Frequently Asked Questions About Merchant Accounts and Payment Processing

If you’re a new business looking for more information about merchant accounts and payment processing, you’ll find there’s a lot to learn. This basic FAQ won’t answer all your questions about accepting credit cards for your business but will provide you with a starter on some of the most common questions and things you’ll need to know when looking to open a merchant account for your low risk or high risk business.

We encourage you to contact us to learn more.

Can I accept Samsung Pay?

Allowing your business to accept Samsung Pay is simple! Modern payment methods are not only safer but they are proven to increase sales, return visits, and customer satisfaction!  Bankcard Brokers can get you a Free credit card terminal to accept Samsung Pay and save you money on your credit card processing fees.  All you need is a terminal (and a credit card processor) capable of accepting NFC payments.  Get your FREE NFC capable terminal today CLICK HERE! and apply in minutes.

How do I accept Android Pay?

Allowing your business to accept Android Pay is simple! Modern payment methods are not only safer but they are proven to increase sales!  Bankcard Brokers can get you a Free credit card terminal to accept Android Pay and save you money on your credit card processing fees.  All you need is a terminal (and a credit card processor) capable of accepting NFC payments. Get your FREE NFC capable terminal today CLICK HERE! and apply in minutes.

Can I accept ApplePay?

Empowering your business to accept ApplePay is simple!  Bankcard Brokers can get you a Free credit card terminal to accept ApplePay and save you money on your credit card processing fees.  All you need is a terminal (and a credit card processor) capable of accepting NFC payments.  Get your FREE NFC capable terminal today CLICK HERE! and apply in minutes.

How long do refunds take?

According to the Electronic Transfer Act, banks are given up to 10 business days to process refunds.  Why should it take 2 weeks to get the money that was refunded to you?  Great question.  When you issue a refund to a customer it is processed with rest of your transactions for the day, however, due to the current EFT operations/policies in the U.S. it takes a lot longer than that to act and the money won’t end up at the customers financial institution for up to 10 business days depending on their financial institution and the card issuing institution.

Remember this also goes for your credit card transactions.  The money you receive within 24 – 48 hours of a sale is not actually paid to the acquiring bank or credit card processor for up to 10 business days!

Is ACH the same as an eCheck?

Although ACH processing is very similar to eChecks the payment source in ACH processing is different.  With ACH  funds are transferred from one bank account to another by means of debiting or crediting the account; whereas, with an eCheck the funds are originated via a one time payment using a check. Both payment methods utilize routing and account numbers.

Should I offer ACH Payments?

ACH processing is good tool if your business has a need for recurring payments, such as memberships (such as Gyms and supplements), billing and subscriptions. ACH is also used in industries such as healthcare, government, utility providers and property management.

What is ACH?

ACH stands for Automated Clearing House and can also be referred to as EFT, or electronic funds transfer.  ACH processing is a method of electronic payment where funds are transferred between bank accounts.

What is Recurring Billing?

Recurring billing is a process you schedule payments from your customers on a regular basis. Recurring billing not only significantly reduces the time and money you spend on billing and collections, but it provides a very convenient way for your customers to pay you on time, every time. One of Bankcard Brokers ETA CPP can help you establish the best recurring billing policies for your business.

What is a Virtual Terminal?

A virtual terminal is a secure web-based interface that allows a merchant to process credit/debit card, ACH and check payments from any computer that has an Internet connection.

What is TIN verification?

Your merchant account must be registered under the exact same legal name or TIN (Taxpayer Identification Number) as your taxes.  This means that all the dashes, dots, and spaces must be the same!  If your TIN does not match up with the business records at the IRS exactly then the IRS requires your merchant service provider to withhold 28% of your processing volume until the discrepancy is rectified!  If you receive a notice that your TIN does not match please contact Bankcard Brokers right away so that we can help you address the issue.

What is a 1099-K?

All credit card processors are required to report the gross transactions that any business processes to the IRS. Both the IRS and the business owner are provided a copy of the reported income via a 1099K form. The IRS began requiring processors to report this income in an effort to catch businesses not reporting 100% of their income.

How do I accept credit cards online?

Starting an eCommerce business can be a great way to bolster retail sales or reach customers that normally would not have known about your business and accepting credit cards online is easy. You will need to have a viewable website to get approved for a merchant account then you just need to integrate the compatible secure gateway with your site and you are all set to accept credit card online. Contact Bankcard Brokers today and let one of our certified payment professionals guide you.

What is a secure gateway?

A secure gateway is the software tool that captures your customers credit card information and encrypts it for secure transmission and approval. A secure gateway is most commonly used in the eCommerce environment and attaches to your shopping cart. From the user perspective the purchase is seamless yet the secure gateway actually takes over as soon as the customer clicks to purchase from that point on the transaction takes place the secure gateway. The transaction is then submitted to the credit card processor who deposits the funds into the business’ checking account.

What is Tiered Pricing?

