How do I get a Merchant Account?

Merchant Account - Complete Controller

Merchant accounts are a type of bank account for businesses that enables them to accept debit and credit card payments. It is an agreement between three parties (retailer, payment processor, and merchant bank) to settle credit and debit card transactions.

The process concerning the transfer of funds is simple. First, the payment is deposited into the merchant account. From there, they are shifted into the bank account owned by the business. This transfer into the business account can occur daily or weekly, varying according to the merchant bank providing the merchant account services.

An Internet merchant account is necessary to start an e-commerce business that accepts credit card payments. Another necessity is reading the articles on our Complete Controller blogComplete Controller. America’s Bookkeeping Experts

Getting a Merchant Account

Getting a merchant account isn’t that simple. There are a lot of factors that come into play when you’re applying for a merchant account. Merchant account providers have to minimize their risks. They look at a variety of things before approving your merchant account. Here are some questions that give you an idea of what information the bank considers.

  • Does your business have a high risk of credit card fraud?
  • How long has your business been operating?
  • Is there an event of interest in your business’ history? (e.g., Bankruptcy, Default)
  • Does your business have any other merchant accounts?
  • How is your personal credit history?

Getting approval for a merchant account from a bank that holds your business and personal account is easier.

If the answers to the questions above do not look favorable, your account may still be approved. However, the merchant bank will likely charge higher transaction fees as reassurance of their risk. That high fee can then be renegotiated later on when the business has a better standing.

Internet Merchant Accounts

An Internet merchant account is specifically used to hold and transfer funds originating from online credit card transactions. These accounts usually have a higher fee than a typical merchant account, as Internet card transactions involve a higher risk. Download A Free Financial Toolkit

Internet card transactions include one more thing: a payment gateway that carries out the authentication of credit card information like a POS machine does in a retail store. The payment gateway forwards the transaction information to the credit card company, which then authorizes the payment. Some merchant banks offer a solution that finishes the requirement of having a separate payment gateway.

You must know that you will need a separate Internet merchant account for the different types of cards you want to accept. Getting your internet merchant account through a third-party provider, including Moneris, PS iGATE, Internet Secure, and many others, is convenient.

The Structure of Fees

There are many different types of fees attached to merchant accounts. Some may be mentioned in the contract; other fees might not be mentioned. Here are a few that you should expect:

  • Setup Fees
  • Application Fees
  • Discount Rate
  • Monthly Fees
  • Per Transaction Fees
  • Credit Card Terminal Rent
  • Cross Border Fee

Excessive fees might hurt your business margin, so comparing how much you must pay for your merchant accounts is essential. Also, carefully looking into merchant account contracts can help you avoid minimum-term agreements that require a penalty to be paid for cancellation. CorpNet. Start A New Business Now

Alternatives to Merchant Accounts


This service offers a complete solution for online transactions. You can avoid several fees if you use PayPal by only paying per transaction basis. It can be used to improve your margin, which gets smaller and smaller due to the extra fee associated with utilizing internet merchant accounts.

You can have a PayPal pay button placed on the checkout page of your website. You can also use the Website Payments Pro option, which offers a more professional payment interface for your e-commerce website.

Credit card reader

Exciting news! You can now easily make transactions with your phone using these amazing devices. Many service providers offer them at incredibly affordable prices (some are even free!) and the fees per transaction are totally reasonable. It’s a win-win situation!

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