We know that finding a merchant service provider that’s right for your business can be challenging. But that doesn’t mean it should be. Our goal is to help internet merchants of all types – especially those who work in high-risk verticals – find a partner who can help their business thrive and to do so as quickly and as painlessly as possible.
This is why we do everything we can to streamline and simplify the process from the very first time you contact us. Here’s a taste of what you can expect when you partner with us:
We know that payment processing is the foundation upon which your business is built, and because of this, time is of the essence. We respond to each inquiry we receive as promptly as possible. We often reply within an hour or two – and always within 24 hours – so you can keep your business on track.
Unlike many companies, we don’t require a small library of information about your business to get started. Our pre-qualification process consists of simple pre-app form to gather some basic information about your business. If necessary, we ask for easy easily-accessible documents such as bank statements, and prior processing.
Once we have your information, we shop our extensive list of U.S. and international processors looking for the best fit for your business. We run no credit report and require no long applications. We simply get the best quotes from our processing partners and present you with the most competitive options. Along with making sure the payment processor – bank wants to do business with you.
We walk you through your options and explain the pros and cons of each bank’s offer to help you make the most informed decision possible. Once you’ve made your decision, we help you fill out the necessary paperwork. We’ll also help you gather any supplementary documentation you need to submit your application to the bank – payment processor. Whether this is your first time or your hundredth, we use our expertise to answer your question and make sure the process is smooth.
Once you’ve finished your application, we submit it to the bank – payment processor for underwriting on your behalf. If there are questions or concerns on either side, we make sure they’re answered. This includes working with you to make sure your website complies with all current regulations. In the end, helping you get a merchant account that helps your business in the long term.
We help you integrate your payment gateway with your new payment process or recommended a new gateway that’s compatible and can help your business grow. Our experience with an extensive number of software solutions allows us to help you choose the one that works best for you.
After everything is set, we make sure you have no surprises by testing the process and resolving any issues that arise before your customers encounter them. Your customers will thank you for choosing us at this step!
Once you start processing credit cards we continue our work. We remain trusted and loyal partners, providing support and advice throughout your years as one of our happy customers. If you need help, we promise to be at the other end of the line. It’s that simple.
From the end user’s point of view, performing a credit card transaction is as easy as typing a number and pushing a button. But behind the scenes, numerous processes take place that can transport this information around the globe and back again to verify the cardholder’s bank information, check for fraud, approve the transaction and complete the transfer of money to your account.
A shopping cart is a piece of computer software that allows your end-users to easily and intuitively save goods and services for purchase, choose payment and shipping options, and interface with your payment gateway to enter their credit card information. This is the only piece of the payment process that your shoppers ever see, which makes it strategically important as part of the overall user experience as well as a necessary portal to the rest of the process.
Your shopping cart must be compatible with both your website and your payment gateway. Not all carts support all gateways, and since the gateway is the piece that actually performs the processing, it’s usually best to secure this application first, before choosing your shopping cart.
A payment gateway is a service that relays credit card and bank account information back and forth between the payment network and the shopping cart and which authorizes the payment so your customer can complete the transaction. This service is necessary because merchants cannot directly access bank records or relay sensitive information. By using a payment gateway, merchants have the benefit of acting upon accurate information without having to see it and transmitting data in a secure fashion that protects consumers from internet hackers attempting to access the database or data stream.
Many payment gateways also support the addition of applications that compare the credit card and customer information against third-party databases and risk assessment criteria to combat fraud and reduce chargebacks.
When your payment gateway approves a transaction, the funds must be transferred from your customer’s bank to yours. However, your personal bank is unlikely to offer the kind of support you need. Instead, you need to set up an intermediate account – called a “merchant account” at a bank that specializes in processing credit card payments for your industry. Called the “acquiring bank,” this bank acts as a clearinghouse and temporary holding place for funds before they are transferred into your bank account.
Obtaining a merchant account requires an approval process and can be the most difficult piece of the puzzle to obtain, especially if you work in an industry that is traditionally considered high-risk. But due to the wealth of relationships we have with banks and payment processors across the country and around the world, E-Commerce 4 IM can help almost any merchant get the account they need to start accepting credit cards.
Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express are the four major card associations in the United States, and play an integral role in credit card processing. When the acquiring bank (directly or through a third-party payment processor) receives an incoming transaction, it forwards it to the card association who either forwards it to the customer’s bank for approval (e.g. to see if there are sufficient funds) or checks and approves the transaction itself (i.e. Discover and American Express).
Since these credit card issuers ultimately own the credit line, they lay down many of the rules you’ll be operating under, including the very important chargeback ratios, which strictly outlines how many chargebacks you can have per 100 transactions before your merchant account is penalized or terminated.
This is your customer’s bank and the entity that approves or declines the payment based on the sufficiency of funds and risk scenarios.
At the end of the process comes the best part – money is transferred from your merchant account into your bank account where you can access it. The delay between the time it enters your merchant account and the time it hits your bank account is generally 1-3 days, but in some cases, it could take a long or short amount of time, depending on the contract you have with your merchant bank.
Fortunately, all of these data transfers and approvals or denials happen within a matter of seconds, so your customer has no idea what goes on behind the scenes. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t because even though the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, it can greatly help your process and your bottom line to be able to understand, select, and manage each of these components for the benefit of your business.
And the best news is, you’re not alone! We specialize in helping you find a merchant account, which is the cornerstone of the process, but we can also help with payment gateway integration, shopping cart selection, fraud prevention, and more. Just give us a call today to see how we can help you at 1-800-570-1347.