Using a Merchant Services Account Provider: Frequently Asked Questions

For businesses that need their first merchant service, questions arise about the costs, security, and business value of merchant accounts. Below, we answer some of these questions to give an idea of the types of services accounts entail. Before applying for applying for an account, a business should have its questions answered in full. Otherwise, a provider may charge fees and other requirements that remain undisclosed.

What types of fees do merchant services charge?

Many businesses begin by asking about Merchant services account fees. AVP solutions’ affordable monthly fees and transaction fees fall under the following service options: Internet accounts, mail order/telephone order accounts, wireless accounts, check processing fees, and debit/credit retail processing fees.

As an example of how affordable fees can be, our fees for an Internet account are (as of May 20th, 2011): a monthly gateway fee of $29.95, a monthly statement fee of $10, a monthly minimum fee of $5, and transaction fee of 25 cents. If a service lists fees that seem suspicious, ask it to explain them before signing a contract.

What parties are involved in a merchant services contract?

A service contract involves three parties: a business, a merchant services account provider, and the bank that handles the transactions. A merchant account is a commercial bank account that is established by a business’ agreement with a service.

How long does it take money to reach a business’s checking account?

The time it takes for money to transfer from a merchant account to a business’s checking account varies by account type. But the waiting period is usually short. For example, the transfer time for a credit transaction is typically two days.

What anti-fraud measures do merchant services take to protect their clients?

At AVP solutions, we use iSPYFraud, which allows businesses to use features such as User Ban and Threshold control to minimize fraud. iSpyFraud allows Internet retailers to ensure the person making a purchase is really the cardholder and that the receipt for a purchase is documented properly.

Because fraud is ultimately the merchants’ responsibility, they should ask for ID prior to credit transactions and take advantage of the address verification and credit card verification services offered through their account(s).

Can a merchant accounts improve a business’ bottom line?

Merchant accounts can play a role in improving a business’ bottom line. When customers have broad payment options, sales are not inhibited by a lack of payment options. From credit card processing to selling online, merchant services make it easier for customers to buy, and thus easier for businesses to sell.

How long does it take to set up a credit account?

Provided that a business has (a) a business checking account, (b) a product or service that is not considered restricted, and (c) a physical business location, or a website, it can often be set up for credit payments within hours. If a business needs processing equipment, a merchant services account provider can supply it.

The questions above are just some of the questions businesses have as they look for a service provider. At AVP solutions, over 25 years experience in Small Business Merchant Accounts and over 16 years of servicing merchants gives us the experience we need to answer your questions and provide you with the account services your business needs to thrive.

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