Credit Card Solutions – FAQ Page - bayareadigitalpaymentsagency

GETTING STARTED

What is a merchant account?
A merchant account—aka merchant services account—establishes a business relationship with a merchant services provider, like a bank, and enables a business to accept debit and credit cards, Apple Pay and other contactless payments, eCommerce transactions, and more.

Are you direct merchant services?
No, You will have access to over 25 Banks-Payment Companies Worldwide to find the best pricing & benefits for yourself and your merchants.

Do you set up credit card processing accounts for Hemp/CBD businesses?
We offer CBD payment processing for both online and offline CBD companies.

Do you offer a startup merchant account? How much sales volume should a business generate before we can qualify them?
We recommend to make sure that the business is doing at least $10k a month to make it worth it.

What are examples of high-risk merchant industries?
Dating, Nutraceuticals, CBD, MLM, Coaching, Biz Op, Gaming, etc..

What are examples of low-risk merchants?
99% of brick-and-mortar retail businesses are low-risk as well as in-person payments.

What are the requirements for a merchant account? (basic or non-negotiable requirements) How long does it take to get approved and set up?
It can take 1-14 days depending on the merchant and the country. For most low-risk retail merchants, it takes under 48 hours to get approved, if not quicker.

Do I have to complete lots of paperwork?
Applications can be done in a few ways: online, digitally, in-person or by email. Usually, they are only a few pages.

What’s included with the merchant account?
This all depends on the merchant. Whether you are are an online or offline business, the payment processor you go through will provide the proper hardware that is needed by the merchant to process their payments.

How does the merchant account work?
A merchant account is a type of bank account that allows businesses to accept payments by debit or credit cards. When a customer pays for a product or service with a credit card, the funds are first deposited into the merchant account and from there eventually transferred to the business bank account.

Why do I need to provide my Social Security and/or Tax ID number on the merchant services application?
This applies to US-based businesses. Providing your Social Security Number and home address is a requirement when applying for most merchant services accounts.

What kind of businesses do you accept?
We are able to provide payment processing for any legal business online or offline.

What if my business is not based in the US?
We provide payment processing worldwide besides OFAC countries. Currently, sanctioned countries include the Balkans, Belarus, Burma, Cote D’Ivoire (Ivory Coast), Cuba, Democratic Republic of Congo, Iran, Iraq, Liberia, North Korea, Sudan, Syria, and Zimbabwe.

Do I need a business license?
A business license is almost always required: Merchant account underwriters review and file a copy of your license to validate your business’s standing. This can be anything from a fictitious name statement to articles of incorporation.

Do I need a business checking account?
A: Even if you are a sole proprietorship, you will need a business bank account before opening a merchant account. You can open one in about 15 minutes at your local branch and they only require that you have a business license and EIN (employer identification number, which can be your social security number if you’re a sole prop with zero employees)

What if I have less than perfect credit?
If poor personal credit is stopping you from getting a merchant account, there are things that your merchant can do to get approved. Also depending on the size of the account sometimes their credit history may not be a factor, also depending on if they are a startup or existing business has a lot to do with it. Enlist a co-signer The most popular way of getting a merchant account with poor credit is to have someone with better credit act as a co-signer on your merchant account. In this case, the processor will consider the personal credit of the co-signer on the merchant account application instead of your personal credit. This is no different when buying a home etc… Allow rolling reserves Another way to get a merchant account if you have less than perfect personal credit is to allow processors to impose a rolling reserve on your account. This can be removed sometimes after a few months and paid back to them.

Why should I accept credit and debit cards?
When you take your business from a cash-only operation to one that accepts credit and debit cards, your potential customer base broadens significantly. The more customers you attract, the more likely you are to make additional sales. Accepting credit cards helps level the playing field with your competition.

What payment types can I accept?
They will be able to accept all major credit & debit cards.

My website is not ready; can I still qualify for an account?
In order to get approved for a merchant account your website must be fully complete so that our underwriting team can make sure your site is fully compliant. For some people who are selling subscriptions etc… a test login may need to be provided to the bank to login to their site.

Why should I accept credit and debit cards?
When you take your business from a cash-only operation to one that accepts credit and debit cards, your potential customer base broadens significantly. The more customers you attract, the more likely you are to make additional sales. Accepting credit cards helps level the playing field with your competition.

Is there anything we need to do with our merchant account after we have set it up?
Once your merchant is set up either via new hardware, online, offline etc… it is a smart idea to run a test transaction to ensure everything works.

Will my business qualify for a merchant account?
Yes, for brick and mortar and in person businesses they almost always get approved. Some retail businesses can be considered high risk. Those businesses may just have to go to specific bank not the normal bank you place your business with.

What if I need to terminate my payment processing contract early?
We do not recommend putting ETF fees, “Early Termination Fees” in our new merchant’s contracts. The only time we would recommend that we apply an ETF $500 or under is if we must pay your ETF with your previous provider.

How do I know which payment processor to select?
Great question, we do all the heavy lifting for you! You can focus on your business while we connect you with the best processor that fits your business model. Besides fitting your business model, we will also work on your behalf to get you the most favorable rates and terms.

Why do you have to check my credit?
The bank/processor needs to calculate the risk associated with a new merchant account no differently than say buying a home. After your merchant is approved, processing history is used to measure risk associated with their account such as chargebacks or reputational risk.

How long will it take to begin accepting card payments?
For low risk/retail merchants than can be up and running in as little as 24 hours. For your ecom, mid to high risk merchants it can take on average 2-5 business days to be approved.

