If you don’t have a internet merchant account already, our suppliers have some very specific requirements that you need in addition to traditional merchant account requirements. I hear all the time from people how ‘the other vendors’ don’t require as much paperwork or they don’t ask the same types of questions. Well folks, the ‘other vendors’ may not be helping you build a successful PCI Compliant business with the right price plan either. The items on the list below are so basic, they are essential elements to setting up your business for success.
These are Visa requirements for ecommerce merchant accounts. A document with these questions answered is turned in with the merchant application along with a print of the checkout page to prove the info is there. If the information is not on the site, the application cannot be submitted until it is ready. If the site is under development, screen shots can be submitted that have the required information.
INTERNET REQUIREMENTS CHECKLIST (All answers must be yes.)
1. Website active and URL on application?
2. DBA on site MATCHES name on application?
3. Customer Service number or email listed?
4. Return/Refund policy present?
5. Merchant’s Privacy Statement is included?
6. Website Secure Order Page?
7. Products/Services listed with price?
8. Delivery Method and Timing are clearly stated?
Can you give me the code for our web programmer for ecommerce checkout?
What you really want to know is the gateway information. That information is sent directly to the merchant. The merchant can share whatever data with you they like. If you need help with your web site development, we have seasoned USA professionals available on an hourly fee basis.
What if my web site is not live yet? We cannot submit your merchant application without the information above. Screenshots from your web developer, or artist renditions that show this information can be used in lieu of a live web site.
Can you set up my gateway account? Yes. We are an authorized reseller for major gateways. We cannot obtain a gateway account for you before there is a merchant account because the merchant account ID and processing platform are needed as part of the set up.
Why do I need a separate merchant account for ecommerce orders?
- When you are issued a merchant account, it is based on specific information presented. When you use a retail account to process ecommerce orders, you are no longer complying with the original agreement. A card not present or mail order / phone order (MOTO) account is not the same as an ecommerce account. Again, it goes to how you agree to collect and process credit card orders. As shown above, there are additional criteria that must be presented to obtain an ecommerce merchant account. If you don’t comply, your account can be closed any time.
- Aside from compliance, you’ll always want the right type of account to qualify for the lowest interchange rates. There are specific criteria to be met for every type of account and card presented. If you have a retail swipe account, the expectation is that you swipe a card. When you don’t, you get downgraded to a higher rate. If you make an ecommerce transaction on an ecommerce merchant account, you can qualify for rates lower than what the swiped non-qualified rate would be, but also higher than what a swiped transaction would be. Without getting into more depth, the main point is, you want to QUALIFY for the best rates for any given card presented and that can only happen when you have a merchant account that matches the types of transactions you are presenting to the card associations.
- You’ll lose virtually any customer dispute for ecommerce transactions on a retail merchant account. Since a retail account expects to receive magnetic stripe data and a signature, when you cannot produce it you will lose disputes.