Choosing a Merchant Service Account
For business looking to expand their business channels to an online ecommerce store, applying for a merchant services account is an important first step. Whether you already have an ecommerce website or are looking to get started with one, finding the right merchant services company for your business is essential to success. These merchant services companies often differ substantially in their monthly fees, itemized charges, and chargeback policies. Once the right candidate merchant services firms have been selected, getting accepted for their service is the next step. This article will explain how aspiring ecommerce merchants can get started with a merchant services account.
List Potential Candidates
Before applying for a merchant services account, research each company and list advantages and disadvantages of each firm. Depending on your needs, different offerings might be more advantageous than others. While price is important, other differentiators like customer service, specific terms, or restricted industries are usually more important. Start with a list of your needs, then compare it to each company's terms and conditions. Make a list of a couple services that seem right for your services, then move on to actually applying for a merchant account.
Visit Their Website
Most merchants, especially ecommerce merchants, offer the ability to apply for a merchant services account directly on their website. Many require the submission of EIN and Social Security numbers to verify the identity of potential clients. These companies will also use this information to run credit reports to reduce their risk of working with merchants that might struggle fulfilling a chargeback or routine fee. Usually online applications can be completed very quickly in less than five minutes. However, this usually is not the end of the full process. The online application process is merely a screening process to automatically decline merchants that don't meet the criteria the service provider is looking for. Once the basic information about you and your company have been received, the next step is usually to talk personally to configure the offering your needs and verify the validity of your business.
Call the Company
Once the application has been completed, the next step to finish the application is generally to talk on the phone. Some merchants allow their customers skip the first step and jump right to talking on the phone. However, this is generally required for most merchant services. During this phone meeting, the nature of your business, the sales strategies used, and the history of the company will all be discussed. Service providers will also use this as an opportunity to help you understand other services that they have to offer. At the end of this meeting, account mangers will usually have enough information to make the decision to approve your company.
Visit Their Store
For some offerings, making a personal visit is also a requirement. Often these providers are banks with national branch offices or local providers in large cities. During this appointment, service providers will verify photo identification, attempt to build a relationship, and do most of the activities generally conducted during a phone interview. This is also a great opportunity to develop a strong relationship with your account manager, which can help later down the road when problems arise.
By following these instructions, completing an application for a merchant services account is a simple activity involved in choosing a merchant services account.