A merchant account is required if your small business accepts electronic payments. Merchant accounts are the bank accounts that allow you to accept credit or debit card payments for your business. Because there are plenty of choices, selecting the best merchant account provider might be difficult.
If you’re ready to open a merchant account, it’s good to plan out the steps ahead of time with an experienced merchant service provider.
- Identify Your Credit Card Processing Requirements
The merchant services for small business’s requirements will determine the best merchant service provider. Next, choose a method for accepting credit cards. Will you, for example, take credit cards online, in-store, or both?
Customers, where have you gone? Perhaps you’ll simply need to take the most common credit cards, such as Visa. According to the Nilson Report, Visa is the most prevalent credit card payment method in the United States. Mastercard and American Express are in second and third place, respectively.
If your consumers are from the United States, it makes logical sense to concentrate on credit cards issued by that country. However, if your customers are from all over the world, you’ll need to learn about their card brands so you can process transactions.
- Study Market for Merchant Services Providers
Evaluate the alternatives based on your requirements to determine the best fit for your company. The benefit of conducting a requirements analysis is knowing exactly which features to prioritize.
It may be a great idea to send a request for a quote to a few suppliers as part of this procedure. Yes, this will be a time-consuming exercise, but it will be worthwhile.
- Prepare Your Website
Most organizations will demand that your website adheres to a set of minimum standards. Visa, for example, has a set of standards for merchant websites:
A detailed explanation of the items and services available for purchase. It includes specific details such as electrical items’ voltage needs. It’s a policy to avoid returns due to a customer’s inability to utilize the goods.
- Contact details for customer assistance in great detail
- Your refund and cancellation policy should be clearly stated on your website.
- Policy on delivery, including any restrictions.
- Your current location
In addition to those fundamental standards, your website should offer information on when your customer’s card will be charged and the security measures in place to secure their financial information.
- Collect The Necessary Documentation
If you’re a sole owner, you’ll need to give most applications an Employee Identification Number or social security number. A business license is one of the other criteria.
Processing statements, such as the volume of transactions and refunds, may also be required.
- Send Your Application In.
Depending on the service provider, you may be able to apply online in as little as a few minutes.
Your application will be screened by a merchant services provider, looking at your credit and previous financial troubles like judgements. Therefore, it’s preferable to mention any difficulties throughout the application process.
- Prepare For The Underwriting Process
During the application process, a merchant services payment processing provider will assess your risk. After all, a merchant services provider assumes a great deal of risk.
Consider it this way: chargebacks are now directed at merchant service providers and their partner banks. As a result, if you have a history of significant chargeback volumes, you may be classified as a high-risk merchant.
Understanding your sector and the lifespan of your organization are other important considerations.
- Organize Services For Your Merchant Account
You might be up and running in a matter of days once you’ve been authorized. You’ll obtain the technology you need to accept credit card payments in this phase. Depending on the services you want, this might include everything from payment gateways to credit card readers.