How to get a merchant account?
Nowadays, if you want to succeed in business, it is almost impossible without making it online. To encompass a broader audience and reach more potential leads, one of the primary points to consider is setting up a secure and reliable way to accept payments on a business website, and a merchant account is a key factor that influences it.
What is a merchant account?
Merchant account – is a special trading account that is a must-have option for any marketplace or other online business.
Such an account allows merchants to accept bank card payments (Visa, Mastercard) worldwide. It also ensures payment processing round the clock and doesn’t depend on bank working hours. Whenever a client pays, you will get money.
What are the benefits of having a merchant account?
- The simplicity of integration and further operation;
- High transaction security;
- Lower expenses;
- Availability to operate in foreign markets;
- Lower taxation load.
How does merchant account work?
From the perspective of a customer, the payment process looks very easy: you just need to put an item into the checkout and confirm a purchase. But how merchant account services really work?
- After choosing a payment option, the customer enters a credit card details: number, expiration date, CVV-code.
- Payment data is transmitted to a payment gateway that monitors transactions on possible fraud activities.
- Then, it sends an information request to a bank and to a payment system.
- The next stage is a confirmation of the sufficient payment amount and card validation. An issuing bank confirms data and the payment system send a response to an acquiring bank.
- A merchant receives funds on their merchant account. A customer ensures that the payment was approved and money was debited.
All these steps take only a few seconds and that is why so important to have a trustworthy payment provider that will take care of such processes.
How to get a merchant account for an online business?
Filing an application and opening a merchant account is a process that does not require significant efforts. However, since the choice of payment service providers is quite large, we have prepared criteria that every merchant should consider before setting up a merchant account.
1. Find a reliable merchant service provider.
With the emerging of a large amount of alternative financial institutions, it is become more difficult to be conversant in the variety of payment service providers. Since the choice directly influences your business, one shouldn’t neglect advices that will help you to choose a merchant service provider properly.
- Convenience and functionality. First of all, it is necessary to determine the main business points. What exactly do you expect from the payment provider as ownership? What regions are you planning to work in? Does the provider provide a sufficient number of local payment methods and the required number of currencies?
- Security. Find out how securely your provider protects personal data and the savings of their customers. What tools and methods does it use to protect payments against fraudsters?
- Fees. The size of commissions often becomes the main factor when choosing a payment system. But first of all, you need to understand what they are made up of. Each intermediary in the payment service chain can set a price for their services, and the longer this chain is, the higher the total cost will be. Also, there may be additional charges, including installation fees, chargeback fees, etc.
- Customer support service. Technical support 24/7 will help to quickly solve any problem and avoid delays in work. Along with the system of real-time monitoring will provide you timely financial reports.
2. Prepare a website.
In order to get a merchant account, Visa and MasterCard prepared a list of requirements that every business website must meet.
- First of all, a business website must be up and running. Banks, frequently, decline applications from merchants with not operational websites or those, that are still under development.
- The second stage is an SSL certificate. It ensures a secure connection between online users.
- Also, a website must contain a business name, real address, and contact information, including email or mobile phone.
- A full description of the goods and services that are provided.
- If it is a gaming/gambling website, it must contain a description of games.
- Some banks require websites to have a logo of payment systems (Visa, MasterCard).
- Terms and Conditions and Refund Policy for physical goods.
- it must be located on a paid hosting, and all its pages – in one domain zone.
The requirements may differ depending on the chosen bank.
3. Analyze your equity and annual turnover.
Financial institutions often charge commissions based on the average income. Besides, to register a merchant account for online business you must provide a tax statement.
4. Prepare all documents.
In order to open a merchant account without any hassles, and work stably, your business must meet a number of requirements of an acquiring bank:
- The existence of a personal bank account to receive money form a merchant account;
- You must disclose to the acquirer information about the ultimate beneficiaries of the company;
- The company’s statutory book must be duly certified.
5. Choose a bank to work with.
The choice of a bank depends on the type of activity of the company and its features. However, it is better to open an account with a bank where there are no restrictions on the number of transactions since the activities of companies interested in a merchant account are usually associated with frequent payments. In addition, the bank must have an appropriate processing license.
6. Final preparations.
Weeks later, after applying, you will receive a response from the bank. In the case of the positive answer, you will be proposed to sign an agreement, one copy of which will remain with you and the other in the bank. After that, the acquiring bank will assign you a merchant id, and all the necessary instructions. After integrating the payment gateway, your site will be ready to accept payments.
The bottom line
We, at PayOp value our customers, so we created a comprehensive payment platform with an extensive list of tools that are available right after sign-up. In a real-time, you can monitor all transactions in details, compare statistics, gather detailed reports. Contact us if you have any concerns.
Also, you can always rely on our customer support team and get all the disputes solved timely.