In today’s heavily digital economy, a merchant account is almost indispensable- even for mostly brick and mortar businesses. If you intend to do business online, and you should, a merchant account is an absolute necessity. In this article, we’ll explain how to get a merchant account in just a few easy steps.
With a majority of purchases now being made with debit or credit cards, businesses have seen up to 30% improved average ticket amounts just by accepting card payments. For online businesses, have an integrated, secure gateway is almost a necessity to stay competitive and provide your customers with a convenient checkout option.
What is a Merchant Account?
A merchant account is a specialized type of business account that enables you to accept a range of different types of payments. The most common payment types are increasingly debit and credit cards. Other forms of payment processing include check processing, ACH and e-wallets.
Payment processors work with banks to get merchants approved to open a merchant processing account. This allows the merchant to accept cards like Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express. However, not all merchants are able to get approved for a merchant account, leading to the rise of a number of specialized payment processors. These specialized payment processors work with businesses that have special challenges getting approved for a standard merchant account.
Here at Leap Payments, we specialize in working with high risk merchants who have been red flagged, or for other reasons have received poor service from legacy payment processors.
How to Open a Merchant Account
There are two ways to set up credit card processing, both of which require you to enter into a business agreement with your payment processor. The first way is to enter into an agreement with a bank that is authorized to work with a payment processor. The second way is to work with an agent of an authorized bank. These are called a Member Service Providers (MSP), or an Independent Sales Organization Member (ISO).
Once you have decided what type of service provider you wish to work with, simply follow the following checklist, find out what requirements you’ll have to provide to open a merchant account, and you’ll be well on your way.
1. Determine How You Want To Accept Payments At Your Businesses
You will need to know how credit card payment and your particular business type and model will interact. To do this, just ask yourself a few questions;
- What types of credit cards do you want/feel comfortable accepting?
- In what way do you prefer to accept payment (online, in-person)?
- How much of your total sales will be completed using credit cards?
Answering these questions may take some research, business planning, and profiling your specific organization for unique security risks.
2. Find a Reliable Processor
Now that you know what you want from a credit card processor, it’s time to start looking for acquiring banks that will meet your needs best. Not all processors are the same. Depending on your industry, certain payment processors may not even take you on and classify you as high risk. Pricing formats and rates may also drastically vary. It is also a good idea to check out customer reviews.
Here at Leap Payments, our value-added solution is meeting your needs in ways the legacy processors won’t. Naturally, that means we will need to have a conversation, and our representatives are always ready to answer your questions.
3. Set Up Your Merchant Account
Once you have chosen a payment processor you want to work with, all you have to do is apply. Make sure you deliver all of the documents and information they need to process your application completely and quickly. Once you turn in all your supporting documents, the credit processor will process your application and check to see if you have business good credit.
4. Start Accept Payments!
Once you’re approved, you’re ready to start using your merchant account and accept credit card payments! All that’s left to do is set up your online payment gateway or credit card machine, start accepting payments and watch your business prosper.
Why Choose Leap Payments?
Sounds easy, right? Well, it is- or at least it should be. Unfortunately, too many payment processors make applicants wait much longer than needed. If there’s a problem with your application, they are under no obligation to let you know in a timely fashion. As far as they are concerned, you’re not worth their time.
Here at Leap Payments, we are not in the habit of giving the silent treatment to perfectly good potential partners like you. We process your application as quickly as possible and let you know if there is any problem or if there are missing documents. That way, you have the best chance to be approved to open a merchant account in the minimum amount of time with us.
Superior service fast is our value proposition!
Get in touch today. Our representatives are ready to answer your questions and help you get started.