Set up a merchant account

Over the past two years, the volume of online trading has increased exponentially. In order to trade on the Internet and accept payments from customers using credit cards, online stores and marketplace owners need a special account, where money will be transferred to directly from the client’s bank card.
This type of settlement greatly facilitates the process of buying goods and services online. Millions of such transactions are processed worldwide every second. In order for the client to make a payment in a couple of clicks, the seller must take care of acquiring and set up a merchant account. The presence of such a useful feature will ensure the operation of the business 24/7 without breaks and weekends.

What is merchant account opening?

A merchant account is a special trading account to which a merchant can accept payments from various bank cards around the clock, regardless of the time when the acquiring bank is open. Even if the client paid for the purchase in the middle of the night or on a weekend, the funds will still be credited to the merchant account. Another advantage of a merchant account is the ability to receive payments from different countries, which helps to significantly expand the geography of the business.
Today, this concept is often used to refer to a whole range of financial services used in business activities, for example, merchant account credit card processing for accepting payments from banking cards (Mastercard, Visa, and others).
The process of opening such an account is not much different from a regular account. If your banking institution, that already maintains a corporate account, provides acquiring services, then you can apply for merchant account processing. However, you should not open a merchant in small local banks if you are running an international business. It is best to choose a large organization that has the ability to process international transactions. Then you can be sure that customers will be able to pay at any time with a card of any type and the reputation of the seller will not suffer.
The merchant is usually linked to the company’s corporate account. Payments are credited at any time. During business hours, the account holder can withdraw funds to the main corporate account and dispose of them at his own discretion, or, by agreement with the bank, set up an automatic transfer of funds at specified periods.
During the merchant account opening process, you need to determine the planned monthly turnover in order to select a bank with the most suitable rates. Some institutions work only with large businesses, where the minimum transaction volume starts from several million dollars per month. Others serve small trading companies and small online stores.

Advantages of merchant account opening with fintecharbor.com

Fintech Harbor advises on setting up merchant accounts around the globe. We will assist you to select the most optimal service depending on your sort of business, annual turnover, and types of client cards.
Our team assists sellers working on international platforms (Amazon, Etsy, Alibaba, and many more). We work with banks in Europe, America, and Asia and understand the specifics of the service. Therefore, we prepare a comprehensive bundle of demanded papers for the successful start of your online business.

Steps to register a merchant account

Determine the approximate turnover, make a list of goods sold and customer regions. Specify in which currencies payments will be accepted.
Choose the most suitable bank that provides acquiring services with a minimum commission, meeting the requirements of the seller.
Apply for a merchant account and provide all the company’s statutory documents.
It is very important that some banks and payment systems do not open a merchant account for certain types of business, such as forex, gambling, lotteries, and cryptocurrencies. If the operations are risky, they may refuse, or check the documents more carefully. In any case, the applicant must clearly explain the origin of receiving funds. The bank will check if finances are being laundered if terrorism is being financed if you have a license for a certain type of goods or services.
Given the above, one should inquire be in a particular organization, whether they are generally ready to work with a certain type of business. Unfortunately, if your company is offshore or engaged in risky activities, you may not always be served.

Reviews

We opened a mobile store on Amazon and needed to accept payments from customers all over the world. Thanks for the help! Now we are successfully working with a global clientele without problems.
Lawyers from Fintech Harbor took into account the specifics of my online business and helped me to register a merchant account in an international bank. Now our e-commerce is running continuously, and payment issues have ceased to take as much time as before.

FAQ

No, these are two different accounts. The corporate account has an IBAN number. To send money to it, you usually need an invoice indicating all the details or a contract. The payer (legal entity) fills in the payment order for the transfer of funds. After that, the bank checks the legitimacy of the transaction and makes the posting. Usually, standard bank payment can take 2-3 business days. Banks process payments only during business hours.

In contrast, the merchant account operates 24/7. A customer may shop online late at night or on weekends. In this case, the client does not need to know your bank details, such as IBAN or SWIFT code. All he needs to do is enter credit or debit card details. The system will check the availability of funds, and if everything is in order, it will debit the money from the client’s card account and credit it to the merchant account. After that, the account holder can transfer funds to the corporate account and dispose of them for the benefit of the company.

The price of opening, service fees, including bank statements and payment processing, depend on the chosen bank or payment processor. It is necessary to compare prices, taking into account the following parameters:

  • Commission for each payment: usually a fixed price + % (for example, 0.20USD + 2%);
  • Commission for withdrawing funds to a corporate account;
    Commission for accepting specific payment methods or currencies;
  • Monthly/annual payment – not everyone has it, but you need to clarify;
  • The amount of the return processing fee – this is where scary numbers sometimes lie.
  • Processing a single refund to a customer can cost $25 even if the item cost $5;
  • Statement fee;
  • Cancellation fee – in some institutions, the contract is concluded for several years at once, and in case of premature termination of the agreement, you will have to pay a penalty.

Always look for a table with fees on the bank’s website or contact us. Based on your requests, the expert will offer you specific solutions that will suit you.

The terms depend on the institution or the chosen payment system. If the business is not risky, the source of income is clear and all documents have been provided, an account can be opened in just one day.
As a rule, a basic set of company documents is required everywhere, including a certificate of registration and taxpayer data, a description of the structure, information about owners and directors. In addition, you need to provide financial statements for the last year, a business plan, estimated transaction volumes, average transaction and return amounts. Keep in mind that all documents will be studied to the smallest detail. And if something turns out to be wrong, they will refuse to open an account. To prevent mistakes, it is advisable to use the services of lawyers. This will help not only to select a suitable account but also to open it in a short time.
This is a unique number that the bank assigns to the account holder. This code allows you to securely accept payments and identify transactions. Having a number is a prerequisite for e-commerce. When issuing a check, be sure to indicate this number for seller identification and fiscalization requirement.