Published On: August 26, 2016

Business owners might think it’s difficult to open a merchant account because it may involve a fair amount of research and due diligence. However, there are many helpful tips and websites that offer assistance to business owners and make it easy for them to open a merchant account with any payment processing service provider they choose to partner with. In this article, MONEXgroup aims to provide some useful Do’s and Don’ts for business owners looking to open a merchant account and accept Debit / Credit card payments.

What is a Merchant Account?

A merchant account is necessary for any business to accept Debit and Credit cards payments. It is comprised of an agreement established between the merchant, the bank where the merchant account is affiliated with, and the payment processor that has relationships with the major card brands and settles all the transactions. Of course, there are fees associated with merchant accounts such as monthly fees, leasing, debit and Visa/MC rates. The rates and fees vary by payment processing service provider so business owners certainly want to take the fees into account and do cost comparisons when considering their partnerships (What is a Merchant Account).

Ways to Open a Merchant Account

There are essentially 5 steps that govern a merchant how to open a merchant account with their respective partners. It’s important that business owners remember the following steps and carry them out accordingly:

Step 1

Research merchant account options not just from all major banks in Canada, but also look at the independent companies that specialize in payment processing. Business owners often go with their banks’ merchant services because it is the perceived easy route and they trust their banks, as they have already developed a relationship with them. However, savvy business owners recognize that they have a choice and some would rather choose to partner outside of their bank, like with an Independent Sales Organization (ISO), because rates might be more competitive. There are additional important considerations that come into play, such as customer service, technical support and others.

Step 2

Once you’ve selected the Acquirer or the ISO you want to partner with, the business owner should apply for the merchant account, providing all the necessary documents. Then, the merchant needs to submit a voided check for the account in which transactions will go. Additionally, other forms of identifications will be needed, such as the merchant’s driver’s license, or their SIN card. The merchant is also required to show two of the following: bank statement, insurance policy, signed lease agreement, prior processing statements, income tax returns, telephone bill, or any utility bill. Moreover, there needs to be a legitimate sign at their store front, but sometimes there are exceptions to this rule (depending on the payment processor).

Step 3

During the application, the business owner needs to submit to the processor a detailed list of the types of business activities the business will carry out. This is because the processor needs to see what kind of business you run, as they need to know you are operating a legal business. In addition, the processor may in some cases need to have to see tax returns and financial statements for your business to complete and approve the application.

Step 4

If you’re running an E-commerce business, you must show proof of website to the processor. The website needs to have its own hosting and domain information rather than a personal blogging site or informative site. Moreover, you will need to demonstrate to the processor that your website has the capability to sell products and enable product purchases, as well as offer a platform for secure checkout.

Step 5

After the verification of everything, the processor may ask you to pay an application fee for setting up the merchant account. Sometimes, the processor may be able to waive the application fee, but monthly usage fees and annual fee will be charged on an ongoing basis.

Tips on selecting the right Payment Processor when you open a Merchant Account

Follow these tips when you want to open a merchant account because once you sign up with a company, it’s typically a multi-year contract:

  • Do as much research as you can, make sure the company you want to work suits your business needs
  • Ask trusted business owners about their experiences
  • Find a Sales Rep you can trust
  • Understand the all the fees you are being charged
  • Read over EVERYTHING carefully, including the fine print and Terms and Conditions
  • Find a payment processor that offers excellent customer service
  • Check out their websites and their rating on BBB
  • Ask lots of questions
  • Check for presence on social media and YouTube

How to Open a Merchant Account with MONEXgroup

MONEXgroup is a leading ISO with over 15 years of experience in the POS industry in Canada. With over 25,000 merchants in a wide variety of industries using our merchant processor solutions, you can trust your business in the hands of our professional and experienced Sales Agents and reliable on-site technical support. As soon as you choose to partner with MONEXgroup to open a merchant account this account will enable your company to accept Credit and Debit payments, as well as other forms of electronic payments. If you’re wondering how much it would cost to open a merchant account at MONEXgroup, click Get a Free Quote, after you fill out the form one of our friendly Sales Representatives will reach out to you, and they will be sure to help you find a pricing model that suits your budget and business needs. MONEXgroup is known industry-wide for our first-class customer service (given a 100% Satisfaction Rating by Top Credit Card Processors). MONEXgroup representatives are always available – whether it is through phone (seven days per week) or the internet to view your reports (24/7) to ensure that current and prospective small business merchants get the answers they need, as soon as they need them.

When partnering with the number one Canadian merchant services in Canada; MONEXgroup payment processing will increase your efficiency and quality of service and lower the related costs. Request a Cost Comparison Analysis today.

Author: Lindsey Lu, Marketing Communication Specialist, MONEXgroup
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