How do I set up a merchant account for a business?
I am running a business and have a volume of tech support, pharma, and travel business from the UK/USA/Canada/AUS/NZ. Also, I have prepaid debit card volume. Right now I am using a 3rd party merchant account. How do I set up our own merchant account?
To set up a merchant account you only need 4 things
A business. This could be you doing business as whatever or another form.
A physical address and a land line. The underwriting process verifies that you actually exist.
A business account in the same name as the business
Two pieces of photo ID
Even casual businesses can have merchant accounts.
Based on the limited information you provided, it sounds like you have 3 different business types. Most fall in high-risk merchant services. I would start there. How are you talking these orders? Online, over the phone? Also, where is the business located? You need a processor that can support cross border payments. Do you need multiple currencies? Also finding a company that can process locally with full domestic acquiring services will help reduce costs, false positive declines and much more. Here is some more information on international processing. https://www.cardz3n.com/international-payments
Here is an article on how to set up a merchant account: https://www.cardz3n.com/blog/6-steps-to-setting-up-a-merchant-account
If these are different businesses, you will need to set up separate MIDs (Merchant Identification Number). If you are accepting payments online or over the phone, you can use one gateway or virtual terminal.
Most important is finding a company that will support your business and product type.
Before you choose a credit card processing company for your merchant account, be sure to call a couple of them for pricing quotes specific to your business and ask for interchange-plus rates. Most will quote you tiered rates unless you specifically ask for interchange-plus, but tiered rates are more usually more expensive--especially where you're accepting international cards. Here's a link to an article that you may find helpful--it goes into the rates and fees you'll want to know about before you sign up for a merchant account: https://www.business.com/categories/best-credit-card-processing/
Getting your own merchant account has so many positive benefits, so props to you for wanting to explore this option as you'll also save money and have more control over processing sales at a discounted rate than what 3rd party services charge.
Furthermore, you don't have to go and meet with a bank in person as applications can be handled online as long as you have all the correct documentation necessary to submit the application.
Companies, like the one I work with (MobiusPay.com), generally requires 2-3 days to have a merchant account application approved and then an additional day or 2 (depending on backlog) to set up the check out page and gateway.
However, rates vary depending on products/services and both pharma and travel fall into what's considered a "high risk" category for which the majority of banks will not accept.
Do you have an EU or US business entity set up for your business?
If you are a UK/Europe-registered business, you can open a free merchant account with mypos.com. It comes in multiple currencies and free debit VISA card. In addition, you can take advantage of their multiple services for accepting card payments - with a payment terminal or online. No subscription fees, it's a pay-as-you-use service.
I agree to talk to local banks and see where has the most favorable conditions. But the bank may have strict requirements, it is better to allocate time for this and take a ride to the banks.
Have you ever looked at these options:
They do a lot of the legwork so you can focus on your core, your business
Speak to your local banks and see what they can offer. Once you obtain a competitive rate (lot better than Paypal for example) with all required inclusions you can then hook it into a credit card gateway provider which in turn can connect to your website or shopping cart.
I am assuming you are looking to accept debit payments on your own website using a self-hosted application without a third party gateway - right?
If that's the case, then you will need to have a secure server. Check with your hosting company first. You may also need to purchase (web hosting company should be able to provide this) encryption software to integrate into an e-commerce application.
And depending on which e-commerce application or platform you choose, there are a number of flexible CMS applications that allows for custom payment gateway integration including WordPress, Joomla, and Shopify. The list goes on...
Here's what I'll recommend. Best to speak to or contact your hosting company and inquire about any encryption software available with your package or purchasing one - the stronger the better.
You will also need to check with your bank about setting up a custom payment interface on your website. Usually, they can provide an API that will allow you to sync payments directly into your account, although this will have to be set up through whatever application you choose.
Unless you're doing it yourself, find a good e-commerce developer who should be able to set it up for you and you'll be on your way.
Hope this helps and feel free to get in touch if I can be of further help.
Best as always.