Any business that wants to accept credit cards is going to need a credit card merchant account. Although the process is similar, regardless of the vendor the business picks, there are some differences that should be taken into consideration.
The first step to getting a credit card merchant account is filling out an application. When filling out your application, you will need to specify whether you are applying for an internet or retail account. Some businesses also offer the option of a wireless account. Most applications can be approved within twenty-four hours, which means your business should be cleared to accept credit cards within that amount of time.
While your credit rating will be checked while processing your application, that will not be the final deciding factor in whether or not you are approved. Different businesses may have different standards and acceptance rates for business owners with bad credit. Just as you can buy a car or a home with bad credit, you can qualify for a merchant account. The process may simply take more time and be more difficult to achieve.
There are different types of credit card merchant accounts. Some accounts are designed to let retail business customers swipe their credit card. Other accounts are designed to allow online customers enter their information. For customers who run a phone or mail order business, there are merchant accounts that allow the business owner to manually put in the credit card information.
Purchasing a credit card merchant account will require specific terms and conditions unique to the seller of the merchant account. The business owner will typically be required to agree to a contract of at least six months to a year, depending on whether they are a retail business or an internet business only. Typically, the business owner will have to supply a checking or savings account in order to have the money made from credit card sales directly deposited into their account. Of course, the merchant vendor will likely deduct a percentage of the credit card sales, along with any upfront money that that the business also has to pay for use of the account.