A merchant should be prepared to accept different types of payments for credit card processing. The method of obtaining a merchant account can be daunting and a bit confusing. In this article you will gain insight to this process so that you will have more of an understanding on how it all works from start to finish. Learning about this process will ensure a smooth and rapid experience with your approval and set-up as this can take days to several months. This usually depends on merchant response and diligence.
First research and make a final decision as to what merchant service company to work with as the business and the processor will work hand in hand during the application stages. Now, be sure to fill out the application in its entity. It is important not to leave any blanks if it does not apply just simply write in N / A for non-applicable. There may be an application fee or sometimes called a processing fee. This fee absorbs the cost to process an application for approval. It takes a lot of effort and time for reviews, following up and several departments to come to an approval and in some cases time and time again. The merchant processor goes through several channels on the merchant's behalf. By paying this fee initially gives the merchant a vested interest in the account process and a paid status confirms this to the processor and the bank to move forward.
The bank will require back up documentation that must be consistent with the merchant application. Some items that they review are bank statements, tax returns, financials, processing statements, a business plan and advertising materials. The documentation should be scanned in and emailed in effort to be sure that all credentials are received clear and concise. Faxing documents sometimes is acceptable, however most of the time it does not come in clearly as needed to decipher for the banks. Do not cross out or send partial copies. The banks will reject such papers as incomplete.
With paperwork requests all is time-sensitive as documents may be determined irrelevant to the bank if they are not considered current. Current is usually within the very last three months. This is also with the application date can expire and they may ask for a new one if too much time has gone by without the proper paperwork needed to proceed and the cycle may need to be refreshed all over again. It is very important that the merchant understand this.
Another thing the banks look at is the foundation of the company. They review several things when determining that and may have several requests such as; adjusting terms and disclosures, customer service, memberships and revolving charges and altering the business website. This is all in effort to better your business so you will want to follow specific instruction and be steadfast about it as this may determine rates and approval or not.
Also, if a merchant application result comes back as a denial the merchant will be asked to resubmit as the processor will want to then attempt to route that merchant with another bank for another attempt at an approval and this can be a cycle until a final approval and agreement of the terms can be reached. If a business is a special circumstance (ie business has negative credit, new business without established history, considered a high risk company, etc.) then the merchant should expect to go through this approval series as is common practice.
If the merchant is working with an experienced agent and the credit card processing company has several banking relationships they should have a very high approval rating. In this case they are able to match your application to multiple banks that will extremely result in an approval for the merchant account. This processor may even be set up internationally in helping them obtain approval to accept credit cards overseas. This can greatly amplify business profit.
In addition, it is important to factor in a merchant account package and how this can increase your revenues substantially. This means being able to accept credit and debit cards in any way imaginable. The merchant can accept transaction types via telephone, the internet, through a pin pad, virtual terminal and payment gateways as well as having a back up merchant account. All of these things are beneficial in reaching significant success in business.
Yes, there are several fees and charges involved in the luxury of being able to accept credit cards. Visa and MasterCard have built this into programs programs so that they benefit very from the process. In essence, it allows for a purchase to transpire with an approval of the funds, then processing it into another account handling the credit and debit to each account by means of electronic transfer. Not to mention, the managing of returns, refunds and charge backs. This goes through many electronic transfers to clear so there are fees the merchant is required to pay. These fees are usually a very low percentage compared to the profits the merchant earns by being able to process payments electronically.
To summarize; research, apply, pay processing fees, be thorough, be timely and efficient, confirm the receipt of documentation and that the merchant is meeting the banks criteria in all areas of their business. Always work closely with a merchant provider as they act something as a merchant account financial planner. This person will be sure to get the very best rates, support the merchant and act as a relationship between the merchant and the bank, setting a business up properly with a combination of merchant services for a specific business type and get the merchant up and running with credit card processing as quickly as the bank allows.