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Selecting the best option

You can use the following scenarios to help you choose the best option for your business. Choose the scenario which is closest to your situation.

Option 1

Your business already accepts credit card payments for face-to-face transactions. You expect to have a fairly high number of online transactions, most of which will be simple and low risk. You need the greatest amount of flexibility in operating your business and cash flow is very important. If this sounds like your business, then you should:

  • apply directly for an Internet merchant account and discuss your requirements with the acquiring bank
  • see the page in this guide on setting up a merchant account

Option 2

Your business will not have a large number of online transactions and you do not currently accept credit card transactions so have no merchant account. You have not been trading very long and you cannot provide a well-documented history of operations. You value the ability to attract online sales more highly than the ability to collect sales income quickly. Your business will need some flexibility in the way in which it designs and operates its website, so you should:

  • consider the facilities that a payment bureau could offer, with the possibility of moving to a less costly option at a later date
  • see the page in this guide on using a payment-processing company

Option 3

Your business is small, you do not currently offer credit card sales and you have very limited IT skills. Your products are fairly standardised and easily understood. You do not think that your website needs to have any unusual features. You are prepared to pay higher transaction and fixed costs just to establish a web presence. If this applies to your business, you should: