Merchant Account FAQ

A merchant account is a commercial bank account established by contractual agreement between your business and the banks we represent. A merchant account enables your business to accept credit card payments from your customers.

What is the difference between a merchant account and a payment gateway?

A merchant account is an account that enables your business to take credit cards  The payment gateway is a server and software that the shopping cart sends the credit card transactions to across the internet.  The payment gateway is only needed it you are doing ecommerce.  If you had a physical store where customers walked in then all you would need is a merchant account and credit card terminal.

How does a payment gateway work?

A gateway is basically a web server with software that will accept post requests or XML documents sent from your website.  The gateway takes the submitted credit card or ACH transaction and presents it to the processing bank and awaits a response.   It then returns this information to your website and returns an approval or decline message. In short, a gateway connects your website to your merchant account.  Click here to see a simple flowchart that illustrates the process.

What is shopping cart technology?

Basically, shopping cart technology converts a website from being just informational to being commerce-enabled. You can list products for sale on your website without adding complicated programming or scripts. The shopping cart technology that we provide is user-friendly and is as easy to build as 1-2-3.  See our demo.

Why does my business need to accept credit cards?  How does it benefit me?

By accepting major credit cards, you can increase your sales by offering customer’s the convenience of using methods of payment other than cash. Statistics indicate that accepting credit cards can increase sales by 30% - 100%!

What credit cards will I be able to accept?

We will apply for your business to accept all 5 major credit cards: Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover and Diners Club.  A separate application is required for American Express, Discover and Diner’s Club.

What is a discount rate?

Every bank charges a discount rate. The discount rate is the percentage of each transaction that the processing company charges to handle the transaction for you. Our discount rates are exceptionally low for retail (swiped on the terminal) merchants as well as for mail order/telephone order and Internet merchants.

What is a per transaction fee?

The per transaction fee is a nominal amount charged on each transaction, which is associated with the processing of each transaction through the payment gateway and the merchant account.

What is a chargeback?

A chargeback occurs when a cardholder informs the credit card company that the charge was not authorized or that goods were not delivered as promised. If a customer alleges the goods or services paid for were not delivered the merchant has 7 days to produce evidence that the goods were received or that the cardholders’ account was credited.

What is a chargeback reserve?

In lieu of requesting an upfront security deposit for higher risk merchant types, Payment Resources Internationaltm imposes a chargeback reserve, generally 5%, which is maintained in a rolling reserve account for the benefit of the merchant. Funds are released from this account after 180 days, first-in-first-out less any amounts charged back.

Do I need a bank account?

Yes. You will need a business banking account to which your funds can be tranferred through ACH.

How long will it take to process my application?

Once we have received your application with your signature, the approval process takes between 1 - 3 days.  Once approved, we will immediately inform you of your acceptance and deliver the terminal equipment or software.

Will my business be able to purchase or lease the software and/or equipment I need?

Yes, we offer both leasing options or purchasing options to your business. We offer an optional warranty program on credit card processing equipment and software with a 24-hour replacement policy while you are processing with us. We offer immediate upgrades to our secure-online processing program, to make sure you are always processing credit card and other non-cash transactions with state-of the-art technology.

How is the lease payment determined?

The lease payment is based on the type of credit card terminal, printer, or software you choose and the number of months you select, i.e., 12, 24, 36, or 48 months. Leasing is an attractive alternative when you want to preserve working capital, have a tax deductible business expense, and a low down payment. At the end of the lease you may continue month-to-month, buy-out the lease at fair market value, or terminate the lease.

What kind of businesses do you accept?

We accept retail, professional, Internet-based, trade shows, mail order, and telephone order businesses.

What if I have less than perfect credit?

We have an approval rate exceeding 99%, so even with bad credit, you are likely to get approved.

Are there any monthly fees for accepting American Express or Discover Card?

Other than the discount rate and normal transaction charges, there are no additional monthly fees of any kind for accepting American Express or Discover Card.

Do I need a business license?

You need to have documentation showing you have registered your name – such as a business license, trade name registration, dba certificate, etc.

Is there a site inspection?

Yes. You will need to provide information for a physical location if you have a traditional business, or give us your URL for your website.

Will I receive a statement?

Yes.  A statement is mailed out every month with the information on all deposits into your account, your total sales volume, and the charges for the month. There is a nominal fee for this service. In addition, for Internet transactions, through our Virtual Terminal, we offer you the ability to view all of your transactions online on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.

How will I get my money?

Once the transaction has been approved, your customer’s charges are deposited directly from our credit card processor to your bank account. Transaction deposits range from 24-72 hours from the date of transaction.

What if I already have my own software or terminal?

If you already have your own credit card processing software or terminal, chances are very good that we have a program that will run with your existing terminal. A Payment Resources Internationaltm representative will be happy to discuss your options with you.

What if my application is declined?

Our approval rates exceed 99%.  It is unlikely that you will be turned down.