What other currencies can I accept aside from USD?
This is more for your ecom (online) merchants. The answer is yes, with our payment partners you will  be able to accept multiple different currencies for their products if needed. Also, this will be to be noted on their account to let the processor know to have this set up.

How much customer support will I be able to access?
You will have access to almost 24/7 support via phone, email, and support tickets to make sure that your business is being taken care of no matter what happens.

SOFTWARE/HARDWARE

Can I use a smartphone or tablet to process credit cards?
Yes, you will be able to offer your customers many different solutions either directly on your phone or tablet via an app or via a reader that attaches to the device of your choice. One example would be Swipe Simples mobile app and devices which you have access to. Your clients can accept payments anywhere with the SwipeSimple Mobile App, card reader, and any Android or iOS mobile phone or tablet. https://home.swipesimple.com/mobile-app

Are you compatible with Apple Pay™, Google Wallet, and SamsungPay?
Yes, you will have access to contactless payment methods like Apple Pay and Google Pay etc…

What type of POS terminal do I need?
This will all be determined when we find out what the wants and needs are of the business owner to find the best POS that fits their business.

What is a Virtual Terminal?
A virtual terminal is a software application for merchants allowing them to accept payments with a payment card, specifically a credit card, without requiring the physical presence of the card. They can do this on their computer, phone, or tablet. Also, after a merchant account is set up along with setting up the merchant account a gateway needs to be set up (your processor will set up this up). A simple form with pricing needs to be signed by your merchant to allow the processor to set up their gateway.

Does a Virtual Terminal check AVS or CVV on the authorization?
Yes. The Virtual Terminal supports Address Verification System (AVS), Card Verification values (CVV, CVV2, CID) and Account Verification. AVS – lets you enter a customer’s home address and compares the address on file with the credit card company.

MOBILE PAYMENTS

Will I be charged a higher rate for transactions made through mobile wallets?
For a quick reminder, a digital wallet refers to an electronic system that allows customers to pay for purchases without presenting a physical credit or debit card. Customers load their card details into the digital wallet app of their choice and pay by tapping their smartphone or smart watch to a compatible terminal or by selecting their choice from stored payment methods when making an online purchase. Apple Pay and PayPal are examples of digital wallets. Because of essentially a card not present, but present…transaction, Effective April 22, 2017, Visa will assess a transaction fee of $0.10 for staged digital wallet transactions. The fee will apply to purchase transactions and account funding transactions, identified by the “WT” Business Application Identifier (BAI).These transactions are subject to Standard interchange rates and are not eligible for Custom Payment Service (CPS) qualified rates.

What is a contactless payment?
Contactless payment systems are credit cards and debit cards, key fobs, smart cards, or other devices, including smartphones and other mobile devices, that use radio-frequency identification or near field communication for making secure payments.

What type of POS terminal do I need?
This will all be determined when we find out what the wants and needs are of the business owner to find the best POS that fits their business.

What is NFC technology?
NFC is a method of wireless data transfer that allows smartphones, laptops, tablets, and other devices to share data when in proximity. NFC technology powers contactless payments via mobile wallets like Apple Pay, Android Pay, as well as contactless cards.

SECURITY

Is credit card processing secure?
When you are processing payments on your website, PCI is a must. The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) provide guidelines for merchants that tell them what they need to do to secure sensitive data in payment processing. … Note that data encryption is required by PCI.

What is EMV and how does it benefit my business?
EMV technology allows sensitive cardholder data to be stored in a chip, rather than in the magnetic stripe found on traditional payment cards. Since individual organizations can only do so much to stop cybercriminals, the credit card payments industry instituted EMV policies to fight credit card fraud. This carries big advantage: It is harder to counterfeit – a LOT harder.

Do you have some insurance that protects me if my customer’s card data is hacked?
If your business is hacked and your customers’ personal data is stolen, they may sue your business for the violation of their privacy. … Cyber Liability Insurance can help pay for the financial costs of these lawsuits or fines. There are many third-party companies out there that they can investigate if needed.

E-COMMERCE PROCESSING

What is a payment gateway and how does it work? Do I need it?
A payment gateway validates the customer’s card details securely, ensures the funds are available and eventually enables merchants to get paid. It acts as an interface between a merchant’s website and its acquirer. An online payment gateway can simplify how merchants integrate the necessary software. This will be primarily for your Ecom and VT merchants.

Can I manually process transactions?
Yes, your merchants can always manually enter card data via a virtual terminal or their stand alone terminal. The only draw back to your merchant to make them aware of is, when manually entering a card they will pay a higher rate to process that card because it is deemed “card not present.” So, it is more of a risk for fraud or a chargeback due to not swiping or entering the chip of the card.

PAYMENT CARD INDUSTRY (PCI) DATA SECURITY STANDARDS

What is PCI compliance?
The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard is an information security standard for organizations that handle branded credit cards from the major card schemes. The PCI Standard is mandated by the card brands but administered by the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council.

FEES AND PRICING

Is there a sign-up fee?
No. The only time may incur an initial fee is if they need certain hardware etc… that is not free or included in their set up. All of this would be outlined and made aware to you and your merchant by the processor before approval.

How do I review my monthly merchant services statement?
Depending on the processor some statements can be viewed online others are emailed monthly. Some processors you need to call to get your current merchant statement. For most of you your merchants will receive their own online portal to track their analytics of their merchant statement daily/monthly.

What information is included on my statement?
Your merchant statement is organized to inform you about deposits from customer purchases you processed and fees you are paying for merchant services. Deposits are itemized individually, showing you the purchase date, amount and type of card used. If you had a good sales month, this section may take up a few pages.