How do I accept credit cards without a merchant account?
In the 21st century there are a variety of credit card processing methods available for the intrepid business owner. Most traditional businesses will operate with a merchant account through an independent sales organization (ISO) or a bank of some kind, but as technology has continued to improve, more options have become available. Many businesses choose to operate without an actual merchant account, but it helps to know the various options, to make your business as competitive as possible. The bottom line is this: if you do not have the capacity to accept credit card payments you are at a disadvantage, since online payment facilities are preferred over checks or cash payments. If you wish to make money on the Internet; the ability to process credit card payments is essential.
There are a number of ways of making money on the Internet, whether you are selling e-books or some other type of digital, downloadable product or service. You could have a members-only website where access passwords are delivered to customers; you could set up an affiliate program, or use a third-party broker such as PayPal or Clickbank. It really comes down to your personal preference since there are quite a few options available.
One of the easiest ways to allow you to accept credit cards online without the use of a merchant account is to use PayPal or Clickbank. These third-party companies process credit cards for a small percentage of the transaction and credit the money directly to your account. PayPal is perhaps the most popular option and is known around the world for being reliable and safe, and allows you to sell digital goods or even physical goods with a monthly recurring subscription. All you really need to know is how to create your own sales page and product delivery page, and set them up on your website.
But perhaps one of the most appealing options is the burgeoning affiliate program market, which basically allows you to work through a company such as PayPal or Clickbank to set up a virtual army of affiliates who are selling your product for you. This option is extremely lucrative, because you are offering a percentage of the profits to other individuals, who can sell your product for you through their websites. At its basic level it is nothing more than a referral program, and affiliates refer customers to your website, which generates traffic for you, and they only get paid if they make a sale.
What this means is that there are no monthly fees, no application fees, no fees at all, in fact. The only money that you ever have to pay out is the referral percentage of the sales your affiliates have made. PayPal and Clickbank actually manage the affiliate programs for you and automatically send payments directly to your affiliates; all you have to do is relax and watch as the money comes in.