"What is a Merchant Service Provider?", you may ask.
Well don't look at me! I have no idea. I have been on hold for the last 28 minutes with Authorize.net to try and figure it out.
I opened the PaperBride and PaperMama sites last week and have been fulfilling and shipping orders, whistling while I work. Then I noticed that I wasn't getting paid. And I stopped whistling.
I am no expert (obviously) but it seems that Authorize.net only checks to see if the credit card is legit. They don't actually CHARGE the card. Ok, so what good is that? Why wouldn't they just go the extra step (espeically since I am paying them)? Apparently, I need to sign up with ANOTHER service to have them charge the card and deposit the funds into my account. Another service that will charge me another fee for every order.
I must say, this seems like quite a racket! Why isn't there one site/service that does it all? Is there and I just don't know about it?
If you have any answers (or even helpful hints), bring them on!
Updated to add: Well I finally got through! It seems I was mistaken about the whole MSP thing (I told you I wasn't an expert). Authorize.net did hook me up with an MSP (CyberSource) so that wasn't my problem. I am still digging to get to the bottom of this. Right now, I feel like the money is just hanging in the air, like that scene from Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, where they send the chocolate bar to the television set.