Merchant Services – Setting Up an Ecommerce Merchant Account  

Merchant Services – Setting Up an Ecommerce Merchant Account  

The internet is fast becoming the medium for shopping and with it there is an inevitable increase in transactions made online. It is now becoming vital for businesses to begin to trade online and by doing so you need to set up an internet merchant account (IMA).    online gaming merchant account services   Even if your business has a merchant account for conventional face-to-face business you will still need a merchant account specifically for online payments.

Several of the banks in the UK offer IMAs and these are known as merchant acquiring banks. Some of the banks in which offer IMAs are:

  • Alliance and Leicester
    · Bank of Scotland
    · Barclaycard Business
    · HSBC
    · Lloyds TSB
    · NatWest/Royal Bank of Scotland

Getting an ecommerce merchant account can be a very tricky process as acquiring banks have very strict criteria, even your current bank that you hold a standard merchant account with can refuse you. It is therefore imperative that you pay attention and follow these steps when approaching an acquiring bank:

  1. outline your business plan – be thorough, include details of your cash flow and how you will promote your online activities
    2. give your website address
    3. explain in detail the product or service you offer
    4. provide details of your suppliers’
    5. describe how you will deliver your product or service
    6. set out terms and conditions for online trading
    7. work out your expected average online transaction values, your estimated turnover from online sales and number of credit and debit card transactions
    8. provide the details of the secure payment gateway you wish to use
    9. make your audited business accounts available
    10. supply your bank details and authority to carry out a check with credit reference agencies
    11. detail your trading history
    12. provide details of the directors or partners in the business – including full contact details

The application process can be a bit of a waiting game and so by providing as much details as possible you are giving yourself an advantage by helping to speed up the process. If you are successful with acquiring an internet merchant account you need to be aware of fraud due to the fact that you cannot physically see and therefore check the card or the cardholder. It is important that you help guard against fraud where a cardholder claims that they did not authorise a payment, check to see if your online payment card processor can offer the card scheme’s authentication service – MasterCard SecureCode and Verified by Visa.

If a transaction proves to be fraudulent, the money will be reclaimed from your bank account known as a chargeback. You should expect to pay additional costs when setting up and controlling an IMA. Acquiring banks charge for their services and usually there is a sign-up fee of around £200. If your application is accepted you should expect to pay ongoing processing charges by way of a fixed fee for each debit card transaction and a percentage of each transaction for credit cards.


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