Merchant Account FAQs
- What is a Merchant Account?
- Who is the service provider?
- How do I know which Merchant Account is right for my business?
- What does Card Present and Card Not Present mean?
- What rate will I be charged when I accept a credit card using the Full Merchant Account?
- What is the advantage of using a Flat-Fee Account?
- Which account can I use with Web Pay?
- Why do Card Present rates differ from Card Not Present rates?
- How can I find out what rate I will be charged for American Express transactions?
- With what applications and versions do Merchant Accounts work?
- How do I apply for a merchant account?
- How long will it take to get approved?
- Once my application is approved, how long will it take until I can process credit card transactions?
- What credit cards will I be able to accept?
- Can I accept international credit cards?
- What information is required to complete the application?
- Can I use my existing Merchant Account?
- What type of transactions can I record?
- What is the startup cost?
- Is there support?
- Will I need to purchase additional equipment to accept credit cards?
- When do the funds show up in my bank account?
- How secure is the transaction?
- Can I accept a debit card from a customer as a payment?
- Can I print a receipt for Credit Card Payments?
- How can I obtain credit card decal stickers?
- How do I account for my credit card processing fees inside of AccountEdge?
- EMV (Europay, Mastercard, and Vista)
What is a Merchant Account?
A Merchant Account is a type of bank account that allows businesses to accept payments via credit card (or debit cards that can be processed as a credit cards). It serves as an agreement between a small business and a merchant account provider/processor to process financial transactions. Merchant Services Accounts are used with AccountEdge, Checkout, and Rerun.
Who is the service provider?
In order to ensure we’re in compliance with state-of-the-art security and privacy standards, Acclivity partners with best-in-class payment processing organizations. Our Merchant Accounts are powered by Forte Payment Systems (formally known as ACH Direct) (in the US) and NXGEN Canada (in Canada), suppliers of merchant transaction processing services and industry leaders in providing high tech processing solutions.
How do I know which Merchant Account is right for my business?
Broadly speaking, there are two types of accounts: a Full Merchant Account and a Flat-Fee Merchant Account. Additionally, there are two flavors of each type of account: Card Present and Card Not Present.
With either Merchant Account type, you must figure out, what percentage of your dollar volume is card present vs. what percentage is card not present. When more than 80% of your credit card transactions are card present, chances are a card present account will be best for you and will provide you the lowest rates. If you do not process 80% or so of your transactions with the card present, then the Card Not Present Account will most likely be the wise choice; again, to minimize cost.
What does Card Present and Card Not Present mean?
Card Present transactions take place when you physically have the credit card in hand at the time of sale and process the transaction with our optional EMV Device (compatible with a Flat Fee Account and available here: https://equipment.forte.net/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=Verifone...] . All other transactions are considered Card Not Present - including those taken over the phone, mail order, or via the internet (e.g. using AccountEdge Web Pay).
What rate will be charged for Visa/Mastercard transactions when I accept a credit card using the Full Merchant Account?
If you use a EMV card reader (compatible with a Flat Fee account and available here: https://equipment.forte.net/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=Verifone...] to enter the credit card number and you've signed up for a card present account, your rate will be as low as 1.79% plus $0.25 per transaction (United States). The rates for a Canadian merchant are as low as 1.75% plus $0.15 per Visa/MC transaction.
If you manually enter the credit card number with a card not present account your rate will be as low as 2.29% plus $0.25 per transaction (United States). The rates for a Canadian merchant are as low as2.30% plus $0.15 per Visa/MC transaction.
What is the advantage of using a Flat-Fee Account
The Flat Fee Accounts provide a level of certainty in terms of rates and do not include any monthly fees. A Flat Fee Account may make sense if your volume is unpredictable or if you run a seasonal business. The flat-fee for all card present Visa/Mastercard transactions is 2.65% with no other fees. With a card present Flat Fee Account you can still process card not present transactions, albeit at a higher rate (3.5% + $0.15 per transaction). A card not present Flat Fee Account processes Visa/Mastercard transactions at 2.9% plus 30¢ per transaction.
Which account can I use with Web Pay?
While you can use any of our merchants accounts with Web Pay, the card not-present version of either the Full Merchant Account or Flat Fee Account are designed for Web Pay’s web transactions.
Why do Card Present rates differ from Card Not Present rates?
Card Present rates are lower because there is less risk (you physically have the credit card in hand, and more data can be read from the card) vs. manually entering a card number or taking a sale via the internet, which does not prove the card is present.
How can I find out what rate I will be charged for American Express transactions?
Your merchant account application will also allow you to apply for American Express accounts. Although transactions are processed through Forte (NXGEN in Canada), we don't have visibility into or influence over, the specific rate(s) your business will pay.
We do know that both companies will evaluate: type of business, estimated annual volume (and historical volume), and whether you have had a previous AMEX account. Once you are approved, we will better be able to assist you in understanding the rates you will pay for each type of transaction.
