

Part of declaring bankruptcy is that you’ll need to attend some kind of counselling sessions; it will be important to your claim that you do this. What’s more, you should have a frank and honest conversation about your finances with your closest family members so they can understand what is happening to you and perhaps can help you. At the very least, having someone to talk to about what is going on can help you deal with it.

Don’t Give Up

Some people think that filing for bankruptcy is the end of the world. It is just a process by which you can hit the refresh button on your finances – in its simplest terms. Good and honest people often find themselves having to file for a bankruptcy because their finances have gotten out of their control. It doesn’t mean you are a bad person or you don’t deserve to have anything ever again. A series of bad choices or circumstances got you here, but you don’t have to stay in that place.

If you aren’t sure if bankruptcy is right for you, consult a Licensed Insolvency Trustee and they will walk you through the criteria and help you determine if you need to file a bankruptcy claim. While it seems like it’s very unfortunate, you will be able to get through it with the help of your credit counselor.

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November 26, 2016

How to Improve Your Credit Ratings

improving creditLow credit ratings often increase the interest rates on various financial products, such as home loans or credit cards. Borrowers with higher credit scores are able to save significant amounts on their loans when compared to individuals with lower credit scores.There are several ways that help people to improve their credit scores given by credit rating agencies like Credit Information Bureau (India) Limited (CIBIL). The agencies do not treat all types of debts in the same way while calculating the credit score. The ratings are affected negatively if the outstanding balance on the card increases.

Here are five ways that help improve credit scores.

1. Lower the Credit Card Balance

The best way to improve credit rating is to lower the outstanding balance on the card. The rating agencies make a downward revision to the score if the credit utilization ratio exceeds a certain percentage. This ratio is the amount used by the cardholders as a percent of the overall credit limit. Reducing card balance may seem to be a difficult task but is achievable with the help of discipline. Users must adhere to stringent limits to reduce the balance and improve the credit score. If possible, individuals may ask the issuing company to increase the limit on their cards. This may also help improve the credit score provided the users do not increase their spending because of the higher limit.

2. Convert Card Debt to Personal Loan

With some diligent planning, card users may be able to improve their credit ratings even before paying off the debt. They are advised to consider converting the card debt to a personal loan. Higher outstanding balance on card reduces the credit score much more than personal loans. Loans with fixed installments are not considered by the agencies while calculating the credit ratings. Therefore, availing a personal loan instead of maintaining a high balance on the credit card is advisable. In addition, to improve credit score, such conversion is beneficial in reducing the cash outflows. The interest rates on personal loans are often lower than the card interest rates. It is important that the cardholders discontinue the use of their credit cards after such conversion to ensure the ratings are not affected.

3. Selective Accelerated Debt Payments

Repaying loans in a timely manner has several benefits. However, individuals who want to improve their credit scores must consider postponing such pre-payments. The money should instead be used to pay off the card outstanding because this kind of debt affects the scores more than loans.

4. Keep Regular Checks on Credit Report

Research shows that a significant percent of individuals have errors on their credit reports. It is possible that errors have severe results on the credit scores. This further impacts their borrowing capability and rate of interest that is levied on their loans. It is recommended that borrowers check their credit report prior to applying for any kind of loan. If any errors are found, they must immediately contact the rating agency and seek rectifications. This would help improve their credit score and enable them to borrow at a lower rate of interest.

5. Make Timely Repayments

Credit scores are significantly affected due to delayed payments. Lenders report delays to the agencies after 30 days from the payment due date. Such late payment reports are reflected in the credit score for many years, which impacts the individuals negatively. To avoid this, making timely payments is recommended.

Unfortunately, several people in India are not aware of the importance of good credit ratings. They fail to understand that even a slight improvement in their credit score may help them save huge amounts and get a lower interest rate on their borrowings.

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September 20, 2016

Paying Off Credit Card Debts With Home Equity Loans

debts for cardsWell, no one knows how debt can ruin your life. With the help of home equity, you have the liberty to stay on top of debts. Falling in debt is something, which you have always tried to avoid. Now, if you cannot, then there must be some mistakes with the monetary service, you have. Well, with the help of reliable experts and their proper guidance, it will be easier for you to handle the debts and to stay right at the top of your success ladder. All you have to do is just get in touch with the reputed experts, and try to procure their help for good. Once you are through with it, it will be easier for you to get rid of debt, once and for all.

Taking control of your cards

Credit cards are sure going to offer you with the lucrative options of buying products, without carrying cash. Well, it becomes difficult, as you have to be aware of the reputed packages, over here. Moreover, when you are using credit cards, you are not aware of the money you are spending on it. Therefore, at the end of each month, when the generated bill reaches your address, you feel like facing some problems with it. With the help of reliable experts, you can be out of this problem.

Controlling the usage of cards

To get rid of credit card debts, you are most welcome to take help o home equity services. You will not just get the feeling of taking control of credit cards, but your auto loans are other forms of debts, with the help of this package. Using the home equity loans for debt consolidation is likely to enjoy lower interest rates, which are flexible and not static. All you need to do is just make single payment on a monthly basis, and you have the liberty to consolidate your debt.

Some services to work into

Now, you must be thinking about the reasons to choose debt consolidated forums through home equity loans. Well, you are about to pay less every month. You just need to lower your current monthly payment, and it will lower your interest rates, automatically. Moreover, you have the right to make simple payment, once. Here, the experts are going to combine the high interest debts and turn them into one fixed payment ratio, on each monthly basis. You will further enjoy peace of mind, with experts to be your help.

Simplify your life with ease

With the help of home equity, you have all the liberty to simplify your life, and enjoy it without facing any problem or hustle. You will further get into the path of brighter side around here, by managing your current debts. You have the liberty to borrow any money, from $25,000 to even $150,000. It solely depends on the loan package you are willing to choose. However, make sure to check out the amount first and see if you can repay it back, on time.

If you are struggling with credit card debt issues then it’s better to seek for credit card consolidation loans first. It will help you in making things better for you and you can go ahead with peace of mind.

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