Common questions about merchant accounts and credit card acceptance
Any merchant looking for a merchant account must take the time to really learn and understand everything about payment processing before signing up for a merchant account. Below is a list of frequently asked questions regarding merchant accounts and payment processing. If your question is not listed below, please contact us, and an account representative will be glad to help you.

How long does it take to start accepting credit cards?

The time it takes to setup merchants with credit card processing is different for with each company. We will set you up to accept credit cards within 3 days after you complete the application.

What is a merchant account?

A merchant account is a commercial account at a financial institution that allows you to accept credit card transactions. Merchant accounts control the transfer of money to your bank account from your customers’. They can be acquired from your local bank or a merchant account provider.

Can I use someone else’s merchant account to do my transactions?

It is against the Visa and MasterCard agreement and is known as “credit card laundering”. Processing your credit card transactions with someone else’s merchant account will lead to heavy fines and will jeopardize the merchant’s processing account.

Which credit cards will I be able to accept?

We can have you setup to accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover. Ask one of our representatives if there are additional cards you would like to accept.

Why are rates higher for Internet, Mail and Telephone Order transactions?

Sales where the credit card is physically swiped through a terminal is considered to be less risky by banks. Transactions where the card is not present results in higher rates because the chance of fraud and chargebacks are higher.

How do I receive my funds?

The funds from your transactions are deposited directly into the checking account you specify on your merchant application.

When will the funds be placed into my checking account?

Credit card transactions can take about 2-3 business days to deposit the funds into your checking account.

What is a monthly minimum fee?

The monthly minimum fee is the minimum amount the merchant account provider needs to have in fees. This is not an extra fee as long as the merchant credit card fees are higher than this minimum amount. If the monthly fees do not meet or exceed this minimum amount, the merchant will be charged the difference. This is a common fee and can sometimes be reduced if the merchant expects a low monthly volume.

What is a discount rate?

The discount rate is a percentage charged on each transaction. This will usually be the most important fee because it makes up the majority of costs associated with your merchant account. Discount rates depend on the type of transaction. Transactions where the cards are swiped are usually lower then keyed in or Internet transactions.

I already have a credit card terminal. Do I need a new one if I switch?

Most likely we will be able to reprogram your existing equipment.

What is AVS?

AVS stands for Address Verification Service. It is used to prevent fraud in card-not-present Internet and mail/telephone order transactions by verifying the cardholderÕs billing address.

Can I have both a terminal and an internet payment gateway?

Yes. If your business needs both a credit card processing terminal and an internet payment gateway, we will accommodate you.
For more information and additional questions please email us or call 1.866.613.2558.

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