What is a merchant account, and do I need one?
What types of business do you accept?
A merchant account is set up with a financial institution to allow you to accept credit card payments directly from your clients. Unlike with most third-party services, money collected through your merchant account is deposited directly into your checking account within 2 to 3 business days. You need a merchant account if you want to take credit card payments from your clients using your own business name, and having the money deposited directly into your business checking account.
We accept virtually all all business's, including retail, professionals, trade shows, mail order, telephone order, Internet based and home based businesses and high risk merchant accounts.
What if I have bad credit?
With our high approval rate you are likely to get approved, even if you have average credit.
How long does it take to get approved?
Most accounts are approved in one to two days. Once approved, we will inform you of your acceptance and ship your credit card terminal immediately.
What are the advantages of accepting credit cards online?
Accepting credit cards online will boost your sales. Studies have shown that businesses that only offer the option of sending in a check or money order often lose sales. Also, it fosters trust with your customers if you appear to be a legitimate business. Plus, the money is automatically wired into your bank account.
I'm not sure what terminal, equipment or software is best for my business.
Typically, Point of Sale terminals are a good choice for 'brick and mortar' retail stores when the credit card is available for 'swiping', while browser based 'virtual terminals' are an excellent choice for internet only and phone/mail in orders.
Most Internet sites will also benefit from a 'real time' payment gateway so users can purchase products and services directly thru your web site 24/7/365.
Contact Escort Merchant Accounts for a free consultation and we will advise you on what is best for your business needs.
Do I need a bank account to accept credit cards and does it have to be a business checking account?
Yes, you do need a bank account, which would be necessary to receive funds from your customers. Yes, it does have to be a business account.
What is a charge back?
A charge back is when a customer receives their credit card statement and does not agree with the charges applied. The customer can either call the merchant or get a return on their merchandise or they can call their bank and issue a charge back against the charge.
What is the monthly minimum discount charge?
The monthly minimum for your merchant account is derived from your processing fees. A minimum of $25 will be collected in MC & Visa fees. The actual amount of processing to achieve that minimum will depend upon your discount rate. For a discount rate of %4.5, you will need to charge $555.56. If, at the end of the month, you have not processed enough transactions to cover the minimum fee, you will be charged the difference.
What is the difference between qualified, mid-qual, and non-qual transactions?
Qualified discount rate is applied for all transactions meeting the "normal" operating guidelines as outlined below:
* All Merchants
Close batches daily
* Retail (Terminal) Merchants
Magnetically swiped & electronically authorized charges
* Internet / MOTO Merchants
Electronically authorize charges using AVS and including order numbers for Visa and MasterCard transactions
Mid-Qualified discount rate is applied for all transactions meeting the operating guidelines as outlined below:
* Retail (Terminal) Merchants
Manually keyed orders using AVS & order number on Visa and MasterCard transactions.
* Internet / MOTO Merchants
There is no mid-qual rate for Internet / MOTO merchants.
Non-Qualified discount rate is applied for all transactions meeting the operating guidelines as outlined below:
* All Merchants
- Not Closing batches daily
- Not using AVS & providing order numbers on manually
keyed or Internet transactions for Visa Cards
- High Risk Merchants (Visa Transactions Only)
- Following Card Types:
: Business and Corporate cards
: MasterCard/Visa Business cards
: Procurement cards (Government)
: Visa Signature cards
: MasterCard World cards
Click here to apply
Address verification service (AVS)
An important fraud-prevention mechanism that verifies customer addresses within the United States. This ensures the identification of the cardholder and guarantees that you ship merchandise to a legitimate customer.
The act of insuring that the cardholder has adequate funds available against their line of credit. A positive authorization results in an authorization code being generated, and those funds being set aside. The cardholder's available credit limit is reduced by the authorized amount.
Automated clearing house (ACH)
ACH is a national electronic network that transfers and clears funds between banking institutions on behalf of merchants and their customers. In other words, ACH helps you get your money from your customers' transactions.
The accumulation of captured transactions waiting to be settled. Multiple batches may be settled throughout the day.
Converting the authorization amount into a billable transaction record within a Batch. Transactions cannot be captured unless previously authorized, and authorizations cannot be captured until the goods or services have been shipped or transmitted to the consumer.
Any person who opens a credit card account and makes purchases using a credit card.
Card validation code 2 (CVC2) and card verification value 2 (CVV2)
Important fraud-prevention mechanisms initiated by MasterCard and Visa to protect merchants. MasterCard's CVC2 and Visa's CVV2 codes help merchants distinguish legitimate customers from those who try to commit fraud. These codes are the three digits on the back of a MasterCard or Visa card that follow the cardholder's credit card number—they protect Internet merchants by helping to identify a cardholder in a non-face-to-face transaction.
Used similarly to a credit card, but the funds are transferred immediately from the customer's bank account to the merchant's account. The advantage of debit cards to merchants is instant access to funds.
The percentage rate that the bank charges the merchant for each credit card charge.
Mail/phone Order Transaction
A transaction where a cardholder orders goods or services from a merchant by telephone, mail or other means of telecommunication, and neither the card nor the cardholder is present at the merchant outlet.
Real Time Processing / Payment Gateway
The service that automates the payment transaction between the shopper and merchant. It is usually a third-party service that is actually a system of computer processes that process, verify, and accept or decline credit card transactions on behalf of the merchant through secure Internet connections.
Per Transaction Fees
Fees paid by the merchant to the merchant bank or other contracted party on a per transaction basis.
Point Of Sale (POS)
Location in a merchant establishment at which the sale is consummated by payment for goods or services received.
The bank that extends credit to customers through bankcard accounts. The bank issues the credit card and receives the cardholder's payment at the end of the billing period. Also call the issuing bank or the cardholder bank.
Transactions for which a cardholder grants permission to the Merchant to periodically charge his account number for recurring goods or services.
Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) protocol
Allows encrypted, authenticated communications to travel safely and securely across the Internet. SSL provides merchants with privacy, authentication and message integrity. Most browsers indicate SSL connection by displaying a 'key' or 'closed lock' in the bottom right portion of the screen.
As the sales transaction value moves from the merchant to the acquiring bank, to the issuer, each party buys and sells the sales ticket. Settlement is what occurs when the acquiring bank and the issuer exchange data or funds during that function.
Another name for the sales slip or its monetary value that results when a credit card purchase is made.
One example of transaction is the process that takes place when a cardholder makes a purchase with a credit card.