Open A Merchant Account - How To Do It

With the easy and convenience of online shopping it is imperative that you open a merchant account- how to do it for the success of your business or company.  Having merchant accounts will allow your business to accept online forms of payment; this will allow you accessibility to more customers and therefore more revenue.  Opening an online merchant account can be an easy process.

The easiest place to start looking for a merchant processing bank is locally. Make sure to compare all banks in your area, not just your current bank to get the best rates.  If you decide to go with a bank that you do not have an account set up at you will need to open a new business account.  It should be an easy process to open a merchant account- how to do it depends on your needs as well.   The plus side of having merchant accounts at a local bank is the contract that comes with it.  If you deal with refunds or charge backs, they will easily be able to be processed by a banking institution.  In addition, because customers will not be going through a third party, they will be a lot less hesitant to purchase from you online.  If your company is headquartered outside the United States you may not be able to take advantage of a bank for your merchant processing, most need a United States address to get you started.

Another option for your online merchant account would be an independent sales organization.  These independent sales organizations or ISO's are third party providers.  In essence, they allow you to use their account to receive payments from customers.  They typically charge higher fees for merchant processing.  The other downside would come in the form of a contract unlike a bank these ISO';s do not provide a contract.  This means if you have charge backs or refunds they may be more difficult to handle.  The other negative aspect is your customers may not be as inclined to use a credit card when their information goes through a third party.

The last option for your online merchant account is merchant service providers.  These merchant service providers or MSP's take care of credit card processing in addition to functioning like an ISO bank or other financial institution.  Having your merchant processing take place through a MSP has some benefits.  These include ease of transactions including sales and refunds, outstanding customer service, reliability and trustworthy use for your customers.  The downside to these merchant accounts is the fees involved.  Make sure to research the fees that the MSP will charge you; some of these fees are for account set up, and transaction fees.  The other disadvantage would be worry about fraudulent transactions; in response to this, the merchant service provider should have a high level of fraud monitoring tools to protect you and your finances.

After you do research into each type of account and have decided on which option works best for you and your business you will need to get the documentation together to open the account.  This documentation will vary depending on the type of account you are opening, but can include driver's license, address verification, tax statements, proof of domain name, and a list of products and services offered.

Once you do some research to open a merchant account- how to do it becomes a much simpler process.  Your company will benefit from the added marketability of online shopping.

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