When you are starting your business, you have a plethora of choices to make. Where should you be located? What should you name your company? What will you sell? And who will you go to for credit card processing? Any one of these choices is as important as the next; especially if your business relies on credit card processing. There are many choices available for a business, such as 3rd party payment processors, directly opening a merchant account with a provider, or even going through a merchant account reseller. Many merchant service providers and 3rd party processors are good choices, but what about merchant account resellers? Can you trust them?

What is a Merchant Account Reseller?

You may have heard the term merchant account reseller but not fully understand what they are. As with many industries, there are agents or entities that resell their service to increase membership. These agents operate on commission and are often affiliated with multiple service providers. Just like life insurance salesman, these agents set out to offer services to businesses old and new.

credit cardsWith an increase in e-commerce, these agents are easy to find and you may have already stumbled upon one. Through email marketing, web marketing, and even door-to-door sales, these agents seek new customers. Aside from independent agents, there are entities that have popped up where their sole revenue is from merchant account sales. These offices endorse and sell services from a wide variety of providers.

Can They Be Trusted?

There are very few horror stories regarding merchant account resellers. This doesn’t mean they are to be trusted. As with any business relationship, you want to make sure you are making the right choice. Choosing a reseller is just like choosing the merchant service itself. There is information you need to receive before choosing to sign up, such as:

  • How long the agent has been selling for the merchants
  • Which services the agent offers
  • Cost of each service
  • Available customer support

Many resellers choose a specific industry to specialize in. Depending on the nature of your business, you may find a reseller referring you to another agent who knows more about your industry. However, many agents would rather fumble through a sale than hand off a commission. Be sure you ask industry specific questions in order to gauge the agent’s knowledge of your business.

Resellers vs. Direct Service Providers

There are both advantages and disadvantages to using a reseller versus directly signing up with a merchant service provider. As these agents and entities collect a commission on their sales, the rates they charge are often higher than if you were to open an account directly with the provider. While comparing merchant service providers, compare the cost to the cost of the reseller and see which is acceptable for you.

The greatest advantage with using a reseller is the ability to compare multiple service providers rather than contacting each one separately. This can save a lot of time, phone calls, research, and hassles. Even if you decide you want to sign up directly with the service provider, it doesn’t hurt to talk with an agent and get a feel for the providers that interest you.

Starting a business can be a great experience if you take the time to research the relationships you will need to build. Choosing a merchant account is as important as any other decision you could make. Take the time to weigh your options and see if speaking to a reseller is right for you, or if you would rather compare each provider separately.

About the Author : Author Tony Alvarez is an avid blogger. If you’re in the market for a payment processing company, such as TSYS Merchant Solutions , be sure to read the reviews posted online.

Image Credit : credit cards by TheTruthAbout, on Flickr

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