Credit Card Processing Mistakes to Avoid in Ecommerce

The life’s blood of ecommerce, credit card payments are the killer app without which online shopping would not exist. Of course, along with the convenience they provide, credit cards bring some pretty significant issues of which digital merchants need to be aware.

Here are five common credit card processing mistakes to avoid in ecommerce.

1. Skimming Over Terms and Conditions

We’ve all become accustomed to simply clicking “Agree” when presented with a Terms and Conditions screen. As 50,000,000 Facebook users recently discovered, that’s probably not the best idea when you’re counting on business to be done in a specific way. Skimming over the terms and conditions can be positively ruinous for your ecommerce store when it comes to credit card processing agreements.  You could be leaving yourself open to all sorts of financially debilitating situations. Read over everything carefully before signing, or have it gone over by someone you trust who has competency in such matters.

2. Agreeing to a Volume Requirement

Many processors insist upon merchants doing a set dollar amount of business with them each month. Meanwhile, if you’re just starting out, you have no idea where your sales volume will land. If you’ve agreed to one of these deals, you could be on the hook for money you didn’t make. If you must sign on to a volume agreement, start out with a low volume processor, then scale up as your sales increase.

3. Overlooking Hidden Fees

Every processor has fees. After all, that’s how they make their profits. Now, with that said, don’t just automatically go with someone who seems to have the lowest fees. There are many ways a lower fee structure can wind up being costlier in the long run. Fees can vary based upon the type of credit card your customer presents. Online transactions can entail higher fees than physical ones in brick and mortar stores. And, those “customer rewards” offered by certain card companies are paid for by charging you higher fees too. Being mindful of the fee structure when you choose a processor is an imperative.

4. Skimping on Fraud Protection

Whether you’re running ebooks online stores, selling furniture on the ‘net or cosmetics, one good run of chargebacks in a given month could put you out of business. Chargebacks can occur when unscrupulous individuals steal credit card numbers and use them to make purchases at your store. When these charges are discovered by the rightful owner of the card and reported to their financial institution, you can be compelled to refund the legitimate cardholder. This puts you at a double loss. You’re out of the money as well as the merchandise the fraudster “purchased”. You want to work with a processor who will do everything possible to minimize fraud—and offer you protection if criminals slip through their defenses.

5. Taking on The Responsibility of PCI Compliance

Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) were put in place to make credit card transactions as secure as possible. A necessary part of doing business, they can also be expensive to meet. Further, PCI DSS protocols evolve as new threats emerge and methods to thwart them are developed. Keeping up can be difficult when you’re also trying to run your business. To avoid this, choose a processor who maintains PCI compliance and make sure your site is being hosted by a PCI compliant entity as well.

Affording the proper attention to these five credit card processing mistakes to avoid in ecommerce will save you a lot of headaches. They will also help you keep more of your hard earned money where it belongs—in your bank account.

Attractive Propositions: Do These 5 Things Right and You Won’t Have Any Trouble Finding a Buyer for Your House

In the current competitive property market, it is essential when trying to sell your house that you give yourself an edge when finding a buyer. Recent evidence shows that half of the properties that come on the market do sell. With that in mind, you must put in an extra effort to effectively market your property. So what will help you find a discerning buyer for your property?

Enlist the right estate agent

Gone are the days when home buyers needed someone to walk them through a house and show up when finalizing the sale. Nowadays, home buyers are looking for a lot more when enlisting the service of an agent and have high expectations for what precisely the agent should deliver. As a seller, you need to find the top selling real estate agent in your area, taking into account their charges, client’s reviews, the agents speed of selling houses, as well as how effective they’ve been at securing the asking price for a property. Check the local papers and property portals to get a feel of which top three agents are and ask for proof of sales when you invite them to your property for an appraisal. Also, you can ask for a marketing plan for your property detailing the comprehensive details of the proposed advertising avenues where your property will be showcased, as well as an explanation of how they are going to convince buyers to buy your house.

You can also inquire about the action they propose to take if the property is not sold within the first three months. Compare the fees charged and suggested market prices for your property and be suspicious of an agent charging meager fees and stating high market prices as a way to beat off competition.

Get the right marketing price

We all assume our properties are worth more than the others in the market, but if you want to sell it, then you need to market your property at a competitive price. Be sure to research on similar properties in the neighborhood to ascertain what they are selling for and the average price per square foot so you can price your property accordingly. Keep in mind the price displayed on most real estate portals as the marketing price differs from the sale price by a 5 percent margin. Don’t be tempted to start high and then lower your price if it doesn’t sell within a set period. Home buyers are wary of properties that have been on the market for a while and slashed their price. This makes them think that something is amiss with the property and will choose to rule it out. You may also include a special buyer package to give to clients when touring your home.

