When you want to accept payments with bookinghound.com, there’s more than one way to do it – either with Paypal or via your own merchant service facility. The latter is considered a more professional way of taking a payment – often it looks better and can present a better image.
What to do before you can accept credit card payments online
Banks will not allow you to communicate directly with their systems, so you need to use the services of a “payment gateway”. A payment gateway sits between the banks systems and bookinghound.com and effectively processes credit card payments for you. They also provide you with an interface to allow you to do refunds, check for fraud data and monitor settlements.
You also need a merchant account in order to receive the money from card payments. The payment gateway pays into your merchant account and then, after some delay, your bank pays this into your business bank account.
So, in order to accept credit card payment, you will need a payment gateway account, a merchant account, an internet merchant account (see below) and a business bank account.
Why do you need an internet merchant account from either your bank or another merchant account provider ?
This is where funds are transferred when you receive payment. Merchant account providers take a percentage of each credit card transaction (or a fixed fee for debit cards) and also charge a set-up fee plus don’t forget that they nearly all charge a minimum monthly fee also.
Do I need a payment gateway ?
No, if you subscribe to ‘Premium’, ‘Pro’ or ‘Enterprise’ plans, bookinghound.com has this covered for you as we are a reseller for Datacash who is our preferred payment gateway partner. They sit in the middle, between bookinghound.com and the bank and provided a host of functionality as well as communicating with the banks systems to transfer money.
There are also banks who will provide both the merchant account and the payment gateway. Often this is not the most competitive way of accepting card payments so don’t be tempted on the grounds of simplicity. Merchant account providers often push you to use their payment gateway – be wary of this practice as you should consider the merchant account and the payment gateway separately; it certainly gives more flexibility for your business this way.
Again, don’t be persuaded by the merchant account provider who may try to persuade you that you need to use their gateway – it’s simply not true. It always pays to use an independent payment gateway such as Datacash as this provides an easier transition should you ever change your merchant account.