6 Steps to Setting up a Merchant Account

Updated: Oct 17, 2019

A merchant account allows you to accept credit card payments for your business, whether online, over the phone or in a face-to-face situation. Opening a Merchant Account is much like opening a bank account.

1. Shopping for a Merchant Account. The following will help narrow your search.

How are you going to accept credit cards? (In-Store, Online, Over Phone)

Is your business or product low, medium or high risk? (Determine with Google Search)

Do you need equipment or software. i.e. POS (point of sale), online store or shopping cart, mobile equipment or service.


2. Search for a merchant account provider based on your needs.


3. Evaluate the merchant account providers & compare fees. Here is list of most common.

Application

Annual

Monthly

PCI

Discount Rate

Per Transaction

Batch

Terminal Fees: Standard Terminal, Gateway or Virtual (Free, Purchase, Lease)

(Payment Gateway for online orders) (Virtual Terminal for Phone or Keyed Orders)


Then most important. Run the numbers. How much is it going to cost you it you process $2500 a month with average ticket size of $45. Try 2 or 3 different scenarios. This will help you determine total fees and pick the pricing structure best for your needs.


4. Apply for Account, by completing an application.

Depending on business, product, transaction and risk types different or additional documents can be requested.


5. Underwriting: Same Day to 2 Weeks (Many Variables) Most 2-7 Days (It also depends on you and how quickly you fulfill any requests for documents or questions.


6. Approval, Setup and Install