Is Your Company Ready for a Merchant Account?

Starting a business, whether you want to realize a small passion project or expand your brand into a national competitor, requires patience, planning, and the right financial tools. Luckily for business owners, acquiring the right financial tools is easier than it seems. Merchant accounts have made it easier than ever to process payments and expand their bottom line without subjecting their business to fraudulent payments and heinous fees.
If you’ve only started your business, you might be unsure about how to go about getting a merchant processor account. Here are some quick tips to help you know if you’re ready to take the leap…

Have a Business Plan in Place

While this might seem like a no-brainer, having a sound business plan can go a long way in setting a course for your company. For example, will your business be based primarily in trade shows and small marketplaces? Will your company exist online? How many employees do you plan to hire in order to maintain production? Do you plan to ship your goods internationally? What kind of payments will you accept?
All of these are important questions. Knowing the answers to these questions (and more) can ultimately help you decide at what stage you want to begin using a merchant account to process your payments, as well as what kind of account you wish to use.

Do Your Homework

This part goes hand in hand with your business plan. The more you know before applying for your merchant account, the more you’ll be aware of possible pitfalls, opportunities for growth, and more. Through thorough research, you can avoid hidden fees, potential downgrading, and rate inflation, which can end up costing your company bigtime. Familiarize yourself with your processor’s processing rate, benefits, and “discount rates” that might fluctuate in the future.
Things to know:

  • What kind of merchant account should you get? (Should you look into a managed risk account?)
  • Which merchant account provider offers the lowest, most reliable rates?
  • Who is your competition? How are they handling payment processing?
  • What kind of additional services does your merchant account provider provide? (Apps? 24/7 service?)
  • What is involved in the application process?
  • Ask yourself: Will my increase in sales cover the cost of obtaining a merchant account?

Pass Your Background Check
Every merchant account processor is different, and so are their application processes. Since account providers are at risk of losing money due to fraudulent transactions and failed business, most businesses go through an involved screening process to eliminate riskier businesses. Before you apply for a merchant account, make sure you have the following:

  • Business documents: business license, bank letter (for new businesses), form of identification, etc.
  • Financial statements: all financial records and anything else that helps prove your financial stability.
  • Processing Statements: While this is not entirely necessary, it can definitely help. Include your transaction volume, refund and chargeback information, etc.

For more information on how to get your merchant account up and running, or to begin applying for your own account, call Vision Payments at (877) 674 – 2286. Or sign up today with our easy online form here.