If you are currently an AMEX merchant, then Forte can likely integrate your existing American Express account into the merchant account you get approved for.
The notable exception is with card not present Flat Fee Accounts (e.g. for AccountEdge Web Pay), where an approved application allows you to accept AMEX transactions for 2.99% plus 25¢ per transaction.
With what apps and versions do Merchant Accounts work?
Our Merchant Accounts work with the current versions of AccountEdge, AccountEdge Cloud, AccountEdge Web Pay, Checkout, and Rerun.
How do I apply for a merchant account?
All US applications are online and accessible from our website: http://www.accountedge.com/creditcards. For an application in Canada, you will be directed to fill out a callback request in which you can request one be sent. Otherwise, you can request a callback from one of our sales representatives, or call either 877.548.8516 or 800.322.6962 to have an application emailed or faxed to you.
How long will it take to get approved?
Approval for a credit card merchant account takes an average of 3-5 business days. This average is dependent upon the amount of information filled out on the application and the documentation provided at the time the application is submitted.
Once my application is approved, how long will it take until I can process credit card transactions?
Once you are approved, you can immediately begin processing credit card transactions. You must enter the merchant account information provided by Forte (NXGEN in Canada) into the Acclivity app (e.g. AccountEdge) first.
What credit cards will I be able to accept?
You'll be able to accept: VISA, MasterCard, and Discover (handled separately for Canada). American Express is optional. For those of you who are new to accepting credit cards, American Express approves customers with their own merchant account. Forte can provide you with information on how to contact AMEX to get set up. Once you have an American Express merchant account, you can contact Forte to merge it into your account with them so you can process American Express credit cards through the software. NXGEN similarly handles the setup and account merge for both American Express and Discover for Canadian customers.
Again, the notable exception is with our card not present Flat Fee accounts, where you are automatically able to accept AMEX transactions.
Can I accept international credit cards?
You will be able to accept credit cards whether they're domestic or international. However, all payments will be processed in US dollars only (either Canadian or US dollars only for Canadian merchants).
What information is required to complete the application?
The basics are documents supporting company ownership (DBA Certificate, Corporate Resolution, etc), a voided check, and copies of bank statements over the past two months. Depending on your expected volume, you may also need to provide signed Tax Returns from the past two years as well as your most recent fiscal year end business or personal financials.
Can I use my existing Merchant Account?
Unfortunately, no. You will have to apply for a new merchant account with our provider in order for the service to work within our applications. Forte can likely integrate your existing American Express account (if you have one) into your new Merchant Services account.
What type of transactions can I record?
You can record credit card sales, debits, voids, and refunds. All debit card sales will be processed as credit cards.
What is the startup cost?
There is a $99 Setup / Application Fee for the Full Merchant Account.
There is no Setup Fee for the Flat-Fee Account.
Is there support?
Initial setup through the software can usually be handled by Forte (NXGEN in Canada). Any further issues are handled on a case by case basis. You need AccountEdge Support for help with software features. Tech support options can be found on our website, or you can call customer service at 800.322.6962 for more details on support plans and payment options.
Will I need to purchase additional equipment to accept credit cards?
The only equipment, aside from your computer, our software, and a network connection, is an optional EMV device (available in 2016), which is required if you intend to process card-present transactions.
When do the funds show up in my bank account?
Funds are transferred into your bank account within 2 business days, beginning the day after the transaction is approved.
How secure is the transaction?
We use industry standard encryption protocol to keep customer card information secure. The processing bank is responsible for fraudulent charges.
Can I accept a debit card from a customer as a payment?
If you enter a card that is both a debit and a credit card when using our Merchant Account Services, you must select Credit Card and the Merchant Account will process the transaction as a credit card transaction. True debit card payments where a PIN number is required canot be processed with our Merchant Account Service.
Can I print a receipt for Credit Card Payments?
There are 2 ways in which you can print a receipt for a credit card transaction in AccountEdge: once a transaction is authorized, you will be prompted to print a receipt or you can print a receipt right through the Sales Command Center.
With Checkout, you can download our Customizable Receipt Template which will allow you to print the receipt onto 3-1/4" receipt printer paper. The software can print a receipt once payment is received or by re-opening an invoice and choosing to print.
How can I obtain credit card decal stickers?
You can order the stickers direct from the card associations. Below are the links where the stickers can be ordered.
How do I account for my credit card processing fees in AccountEdge?
You can watch this video for more information on how to best reconcile and account for credit card payments within AccountEdge.
EMV (Europay, Mastercard, and Visa)
Beginning in October 2015, US banks transferred the liability for fraudulent credit card activity to the merchant, in the event the merchant is not using an EMV card reader. The deadline was imposed by Visa, MasterCard and American Express. EMV devices are compatible with a Flat Fee account and available here: https://equipment.forte.net/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=Verifone-VX520A_ACCLIVITY For more information, please see this article.
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