There are a lot of financial choices to be made when trying to make your business successful. Traditional invoicing that is paid with checks or cash is fast becoming a non-sensual method of collecting, and research indicates that nearly 80% of customers prefer credit or debit card transactions instead of cash or checks.
If you’re seeking solutions to the most commonly asked concerns regarding merchant accounts, you’ve arrived at the right spot. Here are the specifics on how to go about it and what you can expect when you take this method of processing credit card transactions.
What is an Merchant Account?
It’s a common one is one that you should ask…but it’s crucial to comprehend what you’re signing up for. Simply put, a account is a contract between a business’s owner as well as an institution that permits an owner of a business to accept debit card transactions to the bank accounts of their customers.
There are two types of merchant accounts namely specifically designed (for only your business) as well as aggregated (where the money you deposit is shared with other businesses) There are advantages for each. There are many different services that are offered by the merchant account provider that are designed specifically for companies that accept payments in a variety of ways.
- If, for instance, you own an online company, you’ll need to ensure that you work with a merchant account service that offers an online terminal, or a method specifically designed to make payments over the internet. If you’re accepting payments from a retail establishment then you’ll need to set up with a merchant account that is designed for credit card transactions that can be swiped.
Do I qualify for a merchant account?
The merchant account provider that you choose to work with will determine your eligibility. Underwriting requirements and other criteria vary from one institution to the next.
There are some things that you’ll need to get started. First, you’ll need a bank account for your business. A local bank can open a brand new account within minutes using your employer identification number. This could be your social safety number or official IRS number. When you receive electronic payments, the bank account will be where funds are deposited or debited.
The merchant account provider will also require you to complete an application. You may be able to fill out your application online, without the need to fax or mail documents. It will ask you to give important information such as your contact information, tax ID, bank account and routing numbers, estimates for processing volumes, authorization information, and possibly information about the beginning of the business.
Can I make both ACH and credit-card payments?
Merchant accounts will not allow you to accept credit card payments. It’s worth shopping around for merchant accounts that offer both credit card and debit card processing. ACH payments (also known as checks) allow you to make a payment from a bank account and are generally more affordable than credit card payments.
Is it safe?
Every merchant account provider must meet certain minimum standards of PCI compliance. However, it is a good idea to inquire about their payment security procedures and what you can do to ensure your own.
What will it cost me?
The types of payments you select will affect the processing fees. Some providers charge a flat transaction fee with an additional percentage for ACH transactions. Credit card fees can vary depending on whether the card was physically swiped and the amount of the transaction. To find out what your merchant account provider will charge, read carefully the terms and conditions.
Are there additional fees?
A hidden fee is the most common complaint that small business owners have after receiving their first bill. This can make what appeared to be a great deal of a financial burden. Be sure to verify all charges before you sign up for a merchant account. Common charges include customer support fees and security compliance fees.
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Is there a contract?
When opening a merchant account, long contracts and high termination fees were the norms. In recent years, the number of merchant account providers has increased. There are now fewer fees to cancel your account and even fewer restrictions on how long you can keep it open. Before you sign up for your merchant account, confirm that this is the case.
How do I start looking for a merchant account?
A financial partner should offer low-cost processing, daily settlements, fast approval, and other desirable features. Merchant Stronghold, an online service, offers fast turnaround times with reliable bank partners. Merchant Stronghold offers a variety of options to suit your business’s needs, including a high-risk merchant account and an ecommerce account.