Before You Can Apply for a Merchant Account
The first step is to finish your paysite or e-commerce site. The banks want to review your site as part of its due diligence before issuing you with a merchant account. It is necessary that your site is near-complete or in the banks’ language “commerce-ready”. This means you have a sign-up page or a shopping cart page set up (it’s ok if it does not actually go anywhere yet).
Getting the Paperwork Ready
When applying for a merchant account, you will be swamped with a lot of paperwork, checklists and information gathering. If you already have a merchant account and been through this process, you should be familiar with the types of information wanted.
If this is your first time applying for a merchant account, this is the general information required:
- Certificate of Incorporation/Articles of Incorporation;
- Copy of identification of company’s director(s); such as passport, driver’s license, national ID card;
- Voided check or copy of latest bank account statement;
- Credit card processing statements for the last six months (if you currently have a merchant account);
- URL of your website;
- Access details to the website.
If you are applying for a merchant account outside of your home country (often referred to as an “offshore merchant account”) you may need to setup a new company. Setting up a new offshore company is not difficult, but does have many small details that must be attended to – we’ll help you throughout this process). You will need to have copies of your documents afixed with an Apostille stamp (most lawyers can perform this task). Having the Apostille stamp on document copies ensures the government authority that will create your company trusts the copies and accept it.
The approval process is anywhere from 3 weeks, and is heavily dependent on whether all information have been provided by you. Additionally, the bank may require some changes to your site to comply with standards acceptable to the Card Associations. Be wary if someone says you can be up and operating with a direct merchant account within 48 hours!
Approval and Contracts
Once all required information have been received and approved, the bank prepares contracts. Your MID (Merchant Identification) will be issued a couple of days after receipt of the signed contracts.
Once you have your merchant account, you need to use a payment gateway to connect your merchant account to transfer and process online credit card information with your bank. We have partnered with major payment gateways in the United States, The Netherlands and Germany to provide you with as many options as possible. They adhere to Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) to safe guard your customer’s personal and credit card information.
With the MID and integration information provided by the bank, we can set you up to accept credit cards through your sign-up or shopping cart page. You’ll have your own login details to see the transactions and download various transaction reports.
If you have any questions, please contact us and we’ll quickly respond to you.