Free merchant account burning questions part 2

And so it has begun...

A clamor for more questions has been heard - questions to burn your agent if he's just out to get your hard-earned money or to truly help both of you improve your financial life.

Been feeling pretty generous these days, so here are more questions to ask your free merchant account provider - remember that any unanswered questions should be looked upon suspiciously. In fact, if possible, move on to the next provider.

How fast can I get my funds?
Normally, funds should be deposited to your checking account in 72 hours or less. If this isn't possible, ask them why. Some providers hold a portion of your money (for their own protection), to be released into your account a few weeks after. If you're okay with that, then sign with them. As much as possible though, look for a free merchant account that lets you access funds in 72 hours.

What credit card processing solutions are you offering?
Although the main focus would be Internet Credit card processing, ask your provider if they also offer swipe terminals(in case you plan on venturing into retail stores), Virtual terminal for Mail Order/Telephone Order(MOTO) merchants, wireless terminals for mobile merchants (as well as seasonal i.e. Christmas markets, etc). The more credit card processing solutions they provide, the better for you in the long run.

I see a fee here that says CHARGEBACK FEES. What is it?
A chargeback occurs when a customer disputes a transaction. For example, a customer argues that he didn't initiate such transaction and reports this to the credit card company. Aside from the deduction you incur (the transaction amount), you also incur a chargeback fee. There are various reasons for chargebacks and merchants can definitely reduce these incidents.

I have a pretty bad credit report, can I still get approved for a free merchant account?
You might say THIS is the forte of free merchant account providers. They welcome into their fold business-owner with bad credit reports, as well as high risk, high volume businesses not to mention start up businesses. Most banks and brokers reject these merchants, but free merchant account providers? Open arms my friend, open arms.

Are your services compatible with all shopping carts? Or payment gateway for that matter?
Although providers offer such tempting palatte of freebies, one should bear in mind that compatibility with shopping carts and payment gateways is VITAL. If it's so important that you sign up with your free merchant account provider, inquire what shopping cart system and payment gateway is compatible with them. They should be compatible with most (if not all) shopping carts and payment gateways available in the market. Perhaps they come bundled with certain providers - if that's the case, then see what other offers they have(extra discounts, extra freebies) if you sign up with their bundled services.
They say assumption is the mother of all mistakes. In this case, if you simply assume, then it's one very expensive mistake. Questioning your free merchant account provider can not only help you determine what kind of value-adding services they offer(aside from the usual credit card processing services), but how much it's gonna cost you - and we're not just talking money here.

Bear in mind this popular quote when doing the often tedious interview process, "There are no foolish questions and no one becomes a fool until they have stopped asking questions."

You're not a fool, are you?
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