How do I apply for a merchant account?

You can apply for a retail, wireless and/or Internet-based merchant account from our easy online application page. Be as specific as possible in regard to the requirements of your business so we can determine the most beneficial solution possible.

Can my business be approved for a merchant account if I have bad credit or no credit?

Yes. We have one of the highest approval rates in the industry regardless of the signor’s credit rating. We will work with your business to determine the best way to proceed.

Can I be approved for a merchant account if I am just opening/starting my business?

Yes. We assist both U.S.-based and offshore merchants in regard to the best way to proceed with payment options utilizing our vast network of banks and processors around the globe.

How long does it take for my credit card processing transactions to get funded to my bank account?

The funding period is entirely dependent on the acquiring bank that approves your business for a merchant account. We will disclose this information to you upfront and it will be included in the processing contract you sign. For high-risk offshore merchant accounts, the standard funding period is weekly, two (2) weeks in arrears (however, there are exceptions).

What if I need assistance with my merchant account or processing?

You will always have a reliable direct contact with your processing company to resolve any issues that may arise. In addition, Performance Card Service will act as your liaison to the bank for the lifetime of your merchant account, and we can always be reached via e-mail, phone or Skype for any account-related issues. We strive to resolve all merchant issues as quickly as possible.

What type of merchant accounts do you set up?

We assist merchants from all industries, both domestically and offshore. We will review your application and give you an upfront indication of what options may be currently available for your business.

We have solutions for retail card present, wireless, e-commerce and MO/TO merchants via our large network of domestic and international banking partners.

We will strive to find solutions that are best tailored to your business, and work to expand your range of payment options to give you the edge over your competition.

How long does it take before I can accept credit cards for my business?

Generally speaking, once we receive a complete documentation package from your business, we will work to obtain pre-approvals and merchant account options for your consideration within one (1) business week. This time period can be shorter or longer based on underwriting and bank requirements, which vary with merchants based on history and industry sector.

What is the discount rate?

The discount rate is a percentage of each transaction that the acquiring bank charges for the transaction to be processed. This is based on bank underwriting in regard to the risk associated with the business and industry sector that is applying for the merchant account.

What is the transaction fee?

This fee is a flat charge on each transaction that the acquiring bank levies for the transaction to be processed. This will vary based on the acquiring bank, and will be disclosed upfront as well.

How does a merchant account integrate with my business website?

The three main integration methods for e-commerce processing are Hosted Sales Page, API and Virtual Terminal.

Hosted Sales Page integration occurs when customers are redirected to a secure page that is hosted by the processor to input their credit card details and process the transaction. The benefits are that the processor ensures PCI compliance and all security.

API is direct integration from the merchant side to the acquiring bank’s processing system. This requires more complex programming on the part of the merchant and allows the customer to stay on the merchant site throughout the purchasing experience. Merchants must ensure SSL security and PCI compliance for their websites.

Virtual Terminal (VT) is available on a case-by-case basis. Most acquiring banks require merchants have at least six (6) months of good processing history before they are considered for virtual terminal access. Please let us know upfront if VT access is a requirement for your business so we can determine the best way to proceed.

What is the refund fee?

The refund fee is charged anytime you make a refund to a customer’s card for any reason. It covers the transaction cost of moving the funds back to the customer’s card-issuing bank. This fee will vary depending on the bank.

What is the rolling reserve and how does it work?

A merchant account works just like a line of credit that a consumer might be issued with a regular credit card. It is, in effect, a line of credit issued to a business by the acquiring bank. The processor and bank will forward you the funds from a credit card transaction BEFORE they actually receive the money from your customer’s bank. Customers have up to six (6) months, in most cases, to contact the card-issuing bank and request that the transaction be reversed. The rolling reserve is an account that the acquiring bank creates to hold your funds (generally 10% for 180 days). They release this amount to you in arrears — so if it is a 10% RR 180 days in arrears, then on month 7 you get paid back for month 1, month 8 pays back month 2, etc. The processing company does this to ensure it is covered in the event of a fraudulent merchant or customer. This is generally in place for offshore merchants and some higher-risk domestic merchants on a case-by-case basis.

What is 3D Secure/VBV?

3D Secure is MasterCard’s fraud prevention service that forces customers of participating merchants’ websites to sign up for an account to verify their personal information. VBV means Verified by Visa, and is very similar to 3D Secure.

What choices do a merchant have regarding fraud prevention?

There are a multitude of fraud prevention solutions available — TrustMarque offers RiskGuardian; CyberSource is another.

The best way to handle this is to have a CLEAR refund policy and always follow through if there is any indication of a customer charging back. This also includes follow-up emails/calls with your contact information, and making it as easy as possible for the customer to recognize that the charge on his/her credit card statement is from you (and to contact you directly for a refund instead of contacting his/her bank when disputing the transaction). Failing that, you need copies of a government-issued ID showing signature and signed customer credit card authorization form so you can attempt to reverse any chargebacks that come through anyway.

If a chargeback is issued, you would send the signature to the card-issuing bank — in this manner chargebacks can be reversed. Unfortunately, it is usually at the discretion of the issuing bank and not the acquirer or processor (who are on our side, but will do everything possible to work with the issuing bank in your favor).

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