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Costco Merchant Accounts
Costco Merchant Accounts- It is not yet widely known in every circle that Costco has teamed with Elavon to offer merchant account services. To learn more about the Costco merchant account offerings, continue reading this article. Costco merchant accounts!
What Is a Merchant Account?
Although it sounds as if it might refer simply to a type of bank account for merchants, a merchant account service is created to allow ecommerce merchants to accept credit card payments. The payments may be enabled through point-of-service (POS) terminals, virtual terminals enabled by software. Merchant accounts may either include a coordinated payment gateway service, or you may also have to acquire a gateway service. A merchant account usually allows you to accept at least the four most popular credit cards; VISA, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express, and may also offer other options and services.
What Is the Organization Offering Costco Merchant Accounts?
Merchant accounts are actually offered through a partnership with Elavon, referred to as Costco/Evalon. Because Elavon was the fourth largest merchant acquirer in North America, processing over 2 billion transactions per year for more than a million merchants around the world, Costco chose to partner with it to offer merchant processing services.
The Basics of Costco/Elavon Merchant Accounts
The relationship between a merchant and Costco/Elavon begins with the merchant completing an application. It takes about 7 business days from the receipt of the complete, signed application to equipment delivery. Training is provided as needed for the use of the equipment.
Costco/Elavon offers credit card processing for VISA, MasterCard, Discover, American Express, and Discover’s affiliates JCB, China Union Pay, and Diners Club International. Costco/Elavon also processes PIN debit payments, EBT payments (Electronic Bill Transfer), Corporate purchasing cards, and Fleet cards. This provides customers with the maximum possible payment options, which increases customer satisfaction. Costco/Elavon claims that its services can improve a business’s cash flow, minimize risk in the area of collections, and serve customers better than other alternatives. It also claims to maintain high security standards in order to keep cardholder data protected.
It also offers electronic check service, prepaid and electronic gift cards. It provides point-of-sale solutions including payment terminals, software and Internet products to allow computers to accept card-not-present transactions, and Value-added Reseller interface solutions.
Equipment and software options include:
• Dial-up terminals Hypercom T4205 or VeriFone Vx510LE
• Internet-connected payment terminals Hypercom T4220 or VeriFone vx570
• Wireless mobile payment options Hypercom M4230 or VeriFone Vx610
• All-in-one terminal with mag-stripe reader and check imager RDM Synergy II
• Payment processing software VirtualMerchant and viaWARP
Costco/Elavon MerchantConnect is a free, online reporting tool that allows merchants to monitor their account from a web browser. MerchantConnect shows all kinds of account activity, including deposits, chargebacks, and requests for retrieval. It also provides access to customer support, and access to a service called ScoreBoard that provides tracking metrics for small business owners for up to 36 months. Types of data that are tracked and analyzed include average sale amount, volume of sales, payment types used, and number of transactions.
Further Information and Contact
Although Costco and Elavon each have their own website, the partnership also has a special website at http://www.elavon.com/acquiring/costco/additional-services/index.aspx . On this site, you can access pdf files that tell more about Costco/Elavon’s services and solutions. One thing, however, that is very difficult to find is a complete list of service options and pricing.
Here it explains the percentage plus cost per transaction for retail, mail and telephone orders, and internet (the latter two are the same, while the first is a bit less expensive), but rates are only provided for VISA and MasterCard transactions.
The small print says that terms and conditions are available only by phone from Elavon, and provides an 800 number.
It is unclear which shopping carts the services work with, or if there are any particular carts with which it is not compatible. It also isn’t clear whether integration into an ecommerce site is provided or whether it requires custom programming.
While Costco is usually good about their products, remember this is an outsourced product from Costco. If you want to make sure you are getting the best merchant account you can, check out Merchant Warehouse.
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