August 22, 2001
Do your online shoppers a favor and don't force them to pay with credit cards
Most online stores only accept credit cards even thoough many online shoppers don't have credit cards or don't want to use them. Accepting checks for online purchases, however, can be risky. Luckily for e-tailers, there are some options available to minimize the risk of accepting checks online.
One option for e-tailers is Intell-a-check. Its services allow companies to receive checking account payments over the phone or online. When customers submit checking information, stores can either create bank-depositable checks from a personal computer and laser printer and then deposit the checks or they can use Intell-a-check's Automated Clearing House to transmit payments directly to a bank account. Intell-a-check also has a partnership with Equifax, the check authorization and approval service, so customers are screened to determine if they can be approved for purchases. Plus, using Intell-a-check is as simple as accepting credit cards.
PayPal, the world's largest Internet-based payment network, is another option for online stores that want to accept checks. PayPal will process credit card and checking account payments for a small fee and membership with the service is free. It even guarantees payment if sellers follow safety guidelines, and the site uses strong Internet encryption for added security. PayPal also offers e-commerce sites a free PayPal Shopping Cart that allows shoppers to pay for their purchases in one transaction with PayPal.
Both services offer online retailers a way to accept checking account payments without much trouble. They also provide additional security for retailers and shoppers. With these and other services available, there's no reason why online stores can't accept checking account payments as well as credit card payments.
- by Julia M. Duncan