With a merchant account, you are setup to sell your products and services from your website or in person. Accepted payment forms include:
- Credit cards: Visa, MasterCard, JCB, and Diners
- Debit cards: Visa, Solo, Electron, Delta, and Maestro
- Gift cards
- Checking accounts: ACH, eCheck, and Demand Draft
There are four ways for accepting payment information, swiped, tapped, keyed and dipped:
- Swiped: a swiped account is used when you have in-person customers and you can swipe their credit card or other cards. Typically included in this category are retail merchants (face-to-face retail transactions), wireless/mobile (face-to-face transactions but in a wireless situation), restaurants, and lodging providers.
- Tapped: Instead of having to enter your pin or swipe your card, tapping allows the consumer to just place the card on the terminal and tap. It is a convenient alternative for both the merchants and consumer. However, tapping has its own risks. This type of accepting payments can make the consumer vulnerable to being skimmed even when the card is kept in their pockets.
- Keyed: a keyed account is required to take payment information over the phone, online or by fax. These payments can also include mobile situations when the customer is present but the situation is unique. Included in this category are Internet/ecommerce merchants services/products provided online using a shopping cart and a payment gateway), mail/telephone/Internet order (payment details are taken and entered manually), and face-to-face mobile (allows you to be mobile for example at a mall kiosk and accept payments).
- Dipped: Card dipping is the process of inserting a debit or credit card into a reader, generally in a PoS environment. With dipping, the card remains in the reader until the reader gives a visual signal that indicates the reader has acquired the card’s information.
Owning and operating a merchant account comes with a number of responsibilities on your behalf. It is very important that you abide by the rules and regulations set out by the credit card companies you are working with. Be aware of these rules and regulations. Failure to do so can result in your business being placed on a MATCH or TMF, Terminated Merchant File list and once this happens it is very hard to get approved by other payment methods.
There is a range of different fees associated with merchant accounts. These fees vary based on the type of account you have, the transactions you’ll be accepting, and your merchant account provider. Make sure you review and discuss all these fees with your merchant account provider
Q. How do I get a merchant account?
Contact your desired acquiring bank or alternative provider of merchant accounts and begin the application process. Below we have provided a list of documents frequently requested.
- A copy of your driver’s license or passport.
- A business account and a void check for this account. This is the account that you will use for accepting and managing deposits. You can also provide a bank reference letter to confirm this account.
- Evidence of an actual business. This includes your DBA registration, business license, and details of the business incorporation/organization. Note: if you are a sole proprietorship, these documents are not required.
Please note, the documents may vary from bank to bank or alternative provider of merchant accounts. For example, you’ll likely need to complete an online application form and provide information about your business including business start date, sales volumes, contact information, and signature details. Please ensure that you thoroughly understand what you need to provide. (Any errors can delay the processing and opening of your merchant account.)
A payment gateway allows you to accept online sales and to charge your customer’s credit, debit, gift cards or checking accounts. The payment gateway operates behind-the-scenes and is invisible to your customers.
Similar to a standard swipe machine, the payment gateway processes and validates the payment, ensuring that the card, and payment information is valid.
To be most effective, it makes financial and business sense to use a payment gateway that supports all of your global payment processing needs. This allows you to accept purchases worldwide and gives you a truly global digital presence. Verifi’s strong support for all major domestic and international processing payment gateway networks empowers you to ensure uptime and protect revenue while minimizing processing costs through intelligent and flexible transaction routing.
Make sure you’re using a payment gateway that does the following:
- Provides a safe and securing processing environment: Ensuring your brand, payments, and sales are protected. Using advanced technology, Verifi’s Global Payment Gateway utilizes secure tokens, end-to-end compliance and secure process capabilities to protect your business.
- Helps you protect yourself against fraud: Using an embedded rules engine, the Verifi payment gateway gives you the ability to centralize and easily accept or decline transactions with pre-set business or custom rules. Layer and modify your fraud prevention strategy seamlessly to minimize risks, without adding IT costs or turning away good sales.
- Provides deep business analytics: You need the ability to maintain a global view of your business priorities and the information required to optimize your business profitability. Our Global Payment Gateway allows you to maintain line-of-sight into recent changes to business priorities through our in-depth performance, risk, profitability and chargeback analysis and reporting – all powerful, unique data available in a unified view and in real time. Develop custom strategies to maximize profitability address the shifting economics of the business, better prepare for upcoming events and monitor and reduce risks.
Q. How can I learn more about merchant accounts and payment gateways?
We understand it can be overwhelming to try to understand all the details associated with online sales and processing. We don’t want you to have any lingering questions or doubts. Our Resources section will provide you with the information you need to set you apart from your competitors.