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How to accept credit card payments without a merchant account  

How to accept credit card payments without a merchant account  
Business Development Specialist
Yuliia Mamonova

Obtaining a merchant account might be both expensive and challenging. This is especially true for service providers, small business owners, and independent contractors. Yet with the challenges and the expense that come with obtaining a merchant card, more and more people are using credit cards to make purchases every day. This makes people want to know of other alternatives on how to accept payments without a merchant account. The question is whether it is possible to accept payments without a merchant account?   

The answer is yes, it is possible to get credit card payments without necessarily having a merchant account. Owning a merchant account is no longer the only option on the table, all thanks to third-party payment gateways. Here is an explanation on how to accept credit card payments using third-party payment gateways.

6 different ways to accept credit card payments without a merchant account  

The majority of these companies offer online services and each one of them comes with its own pros and cons. All in all, these platforms make payment transactions much easier than they ever were before and they save small business people the agony of opening merchant accounts.   

  • PayPal

    PayPal is by far one of the most common and largest payment processors in the world. It rose to its prominence after collaborating with eBay and many other online merchants. All you need when using PayPal is the details of your debit or credit card and your bank account. From there you get your own secure information about your PayPal account that you do not have to share with anyone.

    Signing up with PayPal is free and it does not require any annual membership fees. You also do not pay any processing fees or service charges. If you are a small business owner, you never have to worry about the challenges of opening a merchant account.

    The benefits of using PayPal are:

1. Credit card security. Since you don’t disclose your personal banking information, your account cannot be hacked.

2. Flexibility. You will never have to face the agony of having your credit card declined. With PayPal, you can have several bank accounts as well as credit and debit cards linked to them. If the first attempt fails, PayPal will request funds from your other accounts depending on your order.  

3. It’s free. PayPal is free of charge, and there are no annual membership fees.

4. Instant international transactions. You can send or receive money in almost any country in the world. The transfers are instant, and you can check your balance with one click. This makes it significantly better than other costly payment methods like Western Union.  

  • Square

    Square is a number one choice for small business owners. Square does not require much paperwork and the fees charged are minimal. The Square, which is a card-swiping device, turns your smartphone or tablet into a cash register. The card connects with the device of your choice to carry out all kinds of payments. Square services are especially popular in street food stands, restaurants, coffee shops, and many other small businesses. Through their Square Cash App, you receive payments as well as electronic invoices.

  • Skrill

    Skrill is the best alternative to PayPal. Some of the features that make Skrill stand out are its instant deposits and withdrawals. The transaction fees are minimal making it perfect for small business owners. With Skrill, you can also send text messages from your account. The system process payments in 40 currencies. Skrill also has an incredible referral program that allows you to collect 10% of all the friends’ transactions.

  • Google Wallet

    If you do not have a merchant account, you can also use Google Wallet to receive your payments. Google Wallet is another popular online payment service that is simple to use, safe and very fast. You can use your smartphone to carry out your transactions using Google Wallet. The service also allows you to connect debit, credit, gift and loyalty cards to your account.

  • Stripe

    Stripe has been around for a couple of years now, and it is another way of accepting payments without opening a merchant account. It has a flexible and powerful API that makes all transactions easy to make.
    The flexibility allows you to tailor the Stripe platform to your needs. It is easily integrated with many other applications, which means that even if you are not tech savvy, you can comfortably start using it to do your business. It has no set-up, or monthly fees as well as any other hidden costs. Small business owners that find it hard to open a merchant account will definitely love this easy-to-use platform.   

  • Apple Pay

    Another option to take into account if you don’t want to open a merchant account but want to process online payments is Apple Pay. All you need to start receiving online payments is a touch ID confirmation. This means that simple payment processing is literally at your fingertips.  Though the platform needs a lot of improvement, it is by far one of the fastest growing payment systems.

Wrapping it up  

Sure thing,  merchant account holders have access to a large number of advanced payment methods but the approval time can be a real pain in the neck. Depending on the payment service provider, it might take weeks to get an approval to open a merchant account. Besides, it is also expensive, especially for small business owners. Third-party gateways offer the best alternative to merchant accounts. Though they might not come with the same advanced payment tools and services, they are affordable, fast and secure. They also give merchants the option of managing the transactions using their mobile devices. Gateways without mobile reader solutions offer the same services via a website.

Therefore, if you are starting up a business or are all set to run your own business but cannot afford to open a merchant account, the platforms above will show you several ways how to accept credit card payments without a merchant account.

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