Frequently Asked Questions

You probably have questions and we are happy to answer them. All questions about merchant account setup, maintenance, pricing and credit card processing equipment is covered on this page.  We’ve provided links to blog posts and resources to help address your all your questions. Of course, you’re always invited to get in touch for a free consultation.

You can also submit a questions here or search for it below: 

Merchant Account Setup

How do I set up a merchant account?

Each provider will have different requirements for applying for a merchant account, but all will have an application that must be filled out.

The application process takes about 15 minutes & all your information is gathered either by phone or an online web application. There are minimal documents that you need to provide in most cases.

If you’re ready to set up a merchant account, click here to schedule a Free strategy session.

How long does approval take?

The approval process typically takes about 24 hours. After your account is approved you are then ready to program terminals or POS equipment.
If you are reprogramming existing equipment (vs. buying new) your provider will give you the instructions on how to do that.

What questions should I ask before opening a merchant account?

We posted a video on this very topic. You can watch the video titled:  10 Things You Should Know About Merchant Account Applications.

This video digs into the details of what you need to know before opening a merchant account.

It includes necessary questions and things you should remember to do with your account to keep it in good standings. 

What information do I have to provide to get approved for a merchant account?

The information provided can vary slightly between providers but here are the main items that will be requested of you at the time of application:

Application items

  • Company name, address and contact information
  • Ownership information including social security number and percentage ownership
  • Tax Identification Number
  • Bank account information

Documents you will provide

  • Photocopy of your drivers license or ID card
  • Photocopy of a blank check for merchant account debits and credits

Why is credit review part of the merchant account approval process?

Merchant accounts are not widely thought of a loans or lines of credit but that is technically what they are. For this reason, the processing company takes on risk of collecting funds that they pay out.
When a transaction takes place, the cardholder is charged and the merchant account provider pays you for the sale. The cardholder has up to 90 days to dispute the transaction for any reason and when this happens the chargeback process starts.

If the chargeback is found in favor of the customer, the funds are automatically debited from your bank account and paid back to the cardholder. The merchant account provider wants to make sure that each business they approve is financially sound and credit is a part of that equation.

Rates, Fees and Pricing

What specific rates and fees will I pay for accepting credit card payments?

Merchant account fees usually range from 2.00% to 3.50% of your monthly credit card volume. The specific charges vary based on the type of business you are and how you accept payments from your customers.

Merchant account pricing is not a “one size fits all” pricing model so rates can vary from company to company. 

With that, most credit card processing rates will be below 2.00% for swiped credit card transactions and from 2.00-3.00% for non-card-present transactions. 

What is interchange and how does it affect my costs?

A single interchange rate is paid every time a transaction is made whether it’s Visa, Mastercard, or Discover or American Express.

Some rates are lower than others because, for example, they are determined to be less of a risk to the card issuing bank and less likely to have chargebacks occur.

Some other of the most notable factors that determine the exact cost of each interchange rate category are:

  • The type of business / Merchant SIC code
  • How the payment is accepted (face-to-face or via the internet)
  • Cost of the sale (average ticket or purchasing card)
  • The type of credit card (business corporate card, vs. individual card)
  • Processing technology (interchange optimization for IP “high speed” connection)
  • Daily settlement

So when a card is presented at the point of sale, it falls into ONE of the interchange categories based on these qualifying factors.

What is Address Verification System and do I need it?

It’s a security measure that can be added to your account so that your adding another layer of qualification to purchases.

If you have address verification (“AVS”) turned on, your customer will need to provide their billing zip code, the CVV account fees usually 

How often and how am I charged for merchant account fees?

You will get a monthly bill that is charged within the first couple of days of the month for the previous monthly processing volume.

Each day you process transactions your merchant account provider keeps track of the total fees and adds them up for the total bill at the end of the month. Some providers charge fees on a daily basis based on risk of the merchant account.

Types of Merchant Accounts

Will I be automatically approved? Is my business high risk?

There is an underwriting and approval process in order to set up a merchant account. Most aggregator merchant accounts have instant approval, but come with their own set of guidelines when it comes to risk and stability of the account. 

There are generally high risk and low risk merchant account providers, so if you’re not sure if you fall into a high risk category, check out our high risk merchant account page for more information on getting approved. 

What is a cash discount merchant account program?

A cash discount merchant account is a program that gives you a simple flat rate that is passed on to your customers at the point of sale. 

Special technology simply and automatically assesses the fee at the time of the sale. (pricing is based on average ticket and will either be a flat rate of 3.50% to 3.99% or a flat transaction fee ranging from $0.80 to $0.99 per transaction)

To learn more, please visit our cash discount merchant account page. 

Can I just use my iPad or tablet to accept credit cards?

Of course! 

There are lots of apps and virtual terminals available with online merchant accounts. Most of the payment gateways that we work with give you a special hosted payment page to use with your merchant account so it’s very easy to

To learn more, please visit our online merchant account page.

Accepting Payments On Your Website

My website is built with WordPress. What are my options?

There’s lots of options to accept payments with WordPress., CardPointe, and Clearent payment gateways all offer plugins that will integrate with the WooCommerce plugin in order to set up your ecommerce store.

The BancardSales Group offers implementation packages to help you configure everything, so if you’re not tech savvy or you just want to hire someone to do it for you, reach out to us and we’ll customize a program just for you. 

Here’s a tutorial on how to set up and install the CardConnect Payment Gateway (i.e. CardPointe) with WordPress and WooCommerce

What is a hosted payments page?

A hosted payment page is a website page that is hosted for you by the gateway company. 

It’s a page that is able to be customized with your logo and you can use it by simply linking to it from your website. 

It’s a standard offering with our CardPointe merchant account platform and you can learn more by clicking here. 

Are You Ready to Get Started?

There are lots of options when it comes to setting up a merchant account or payment processing system so if you’d like to talk with one of our specialists about your needs, click below to do so.