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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What are Merchant Account Processing Services?

A:
Merchant account processing services are provided by a bank or a third party processor (on behalf of the bank) to the Merchant. These services include authorization of credit cards, settlement of funds through the bank associations (MasterCard and Visa), depositing funds to checking accounts, merchant billing, and account activity reporting.

Q: How do I sign up to accept credit card transactions via the Internet?

A:
There are 2 ways to set up a Merchant account. Click on Sign Up Now, complete the form that will be sent customer service, and you will be contacted.  Or, you can contact us through our contact information

Note: There is a Help Desk available for any inquiries you may have regarding processing and the Virtual Application.

Q: How will I get paid for credit card transactions?

A:
Funds are automatically transferred to your business checking account via an electronic ACH transfer.  Funding occurs after a transaction has been captured and settled for payment.

Q: I already have a retail merchant account. Do I need another merchant account to conduct Internet and/or Mail Order/Telephone Order transactions?

A
: Financial Institutions and the Visa and MasterCard Associations have different criteria for evaluating the potential risk involved in credit card transactions where the card is not physically present at the time of the transaction.  This type of business is typically referred to as "card not present" or "MO/TO" (mail order/telephone order).  Due to the risk, an additional separate Merchant account may be required.

Q: Why should I extend my business to the Internet?

A:
Electronic Commerce (or e-Commerce) is relatively new, but all indications show that it will be a major commercial influence within only a few years.  Over 100 million people worldwide are now connected to the Internet, and online stores have a nearly unlimited potential customer base. Even the most conservative estimates indicate that e-commerce growth in the next few years will be enormous. From approximately $500 million spent in 1996 by online shoppers, figures for online sales in the year 2000 are estimated at $6 billion to $8 billion and higher.

While the biggest names in retailing are establishing a presence on the Internet, stores of all sizes have nearly equal opportunities to attract customers and expand their business. With available search engine tools, all merchants have an opportunity for e-commerce exposure.

Q: Can a merchant outside of the United States apply for a merchant account?

A: Yes,
through one of our international partners or affiliates. Call our customer support for details. As for our operations, due to bankcard association and system limitations, the merchant credit card acceptance accounts offered through us are only applicable to merchants located in the United States, have a relationship with a U.S. financial institution, and a valid checking account.

Q: What kind of security do you have for online transactions?

A:
Our servers are Apache Web Servers that support the Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryption protocol. This protects credit card transaction information between merchants and their customers. Shoppers who use a browser supporting the SSL protocol can shop with confidence.  We have designed our order processing software to detect whether a browser supports secure transactions and to submit order data to a secure URL (Uniform Resource Locater - basically a "website address").

Q: What is a payment gateway and what is the benefit of having one?

A:
A payment gateway is a service that gives merchants the ability to perform real-time credit card authorizations from a website over the Internet.

Security: Gateways keep customers' credit card data behind firewalls so that the merchant doesn't have to worry about someone 'hacking' into their system.

Encryption: Gateways use Secure Socket Layer (SSL) channel encryption to prevent message tampering while the credit card information is being transmitted over the Internet.

Back-up redundancy: Gateways have a backup system in place to ensure that merchants can continue processing in the event of an emergency.

Up-to-Date technology: Gateways are services that are constantly upgraded with the latest technology, and because the gateways are not on merchants' computers, there is no need for the merchants to upgrade their hardware.

Price: Gateways save the cost of an additional phone line that would be needed in a dialup application.

Certified standards: Gateways all must comply with standard certification policies prior to being deemed an acceptable processing solution.

Q: What kind of security do you have for online transactions?

A: Our servers are Apache Web Servers that support the Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryption protocol.  This protects credit card transaction information between merchants and their customers.  Shoppers who use a browser supporting the SSL protocol can shop with confidence.  We have designed our order processing software to detect whether a browser supports secure transactions and to submit order data to a secure URL (Uniform Resource Locater - basically a "website address").

Q: Do I need equipment or a separate phone line to access and use my payment gateway?

A: No, all you need is a web browser and internet access.

Q: Can I process any type of credit card through the payment gateway?

A: You can process Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Diners Club, Discover, and JCB cards if your merchant account is authorized to accept them.

Q: How do I prevent fraud on my credit card transactions?

A: Visa and MasterCard require each merchant to perform AVS (Address Verification Service) on all transactions where the card is not present. However, this is just one form of fraud prevention, and there is no guarantee that the transaction is not fraudulent.  The merchant is responsible for all transactions accepted, even if AVS is approved. If you feel a transaction is possibly fraudulent, you can contact the cardholder, as well as the Financial Institution that the card is affiliated with, to verify authenticity.

Q: Are Internet payment processing services available in Canada?

A: Yes, through our partners and affiliates.  Contact us for details.

Q: Can a merchant force you to sign a check card invoice against your will, is this fraud if you didn't agree?

A: It could be fraud unless the merchant has very solid reasons for this action. Contact your card provider for guidance.

Q: Can merchants require a minimum purchase amount that they accept credit card payment for?

A: Technically No! The major credit card networks (VISA, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express) prohibit their merchants from setting a minimum purchase amount.

As a merchant, I was told that if a customer presented their debit card and did not use their PIN number that it is possible for the merchant to be at risk, if at the close of business day batch-out if the customer did not have the monies in their checking account. Is there any validity to that? Could I as the merchant be at risk and if it does, if I do require the usage of a PIN pad 4 digit code, would that protect or automatically secure a guarantee payment? If the debit card transaction was authorized then it will be paid regardless of the monies in the checking account. The risks associated with signature-only use of debit cards is the same as credit cards.

Q: How many retail stores accept credit cards in the USA?

A: About 1.6 million

Q: How much does credit card acceptance increase the money taken in by a business (compared to no credit cards accepted)?

A: It depends on the type of business. Many studies have suggested that most retail businesses generate 15% to 30% more revenues by taking credit cards.

Q: How does a credit card work from merchant to issuer?

A: A merchant swipes the customer's card through a terminal which verifies and authorizes the transaction. The transaction is then processed or acquired by the merchant's bank which submits the transaction to a network for settlement. During the processing or settlement, the transaction is then routed to the card issuing bank for payment.

 

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