Tiered Pricing is the most common billing model used for merchant services.  In this model a merchant service provider essentially takes the hundreds of different card types from interchange and clumps them into buckets or tiers.  Although this model makes merchant services seem simple enough the problem arises from the fact that every merchant service provider or credit card processor can establish which card types fall into which “buckets” meaning that it is impossible to compare one credit card processor to another or to really understand what you are paying for your merchant services.

What is a Basis Point?

A basis point is 0.0001 (or 1/100th of a percent 0.01%) and is commonly used as the measurement for the amount that a business will pay above interchange in order to accept credit cards.

What is Interchange?

Interchange is the cost that all merchants must pay no matter what. It is the cost that the card issuing banks, card networks, and major card brand charge for any credit card transaction. There are over 400 categories in the interchange system for the various card types and acceptance methods. Interchange is the basis for your cost to accept credit cards and represents the cost that credit card processors pass onto business owners. Credit card processors, or merchant service providers, take interchange and mark it up for their services using a wide variety of pricing models.

Does EMV make PCI Compliance any easier?

Use of an EMV-compliant point-of-sale station is unrelated to the PCI DSS requirements for businesses. EMV is being implemented in an effort to fight card present credit card fraud and in particular counterfeit credit cards. The PCI DSS standards have been established to protect the way card data and card holder data is handled.

What is the EMV Liability Shift?

On October 1, 2015, the card brands and card issuing banks are shifting the liability for card-present credit card transactions in the event of a chargeback due to fraud. Whereas the liability of fraudulent credit card transactions used to lie with the card issuing bank now liability will lay with the “least compliant link” in the payment chain. This means that merchants must upgrade their point of sale stations to be EMV or potentially face the cost of any and all fraudulent transactions that took place at their location. It is easy to avoid this penalty and pass the liability back to the card issuing bank by implementing an EMV capable terminal and having your customers use their chip to complete transactions.

What is EMV?

In an effort to keep up with international payment standards U.S. banks are now issuing EMV chip credit cards. EMV (or chip) technology is named after its original developers: Europay, MasterCard and Visa. EMV credit cards have a small computer chip that generates a unique code with every transaction and makes them more difficult, if not impossible, to counterfeit. Use of EMV Technology has been proven to greatly reduce and or eliminate credit card fraud from counterfeit credit cards in other countries that enabled this modern payment.

I just sold my business – can the new owner use my merchant account to accept credit cards?

No, once you sell your business the new owner must establish a new merchant account. This is an important step in selling your business because the holder of the merchant account can be held liable for fraud, misuse, or security compromises associated with the account. You do not want to be liable for a business that you no longer own! Simply let the new owner know how much you have enjoyed working with Bankcard Brokers and have them call your representative to establish the new account and we will make the process seamless and easy!

What is PCI Compliance?

PCI compliance (or the PCI DSS) stands for Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards are the series of Best Practices that all merchants who accept credit cards are required to certify that they meet these standards annually. These standards were created by the PCI SSC (Securities Standards Council) which consists of the major card brands (Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express) and the card issuing banks. PCI DSS is an effort to help secure payments, protect consumers, and curb the negative effects that credit card fraud has on the economy.

How do I process check transactions?

Want to accept checks but worried about fraud or bounced payments? Give Bankcard Brokers a call and allow one of ETA Certified Payments Professionals discuss your options. Whether you need check verification or check guarantee Bankcard Brokers has you covered.

How do I accept Gift Cards?

Gift cards are one of the easiest and most effective ways to promote your business and bring in new customers. Bankcard Brokers makes it easy to accept gift cards. The first step will be deciding how you would like to design them followed by how many you would like to order and if there are any additional promotional items you would like to accompany your new marketing piece. Once your design is submitted, proofed, and approved your cards will be produced and linked to your merchant account. Then you just have to sell, donate, or give away your gift cards and watch your business grow!

How do I start accepting credit cards with Bankcard Brokers?

This is the best part! No one makes it easier to apply for a merchant account solution. Simply visit our APPLY NOW PAGE and select the appropriate business type and your prefered equipment – then follow the link to our simplified 7 minute merchant account application!

If my business is seasonal, do I still pay my monthly service charges when I am not processing?

Seasonal Businesses often get frustrated with merchant services that charge monthly fees whether or not the business is actually processing credit card payments. Bankcard Brokers has programs with your business in mind just let us know you are a seasonal business and approximately what months you will be operating and we’ll make sure you are not paying for services when you don’t need them.

How do I change my bank account information?

Simply reach out to us and we will assist you with making any necessary changes to your bank account information for your merchant account deposits and fees.

How do I read my monthly statements?

We understand how difficult it can be to understand your merchant services statement. Bankcard Brokers makes every attempt to make our statements as transparent as possible, however, if you would like assistance on understanding your bill for credit card processing simply give us a call and one of our certified payment professionals will be happy to assist you.

Do I have to pay my monthly fees at one time?

Yes your fixed monthly fees will be billed at once.

When will I be charged for my credit card processing?

Most merchant accounts are set up on a monthly settlement for credit card processing fees, however, some business owners prefer to settle out of their daily deposit. Bankcard Brokers will work with you to create a settlement pattern that is congruent with your accounting practices.

What is a Chargeback?

