In this modern age more and more business is being done via the internet. In order to process credit and debit card payments you need the facilities to do so. This does not necessarily mean opening a merchant account, you can use one of the various firms that are around nowadays to assist with this such as Paypal, but this does not perhaps project the professional competent image that you would like for your business. There are also gateways to assist with this, but this is not so cost effective taking up to 10% of each transaction.
By far the best option is to open a merchant account with a respectable bank to process these payments. But, this is by far not the easiest option, generally the larger banks ask for large minimum balances and transactions to make it worth their while which is not always possible to guarantee for persons who are just starting up who have no way of accurately predicting how the business will fare.
The banks will almost certainly want to see the website before they approve any application so you will need to have this established even if it is just a placeholder, you can always properly launch this afterwards once you have the account and are able to take payments. Banks are also very wary about fraud and will almost certainly consider any merchant account high risk and will need to go through their fraud department for approval first, so it is important that you are aware of security settings such as 3D-secure and can convey a sense of confidence to the bank.
You cannot be absolutely sure that fraud will not be committed using your website, for instance if someone uses a stolen credit card to purchase from your site, so you need to have procedures in place to deal with these eventualities.
There are various technical terms in connection with merchant accounts and these have been broken down below.
- Merchant account. An account used to hold funds from processing credit or debit card transactions.
- Payment Gateway. This is the process in which the gateway receives the transaction request and then connects to the card account to confirm if it has sufficient funds to process the payment.
- Payment Processor. This is a term generally used to described the company that processes the payments.
- Chargebacks. This is where the money has to be returned to the consumer there are various reasons for this and it is worth noting that this is one of the things that banks are very wary of as the concern with new companies is that they will not be able to cope with high volumes of chargebacks and will not be able to return the funds.
As you can see there are many variables to consider before approaching a bank regarding an application.
Chesterfield can assist with this and help you find the correct approach before finalising your application and therefore increasing your chances of approval.
For more information about how to open a merchant account please follow the link below or call us on our offices