What Exactly is a Payment Gateway



You have probably heard the term, “Payment Gateway” many times.  As merchant, you know that you need one and that you have one.  Maybe you even know the name of your gateway such as Authorize.net or PayPro Flow. But, what exactly does the gateway do for you?


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Are You Really Getting The Lowest Credit Card Processing Rate?


There is no doubt that accepting credit cards is a necessity in today’s world of plastic and mobile payments.  Certain types of transactions such as “card not present” transactions can push the cost of a transaction up simply because the card was not present and increases the chance of a fraudulent claim.

While a credit card processing company may provide you a quote for what is considered “the best rate”, it might only be the “best rate” if ideal conditions are met.  Performing a phone transaction is less than ideal, and even doing a transaction by phone you might end up paying much more if you don’t collect and enter the proper data.  When shopping for a credit card processor you need to be knowledgeable about the way credit card processing fees work to completely understand what is negotiable and what is not.

Is It Really The Lowest Rate?

Most merchants looking for the best rate will call around and ask credit card processors  what their lowest rate is.  If they decide to go with the lowest rate quoted they may be in for a surprise down the road.  The assumption that the lowest rate is the best rate doesn’t always work out.  The lowest quoted rate could end up costing you more money in the long run.  Let’s say that you are quoted a rate of 1.59 percent.  When you review your statement at the end of the month you might find that you are really paying 3.10 percent in what is known as an “effective rate”.  You would probably be upset but the truth is, the lowest rate applied really is 1.59 percent but that rate only applies to “qualified transactions” each month.  Based upon your processing history, types of cards you accept and the way you accept them, you most likely will not “qualify” very often.  There are many rates for different types of cards and transactions that contribute to the overall effective rate.  Never sign a contract that locks you into a long term relationship with a credit card processor.  If you see significant spikes in your processing fees, you need to go shop elsewhere.  A reputable processing company doesn’t do long term contracts.  They provide the best rates and don’t feel there is a need to lock in a merchant to a three-year contract.

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4 Easy Tips for Converting Website Visitors Into Buyers


Everyone uses a website address in their marketing materials in an effort to drive traffic to their website. Whether the website address is placed on the side of a vehicle or on your company letterhead, driving traffic to your website is an effort to get people to learn more about your company. The goal is to convert those visitors into buyers by teaching them more about what you do and how you do it. Because you don't actually get to talk to these potential customers on a face-to-face basis, it is important that you make becoming a customer an easy process once you get them to the front page or landing page of your website. Here are four tips you can use:


# 1 - Make It Easy

Whether you are promoting a new piece of jewelry or touting your repair department, make it easy to learn more about the services you offer and particularly the pricing of that you offer. "Call To Action" buttons are great for making things easy on a site visitor.

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10 Tips for Social Media Management


While having a regular posting schedule is important, many people think that social media management simply involves posting content regularly on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat.  Management of your social media involves much more than that if you want to see results.  Here are 10 things you can and should be doing to truly manage your social media.


Develop a strategy

Before engaging in a campaign, have a detailed social media strategy in place. This is an outline what you are hoping to achieve.  Is it brand awareness?  Is it driving additional traffic to your website?  Is it to actually increase sales?  Is it to engage readers?  What exactly are you trying to do?  Once you have made this determination, the rest of the planning will come easy.

Update your branding

Review your branding and make sure it is clear and consistent.  This includes logos, tag lines, mottos, colors, type style and "flavor".  It must be the same everywhere you post as well as other areas such as letterhead, envelopes, printed marketing materials, traditional advertising etc.  Your logo should be your profile photo.

Create a monthly calendar

Instead of posting on a whim, add some structure to your postings by creating a monthly posting plan list. This can help you gather content in advance and plan for important dates in your company such as sale dates, special event dates, guaranteed sell-out dates and other dates that are important to share with your clients and audience.

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