We know that getting a new or changing an existing merchant account can be confusing. We have tried to answer some of your most frequently asked questions below. We hope you find this information useful. Feel free to contact us with any additional questions you may have.
Q: Why should I accept Credit Cards?
A: The use of cash and checks is on a steady decline, and debit and credit cards have become the preferred payment methods among the majority of shoppers. Most merchants across the US now accept debit and credit cards, and so should you. If not, you are missing out on important revenue. Your customers expect to be able to pay with plastic, and will quickly find other places to shop if you don’t let them. By accepting credit cards you will not only attract more customers, but also increase your average sale because purchases are no longer limited to the amount of cash in your customers’ wallet. Debit and Credit cards will also do a better job of protecting you as a merchant by allowing you to avoid potential losses caused by bad checks and the risk associated with operating with large amounts of cash in your store.
Q: How do I start accepting Credit Cards?
A: Getting started is easy. To accept credit cards, all you have to do is get a Merchant Account and pick the credit card processing equipment/software that is right for you. Typically, you’ll be able to take care of both of these things by calling a merchant services provider such as Source One Payment Solutions. Once your Merchant Account is set up and your equipment/software is up and running, you’ll be able to accept credit cards as payment!
Q: What is a merchant account?
A: A merchant account is an account at a financial institution that allows you to accept credit cards. In our case, Source One Payment Solutions is a merchant account provider that is registered directly with First American Payment Systems as well as First Data.
Q: How long does it take to get setup with credit card processing?
A: The turnaround time can vary from merchant to merchant, however it can take as little as 24 hours. Very high volume, large ticket size and International merchant accounts may take a little longer. Source One Payment Solutions allows you to fax your application so we can speed up the process and have you up and running as quick as possible.
Q: When are funds usually placed into my business checking account?
A: The typical time period is 2 to 3 business days.
Q: What is a discount rate?
A: Discount rates are a percentage that is taken from the charge that is being processed. For example, if your discount rate is 1.8% and you have an order for $100, the discount rate being deducted would be $100.00 x 1.8% or $1.80. This can be deducted on a daily basis or at the end of the month.
Q: What are chargebacks?
A: A chargeback occurs when a transaction is reversed because a customer disputes the charge. Chargebacks can occur for a variety of reasons, such as double charging, bank error and customer disputes.
Q: What is EMV?
A: EMV (Europay, Mastercard, Visa) technology is coming to the United States. By mid-2015 the credit card industry will mandate that merchant’s process via EMV terminals with a hard date of October 2015
EMV focuses on the security of point of sale transactions; with an end goal of reducing duplicate card fraud. This enables merchants to process, “chip” cards which are the new card types being issued. These cards offer the card holder and merchant a safer, more encrypted process that helps to protect the card holder’s sensitive data.
Q: I have a credit card swipe terminal from a previous merchant account, is it compatible with your company?
A: Maybe. If so, you will need to have it reprogrammed to work with your new merchant account, which we will be glad to do. There are some older terminals that cannot be re-programmed moving forward because of changes in processing standards and PCI compliance. Some older terminals can’t handle these requirements and so have reached their “end of life”.
Q: What kinds of credit card solutions are available?
A: There is a wide range of solutions for all types of businesses. Swipe terminals and PC Software for retail merchants; online processing and virtual terminals for Internet sites and mail and telephone order businesses; touch-tone processing for low volume and seasonal merchants and portable or wireless terminals for mobile merchants. Each have their own features so ask your Source One Payment Solutions sales representative which is best for your business.
Q: Why are rates higher for Internet, Mail and Telephone Order transactions?
A: These transactions are considered more risky and result in more fraud. Face-to-face transactions, where the credit card is swiped, and the cardholder is present, is considered less risky by banks. Therefore, rates are lower as the instances of fraud and chargebacks are less frequent.
Q: Are Internet merchant accounts compatible with all shopping carts?
A: Usually. In order to process with a shopping cart you need a gateway, which is basically your online credit card terminal, it connects your shopping cart to us. Source One Payment Solutions is a registered reseller with Authorize.Net, a leading Internet gateway that is compatible with most shopping carts. We also have the ability to work with other gateways services such as Orbital, Global Gateway, Verizon and Yahoo to name a few. These should be able to connect with your shopping cart as well.
Q: Can I use someone else’s merchant account to process my transactions?
A: No, this practice is known as “credit card laundering” or “factoring.” It is against Visa® and MasterCard® regulations. Using someone else’s merchant account to process your credit card transactions can lead to heavy fines. In addition, you’ll also put that merchant’s credit card processing account in jeopardy.
Q: What kind of transaction reporting is available?
A: Source One Payment Solutions provides you with a paper statement at the end of each month. We also offer a detailed online reporting tool that gives you full processing details on your account both on a daily basis and for end of the month reporting. It can also be custom fit to offer you a number of additional programs such as an alert notice when you receive a Chargeback or have transactions or credits outside your normal range.
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