The Main Rules for Creating a Merchant Account

Do you and your business need to accept credit card payments? You need to open a merchant account then! experts recommend looking for low fees, responsive customer support, and, most importantly, high-risk processing options. Below are the step-by-step instructions that will help you open your first merchant account properly.

1. Select The Way to Accept Payments

You have to decide on the best way to accept credit card payments before choosing the account provider because the available options will depend on your preferences. Select one or more of the following:

  • Via the online marketplace (website);
  • By mail or via the phone;
  • Via physical credit card swipes in your office or store.

2. Find The Best Merchant Account Provider

You have the following providers to choose from:

  • Banks – opening a merchant account in your bank is the most obvious and probably the simplest solution, but it’s highly recommended to review all options to find the best terms.
  • ISOs (Independent Sales Organizations) or MSPs (Member Service Provider) – both organizations provide middlemen services on behalf of banks but may offer exclusive terms.

3. Get Through The Fees

Regardless of the account provider you choose, there will be many fees to pay. You have to compare the fees on different platforms to select the most reasonable. Here are the fees to consider:

  • Fixed monthly fees – some platforms may charge a minimal fee if you don’t surpass the minimal number of transactions per month.
  • Transaction fees – every transaction comes with a flat transaction fee and a percentage of the transaction amount.
  • Statement fees – an additional fee is charged every time you request a statement;
  • Cancellation fees – all platforms charge a fee if you decide to terminate your account before the contract ends.
  • Miscellaneous fees – occasional charges, such as chargeback fees, setup fees, etc.
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4. Make Sure a Payment Gateway is Provided

A payment gateway is necessary for accepting credit card payments, but not all merchant account providers offer it. You can opt for a third-party solution or find an all-in-one provider.

5. Apply for the Account

Applying for the new merchant account may require you to do the following:

  • Check your credit report for mistakes –  dispute the mistakes with the reporting bureau before applying to show good credit risk.
  • Gather financial statements – financial statements are required even if your business is new and generates low sales volume.
  • Provide processing history – a processing statement of the last 6 months has to include the overall number of transactions, refunds, and chargebacks.
  • Submit the application – enter all the required personal and business information.
  • Review the terms – once you receive the agreement, you have to reviews the terms thoroughly and consult with your business lawyer if something isn’t clear enough.
  • Sign the agreement & install the software – if you find the terms reasonable, sign the agreement, install the provided software, and start accepting payments.

Keep Up to Date

Having a reliable merchant account provider that covers all your needs is already a big deal, but you also should keep the platform’s security protocols up to date. Address all potential risks in advance and enjoy your business!

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