What is a merchant account?
A merchant account is a business banking relationship that allows a business to accept credit cards as payment for goods and services. Merchant Accounts act as a contract between the business owner and their bank. It also processes approved transactions and deposit earned funds into the business owner’s bank account.
For more information, see the Merchant Accounts support page.
Do I need one?
Having a merchant account can increase sales for your business. It lets you process credit card transactions from major credit card services such as Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover.
Becoming a virtual merchant makes your online business more credible. Your customers will know that you’ve passed the approval process necessary to display logos for credit cards and be eligible for online credit card processing.
Are there requirements to apply?
The requirements to apply are simple. First, you must have a website published to the Internet and your business name listed on the website.
Finally, your website must list your products and services and their prices, and have a secure online shopping cart for credit card processing.
For more information, see Are there requirements to apply for a merchant account for a Website?
Which one should I choose?
We offer three types of merchant accounts – Standard U.S., Specialty, and International.
The Standard U.S. account is for U.S. based merchants that sell non-restricted products and services such as clothing and jewelry. This is the most commonly used account and can accept both credit card and ACH payment.
The Specialty account is for U.S. based merchants that sell higher risk products and services such as firearms, dating services, and adult products.
The International account is for merchants banking or located outside of the U.S. This is not necessary to sell products internationally, but rather is only needed if the merchant lives or banks outside of the U.S. All accounts can accept global payments.
What information do I need to apply?
To apply, you’ll need your social security or Tax ID number, Driver’s License number, and the contact information of the principals of your business.
You’ll also need your business location information, and the bank routing and account number of the checking account used for your business.
For more information, see What do I need to apply for a merchant account?
What happens after I apply?
After you apply, you’ll be contacted by your merchant service provider within 72 business hours. Standard U.S accounts are generally approved within 5 business days and Specialty accounts within 5-7 business days. The approval for International accounts can take longer and vary.
For more information, see What happens after I fill out the Merchant Account paperwork?
How does collecting payments online work?
It works by your customers providing their credit card information on your website’s shopping cart. Next, the credit card information is encrypted, screened for fraud and securely transferred from your website to your merchant account through a payment gateway.
Then, the merchant processor verifies funds and transactions can now be approved. Finally, funds are deposited into your checking account linked to your merchant account.
Who can I call for help?
If you need help or have questions, you can contact one of the following numbers for assistance:
First Data®: (855) 853-8332 (Standard Merchant Account)
FrontStream Payments®: (800) 687-8505 (Specialty and International Accounts)
For more information, see Who can I call for help with my merchant account?