- Gather Required Documentation: Before you apply for a merchant account, you need to gather the documents that are needed by the bank or processor. These typically include: Proof of Identification (such as a driver’s license or passport), Social Security Number, Bank Account Information, Business Tax ID number, and any other required information.
- Compare Fees & Services: Now that you’ve gathered all the necessary documents, it’s time to compare merchant account fees and services offered by different providers. Some processors may advertise lower rates but have stricter restrictions on what types of payments they accept or have hidden fees and service charges. Make sure to read the fine print before signing a contract.
- Apply for the Account: Once you’ve chosen a provider, it’s time to apply for the open merchant account. Most providers require an online application that requires basic information such as business name and address, owner(s) name, contact information, and bank account number. The application should also include details about the type of business you are running and what types of payments you will be accepting.
- Setup Payment Processing: After you’ve been approved and your account is open, it’s time to setup payment processing. Depending on the provider, this could involve signing up for a separate service, such as a payment gateway, or using the provider’s existing service. The setup process typically requires some technical knowledge and will involve setting up shopping carts or integrating payment systems with your website.
- Monitor Activity: Once you’ve finished setting up the account, it’s important to monitor activity on a regular basis. Look for any suspicious activity or unauthorized purchases, as well as keeping track of sales and transaction fees. This will help you keep your account secure and ensure that you’re getting the best rates on transactions.
By following these steps, you can quickly and easily open a merchant account and start accepting payments from customers. If you have any questions about the process, make sure to reach out to your provider for assistance.