The Processing Center and Your Bank

The Beginning of Becoming an Internet Merchant

The process of selecting a credit card processor (sometimes referred to as a card acquirer or acquiring bank or institution) usually begins with contacting your financial institution. It should be able to provide you with the names of two or three providers with which they are familiar and have an established business relationship. If they are unable to provide you with the names of providers, a large regional financial institution in your area should be able to do so.

The actual selection should begin with your financial institution's referral. Remember that the relationship between the financial institution and the credit processor is critical to your receiving prompt and accurate deposits and detailed transaction reporting. Since this operation goes on behind the scenes, it is critical that there is no reason for your customers to feel uncomfortable with using the Internet to transact business. This behind the scenes processing must be seamless and unobtrusive to your customers.

Your selection of a processor should be made with the same criteria you use to establish any professional relationship. It must "feel right," as you will be working closely with the organization in establishing the processing procedures. After the process has been established you will probably not have very much interaction with this organization except for transaction reporting.

What You Will Need to Register With a Card Processor

The credit card processing company will need background information about your company, such as: They will also require a review of other background information such as recent financial statements, your marketing plan, and possibly your website (if you have one). They may insist on visiting your place of business and reviewing your business environment.

You can expect to pay an application fee to process your application. Once it is approved you can anticipate doing business immediately.

Credit card processing fees vary by the volume of business you transact and the dollar amount of these transactions. You will pay a set percentage of each sale in addition to an amount per transaction. You can elect to receive weekly or monthly statements that detail the history of your activity.

Part of the process of "signing up" with a partner processing agency will be to provide them the terminal identifier for your "virtual" terminal that has been assigned by the card processor. It is important to request this identifier when working with the card processor and keep it with your processor account information for reference when contacting partner agencies.