Subject: Good luck!
From: mark@ENLIL.PREMENOS.SF.CA.US (Mark Grand)
Date: Thu, 11 Feb 1993 22:33:57 -0800

>>>>> On Fri, 12 Feb 1993 00:03:03 EST, "Russell Nelson" <nelson@CRYNWR.COM> said:

Russell> Someone mentioned accepting credit cards.  OY!

Russell> Good luck getting a merchant account nowadays.  A merchant account is
Russell> one that lets you process VISA/MC slips.  Banks are VERY paranoid
Russell> about giving out merchant accounts.  Every bank I've talked to
Russell> insists that you have a storefront, get a signature, and handle the
Russell> card.  I was told by one that, after you've been in business for a
Russell> while, they'll consider taking mail/phone order accounts.

A few years ago I started a side business selling software through the
mail, mostly through phone orders.  I ran into the problems you
mention with VISA and Mastercard.  However, American Express was very
understanding and gave me no problem at all.  On the other hand, they
charge a 4 to 4.5% discount for the volume of business I did as
opposed to the 1.4% to 2% that the banks would have charged me if they
had wanted to do business with me.