The worldwide lockdowns in response to COVID-19 highlighted a new way of living and doing business. Many companies went virtual, and consumer demand for eCommerce solutions surged in the aftermath. Although the lockdowns (and the related panic buying) were temporary, consumer purchasing behaviors have forever changed in response to this unprecedented event.
Businesses are now forced to become experts in a wide variety of highly technical or complicated subjects. Retail managers around the world now need to be experts not only in medicine, law, and politics – but eCommerce processing security as well. Thankfully, the National Merchants Association has experts on hand to help you with accepting credit cards for eCommerce.
When you have revenue flowing into your business, you can more easily hire the help and resources you’ll need to get through the hard times. NMA reviews eCommerce merchants’ capabilities to ensure our clients are armed with the tools to succeed in the constantly evolving market. Here are six NMA benefits all our partners receive.
6 Benefits of NMA for eCommerce Merchants
NMA is more than a bank – in fact, we facilitate financial transactions between your bank and the banks of your customers. We help ease the friction traditionally associated with doing business with “Net 60” and “Net 90” vendors, along with customers needing long-term financing options.
1. Advocacy for eCommerce Merchants
Unlike traditional banks and other financial professionals, we’re advocates for merchants. In fact, we represent merchant interests to card brands and issuers, as well as legislators and regulators. The last thing retailers need is to be subjected to unnecessary regulation, so we act as a defensive barrier to protect retailers, merchants, and other honest businesses.
In fact, we joined leaders from agencies like the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau, Federal Reserve, and Department of the Treasury throughout the 2010s to reform payment laws. These meetings gave a voice to an important segment of the economy to help drive growth through the 2020s.
2. More Durable Processing
The stress on the internet infrastructure caused by the coronavirus is like nothing we’ve ever had to endure. Businesses are routinely losing network server access, causing payment problems that could be detrimental to the business. Imagine being unable to sell any copies of the latest video game console this holiday season because your payment processing platforms are down.
In addition to challenges with physical networks, ecommerce processing accounts can be harmed by consumer “chargebacks” (disputing a charge on their statement) that result from events outside of the merchant’s control. For example many merchants were surprised to learn that if you have an event business that has been forced to shut down due to COVID-19, customers can still initiate a chargeback for those payments, even if your business fully intended to deliver those services when it was safe to do so.
And for ecommerce merchants, chargebacks are a continual threat – card brands have determined that consumers should have all the power when disputing a charge, and this can put merchants at risk. NMA provides industry-leading tools to prevent and manage chargebacks, helping merchants avoid costly reserve fees or account terminations that can occur with other processors.
NMA provides secure and reliable payments through our wide network of deep partnerships. All information from each transaction is protected by industry-standard, end-to-end encryption. We have full compatibility with all the latest payment technology, including cryptocurrency, mobile payments, chip cards, and more.
3. Expert Underwriting
Underwriting eCommerce merchants can be difficult because of the high risk of fraud inherent in online businesses. Card Not Present (CNP) transactions are considered the highest risk for merchants. This means many banks and payment processors will avoid working with your business, leaving you with fewer options – and those that are available are often predatory or overpriced. NMA benefits include the inclusion in our partner network, where we negotiate on behalf of a larger group, reducing fees for all members.
Whether you’re a large firm or a small, independent entrepreneur, our combined negotiating power ensures you have the lowest payment processing rates available.
4. Better Rates to Accept Credit Cards
Margins in ecommerce can often be razor-thin. To be profitable, merchants must negotiate with every vendor or supplier. Accepting credit cards comes with several types of fees that can vary widely by your payment processor. This can range from a percentage to flat fees, along with other payments and fees. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution.
NMA helps our partners find the lowest fee structure for their particular business models. The volume of sales versus your per-sale dollar amounts are the two most important factors. If you have a high volume of low-dollar-value sales, you’ll have different needs than a business with fewer high-value sales. Choosing the appropriate fee structure is integral in your financial success.
5. Account Optimization
NMA works collaboratively with each member to ensure your account is fully optimized on every level. This includes the payment processing fee structure discussed above, as well as any other necessary additions you need. Whether you’re looking to run loyalty rewards programs, need a virtual point of sale (POS) network to handle all your payment processing needs, or want to integrate remote mobile payment options with your eCommerce, we have you covered.
Our account representatives will optimize your account to ensure you have everything you need, and that your rates are the lowest they can be for the risk level of your specific business.
6. Fraud Protection
Retail fraud has been increasing exponentially since 2017, according to a 2019 study from LexisNexis Risk Solutions. It’s estimated that every $1 worth of fraud costs a business $3. Not only do we prevent this fraud in advance, but we’ll help protect your financial interests when you are impacted by fraud.
For card-not-present transactions in eCommerce, it’s more difficult to prove that legal liability doesn’t belong to the merchant for fraudulent transactions. Since the introduction of EMV chip cards, this liability extends to card-present merchants as well. This is why NMA provides such strong fraud protections.
With NMA in your corner, your business can focus its resources where they belong – on running the successful business that got you this far. NMA works with our merchant partners on every aspect of their payments and financing, helping you continue to grow and thrive.