A chargeback is when a consumer disputes a charge on their credit card statement as not being valid. This can be the result of a number of things from products being misrepresented, never delivered, or credit card fraud, however, in an unfortunate turn something that was created to protect consumers has turned many of them into unknowing fraud. This is called “friendly fraud” and takes a costly toll on businesses, banks, and credit card rates.

What is AVS?

AVS is a step taken to help combat credit card fraud. It verifies the number portion of the cardholder’s address against what is entered by a person claiming to own the card while making a credit card purchase. Having AVS service on your merchant account can be a very effective tool to combat chargebacks due to credit card fraud.

What is a discount rate?

A discount rate is actually the exact opposite of a discount! A discount rate is the rate that you are charged for the processing of a credit card charge. When a purchase is made with a credit card the acquiring bank is essentially “fronting” the proceeds to you the merchant and waiting for the banking system to reimburse them (which can take up to 10 days) and for this service the charge a discount rate or a rate at which a bill of exchange or an accounts receivable is paid (discounted) before its maturity date.

Does Bankcard Brokers accept foreign businesses?

Yes Bankcard Brokers has the unique ability to accept businesses from just about anywhere in the world! If you have a business in need of an International Merchant Account contact us.

Will I receive a monthly statement?

Yes you can choose to receive your monthly merchant services statement either by mail or electronically.

Is there a customer service number I can call if I need help?

Yes. Bankcard Brokers not only has our team of highly qualified certified payment professional Monday thru Friday but we also provide 24/7 customer service based right here in the United States.

How will I receive payment from my credit card transactions?

Your credit card transactions will be released to your bank account in 24 business hours. Depending on your bank’s processes you will receive your funds within 24-72 hours.

Can I use a smartphone or tablet to process credit cards?

Absolutely! Bankcard Brokers has multiple mobile processing services depending on the needs of your business. Let one of our ETA Certified Payment Professionals guide you.

My website isn’t ready, can I still get approved for a merchant account?

In order to get an approval for your ecommerce merchant account you will need to be able to provide (at a minimum) screenshots of the website that include your Shipping, Refund, and Terms of Service as well as the products or services you will be selling. Once your website is live it will be subject to review prior to your merchant account activation.

Do I need to have an American Express® or Discover® account before I apply?

No you do not. If you would like to accept American Express or Discover simply let us know and we will take care of it for you at the time of application.

What credit cards will I be able to accept with a merchant account from Bankcard Brokers?

Bankcard Brokers will empower your business to accept all major credit cards including PayPal, Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover.

Can I get a merchant account with bad credit?

Absolutely, you can establish a merchant account to accept credit cards even if your credit is not great. Even if you have had a bankruptcy Bankcard Brokers has a merchant account for you.

Do I need a business checking account to obtain a merchant account?

Yes you will need a business checking account to establish a merchant account – however – if you are a sole proprietor you may establish a merchant account with your personal checking account.

What kinds of businesses does Bankcard Brokers accept as clients?

Great news! Bankcard Brokers can provide merchant accounts to just about any business category. With over 15 years in the payments industry Bankcard Brokers has close partnerships with over 25 domestic and international acquiring banks. This allows us the unique ability to provide the world class service and great rates that your business deserves.

How long does it take to get approved for a merchant account?

It can take as little as an hour up to 7 days or more to get approved for a merchant account. For traditional low risk merchant accounts Bankcard Brokers offers our industry leading application portal that can have your merchant account approved and ready to accept credit cards in as little as 1 hour. For some eCommerce or International merchant accounts the approval process is a little more extensive and can take up 7 days, however, on average it should only take 3-4 days.

How do I apply for a merchant account?

Applying for a merchant account is simple with Bankcard Brokers. The first step is to establish the absolute best possible solution for your business type. Simply visit our application page then select the appropriate business type and complete oru simple and secure online application OR contact one of our friendly certified payments professionals to discuss the best option for you and they will get you the appropriate paperwork for the not only the most affordable merchant account solution but the one with the best service available.

What is an acquiring bank?

An acquiring bank is a bank that is a registered member of the card brand associations Visa, MasterCard or American Express in order to provide businesses with the ability to accept credit cards, debit cards, and other forms non cash payments.
Acquiring banks are appropriately named as they acquire (or accept) credit card transactions from card issuing banks that provide consumers with credit cards. An acquiring bank is responsible for maintaining a “merchant account” for any business that it allows to accept credit card payments. In doing so, acquiring banks assume the risk associated with the transactions they process and fund. In the event that a business is unable to refund a reversal, chargeback, or refund the acquiring bank is liable to provide those funds to the cardholder.

What is a merchant account?

A merchant account is an account with an acquiring bank that enables a business to accept credit cards. A merchant account is essentially a bank account that is established based on a number of factors including credit, business model, and amount of “credit” that is requested. This account allows a business to accept credit cards as payment for goods or services. The monies collected with credit card transactions are processed and funded by the merchant account and sent to the business owner’s checking account. Bankcard Brokers works with over 27 domestic and international acquiring banks so that we can provide the absolute best rates and service possible.