Want to sign up for a merchant account? Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to proceed further.
Usually, business owners are well aware that the processing of credit and debit card payments is done by merchant service providers. However, what exactly they are unaware of is that payment processing requires a merchant account. This is because of the variety of steps required to set up a merchant account.
Contrary to the belief that signing up for a merchant account is tricky, it is quite simple to open it with the help of a merchant service provider. All you have to do is to spend some time learning about the underlying concepts.
As soon as you have thoroughly researched merchant services, it’s time for you to move forward and sign up for a merchant account. Select your payment processing options according to your business needs, but as always, Host Merchant Services is an excellent, top-rated choice.
The process of opening a merchant account may sound daunting but in reality, it is not. With the right guidance and direction, you can sail through the process easily. Let’s get some more information about dedicated merchant accounts and how you can get approved for one.
How Does A Merchant Account Work?
Before signing up for a merchant account, you should learn more about how they work. Three parties are involved in the process of setting up a dedicated merchant account:
- The Merchant: The term merchant refers to your business and you.
- The Merchant Account Provider or The Payment Acquiring Bank: It is an entity with whom your business will open a merchant account. You will receive payments from your customers in this account.
- The Payment/Transaction Processor: It refers to debit/credit card associations such as MasterCard, Visa, American Express, etc. Your business will accept payment transactions from consumers with their branded cards.
It is important to start the process of setting up a merchant account when you want your business to accept debit/credit card payment transactions from your clients. For that to happen, you are required to sign a contract with a reliable merchant account provider or payments acquiring bank.
They will let you choose the credit/debit card networks from which your business will accept payment transactions.
There are various types of merchant accounts. The most notable ones are – mobile, conventional, or online merchant accounts. Regardless of their type, the involvement of merchant account providers/ acquiring bank and payment processors always remains.
When a customer swipes their card to make the payment or enter their card details online, the data is processed by your merchant account provider or acquiring bank. After that, the information is operated by card networks like MasterCard or Visa, which gives authorization to payments and transfers them to the merchant account.
There are multiple steps involved in the completion of a payment procedure. However, it takes a few seconds to complete the process.
What Type of Merchant Services Do You Want?
One of the most essential steps before setting up a merchant account is to decide what type of service your business and you want.
Accepting debit and credit card payments is the main target when it comes to setting up a merchant account. The goal is to decrease the dependency on cash payment transactions. However, a reliable merchant services provider will help you go further than that.
They can provide resources and solutions that can help in growing your business. It can assist you in providing high-quality services to your customers and at the same time-saving money.
For brick-and-mortar retail store owners, the Point of Sales (POS) system is the most suitable choice. POS payment terminals process transactions by syncing merchant software with them. If you want to accept mobile payments, then select a mobile payment processing solution.
It provides you with wireless card readers that can attach Android and iOS devices to process credit card payments.
If you are the owner of an online business, then you should open your merchant account with a provider that offers online payment gateways. It will allow your business to accept payment transactions through the internet and you will the funds directly into your merchant account.
In the same way, if you prefer payment processing by phone, then signing up for virtual payment processing will be a good option. It allows us to enter the card details of customers manually into the system.
The equipment for payment processing depends on the various types of merchant services. Merchants receive this equipment according to the selected merchant service. The equipment is given by the merchant account provider or the acquiring bank.
Also, there are different charges associated with the equipment. For example, payment gateway software and support have their own service charges.
Cost Related to Merchant Accounts
It doesn’t matter what type of payment processing solutions you select, you are required to fulfill the costs associated with them. Here are some of these costs:
- Monthly Fee
- Setup Fee
- Credit/Debit Card Processing Cost
- Transaction Fee
- Cross-border Fee
- Equipment Fee
Every merchant account provider works according to the same procedures. However, it doesn’t mean that every one of them has the same quality of services.
Some might be better in mobile payment processing while some in payments gateway or additional support. Due to this difference in quality, their service fees also differ from each other. It all depends upon the level of service they provide.
Often acquiring banks charge merchants with service fees along with the card network processing fee. However, modern merchant account providers’ offer reduced charges including service fees.
Therefore, these factors can help you differentiating overall expenses and selecting merchant services. These factors are essential and worth paying attention to while working with a payment solution provider.
Compare Different Merchant Services
If you want to accept credit and debit card transactions through various methods, then you must select a payment solution provider or acquiring a bank that offers a variety of solutions.
For example, if you want your credit card processing by mobile, conventional, or online payment methods, then your payment processor must offer these modes of payment options.
Doing so will not help you efficiently manage your business finances but will also help in the growth of the business. In addition to that, it will reduce the additional equipment fees and setup costs.
Submitting the Application
A few years back, signing up for a dedicated merchant was full of complications. The process was grueling which included the submission of a business license with its physically verified location. Also, for opening a merchant account business owners were required to give their credit score info.
However, opening a merchant account today is easy. All thanks to advanced financial technology. There is no complicated process and it takes a few minutes to set up a dedicated merchant account. All you have to do is to contact a reliable merchant account provider.
Visit the Website of the Merchant Account Provider
After completing your research regarding the costs, services, types, and reliability of the merchant services, visit the official site of the merchant account provider or acquiring bank. Then apply online to open a merchant account for your business.
Select the Services that You Require
The next step is to select what type of service your business needs. Depending on the specific needs of a business, services can vary from conventional solutions to mobile payment solutions. Select the service you need along with the equipment.
Provide the Required Information
Follow the mandatory steps and fill in the required information about you and your business. It generally consists of personal details and information related to the business. Also, if they demand additional information, then provide the same.
After completing the application process, the merchant account provider will keep you updated with the status of your application. It takes a few days to complete the review process. Your application might be approved or require some more details. Submit the additional details to move further.
Setting Up the Merchant Software and Equipment
The next step towards start utilizing the merchant services is to set up the software and equipment provided by the merchant. After the approval of equipment and software, you may require to pay the service fees plus equipment costs.
Most of the merchant service providers make the whole process simple by offering extensive onboard support. Necessary guidance and simple instructions can help you in setting up your merchant account in no time.