Tidy up your property

Forgive my bluntness, but you are not going to get the top price for your house if it looks messy. Buyers are keen to find homes that are move-in ready and lack any problems. Clean all surface areas and store away all magazines, books and clothes. Do some gardening and move the bins to a less visible location. It may require you to drive vehicles away from the front of your house when viewings take place as it will open up your property and give it a more appeal. Find an appropriate place to store all the junk for a while as this will be meaningful in the long run. Do all the small touch ups that will make your property more appealing when someone comes to view. Don’t do massive renovations that will eat up most of your investments as you are likely not to get your cash back. You may as well consider having your home pre-inspected to assure buyers your house is in good shape before putting it up for sale.

Capture the best-unobstructed views of the property

The first impression always matters. Home buyers love to see photos and videos of the homes to help in deciding whether to schedule viewing. Make sure the pictures displayed on the property portals by your real estate agent are bright enough. Feel free to have them take other photos if the ones used in advertising do not look appealing. Do not use pictures captured on a cloudy winter day but wait for a spring day or sunny summer to show off the beautiful yard, the landscape and neighborhood. Ensure the uploaded photos are presented in the best sequence. The cloakroom photos should not be first photos a web visitor sees.

Get constant feedback from your property agent

Regular communication is vital as this keeps you in the know of the scheduled viewings and client response. Request for feedback to understand what home buyers are looking for in a property and what actions you should take to make the property saleable. Find out from your real estate agent how many people viewed your property online on the portals as well as the real estate agent’s website. If the numbers are high but the viewings low, then consider reviewing the presentation of your property. If the numbers of web visitors are low then definitely your marketing prices need to be readjusted downwards. Get to know if any responses were given to internet leads and after how long the prospective buyers did receive calls backs or email responses to their inquiries. A significant portion of the property buying process is the need to validate the buyer’s choice that they made a right decision that will lead them to the closing table.

Home buyers are looking for the best deals in the property market, and one way to ensure this is achieved is by finding a good real estate agent. Have the best photos displayed and a detailed description of the property on sale that will give buyers a feel of the property. Present as much information as possible such as the neighborhood information, the real estate agent contact details, virtual tours of the site, and interactive maps that the buyers can use to locate the property.  Ensure that the buyers feel satisfied. The end of a transaction is just the beginning of building a relationship with your clients while helping them adjust to the community. You can offer suggestions of fun things to do in the area.

In a Crowded IT Industry, How Do You Progress Your Career?

There’s no shortage of IT jobs; indeed, it’s one market where you can access with relative ease, and be paid a decent wage from the beginning. But there’s a snag; a lot of people know this, and that means there’s a lot of people competing for the jobs that are a step above “entry-level.” And of course, reaching the top is even more difficult. But it is possible – take a read of our tips below, and you’ll be placing yourself on the right path towards IT career success.

Don’t Be Afraid to Move

Now, we know that there’ll be times when you want to be loyal to your employer. They’ve taken care of you, you like your work, and your colleagues are cool. However, unless they’re offering you regular promotions, that pleasant position might turn out to be a dead-end job. If you want to become a success in the IT world, you have to be willing to move. Remember, a job isn’t just a one-way street; you should ask what your employer can do for you, as well as the other way round.

Topping Up Your Skills

It might seem like IT is everywhere you look, but this is not the case. In fact, it’s barely just begun. As such, things are moving at a fast pace. If you were to rely solely on what you know now, then you’d be out of the game in a couple of years. When you sign up for a career in IT, you’re signing up to carry on learning until you retire. So take the time to learn the IT skills you need to progress your career. When an employer asks you to do something, you’ll already have the skills to do it.

Position Yourself As An Expert

You might think that you’re “just a worker,” but you don’t have to be. You can also position yourself as an expert, and in the process gain a reputation as being someone worth paying attention to; it’s easy to see how this would have a positive effect on your career. You can do this by using social media to comment on the latest IT issues, and writing blogs that go into detail about a certain topic.

Sideways Isn’t Always Bad

In most industries, a sideways move may be considered bad. In IT, this isn’t necessarily the case; indeed, if it exposes you to a new facet of IT, then it could be a good thing. It’s a good idea to have a speciality, but also a broad understanding of many different aspects of the industry too.

Look to the Future

It’s fair to say that the world will look a little different in ten years. It certainly looked different ten years ago! As such, keep one eye focused on what’s coming up ahead. If you see something that’s worth being involved in, then you’ll be at the forefront of an emerging market while everyone else is still figuring out what’s going on.