Working Online Means You Need A Way To Accept Credit Card Payments

Today Debbie Dragon will be sharing with us some of her expertise on accepting payments from your clients.

I've been watching Peter's blog with interest. As an online freelance writer for more than five years, it's always great to follow the journey of new people entering the world of online businesses and blogging for money.

Whenever you enter the industry of working online, though, it's important that you understand at some point – you'll need a way to accept credit card payments from your clients. Most people rely on paypal these days as their primary way to accept payment; but there may be instances when the client refuses to use paypal for one reason or another, and it's a good idea to have a back-up plan for accepting payments. If your business explodes, and you start receiving payments regularly from clients, you may also consider other ways to accept credit card payments to reduce the fees you pay.

In the past, it was really difficult for a small business to accept credit card payments. Not only was it expensive to get set up, but the fees per transaction were quite outrageous and the typical small business owner couldn't see the benefits of it when compared to the cost of it all. Now, thanks to e-commerce and the internet, small business owners and independent contractors can easily and affordably accept credit cards from their clients.

Third Party Providers for Credit Card Processing

Paypal is your typical third party provider. These providers handle the processing of the credit card and deposit the funds into an account that you can access online. Once the money (minus the provider's fees) are deposited, you can transfer it to your normal bank account (or in some cases, withdraw it from an ATM or shop with a debit card).

Merchant Accounts Through Banks

For people who have been in business for awhile, you might consider an actual merchant account through a bank. There are both positives and negatives associated with processing credit cards with a merchant account. Advantages include the security and dependability that coems from working through a bank, and the fees are quite low if you have good credit. If you are looking to accept credit cards from clients online, or have less than great credit, you may find it difficult to get approved for a standard merchant account, however.

Getting Your Money From Credit Card Payments

No matter which way you decide to process credit card payments from your clients, you can pretty much get the payments transferred from the processor to your own bank account within a few days. The processor takes their fees from the credit card payment before passing along the balance, so you'll want to consider that when setting your rates and just charge a few dollars more to help offset the fees.

Debbie Dragon is a writer for, where she writes about credit cards, rewards programs, credit card processing and general personal finance.

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