Merchant accounts are necessary tools for businesses that want to use debit or credit card processing for payments from customers. There are many different ways to get one of these accounts, but it is common for businesses to set them up with the primary bank that handles the business account. The steps to get a merchant account through your primary bank are simple, but may take a little time and effort.
If you have not already done so, you will need to open a commercial or business account with the bank you desire. Each bank will have different requirements to accomplish this. Generally, you will need proof of your business such as a license to operate. If your business has a physical location, this will be needed.
To qualify for merchant accounts, you will also need an Employer Verification Number (EVN). For businesses online, or without any employees, your Federal Tax ID can be used. The EVN can be obtained by applying for one with the Internal Revenue Service.
Once you have been approved for a merchant account from your bank, you will need equipment to offer credit card processing to customers. Websites will need a secure system for check out and to choose which methods of payment are accepted. Physical businesses will need point of sale equipment.
After you have paid any necessary set up fees for the account and provided all the information requested by the bank, your merchant account will be ready for use. Any payments made using one of the methods you accept will go into your merchant account and deposits are made from that account into the commercial account for your business.
Having a merchant account set up to allow you to take debt and credit card payments says a great deal about your business. It shows that you are capable of taking more payment methods other than just cash. Secure payments with merchant accounts also show that you are trying to maintain a reputable business.