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Merchant account advise?

Discussion in 'Business & Tax Advice' started by cre8opportunity, Mar 10, 2009.

  1. cre8opportunity

    cre8opportunity Newbie

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    Hi All,

    I'm in the process of obtaining my Certificate of Occupancy for my brick and mortar location, and the commerce site is now 14 days out (down from 20) and looking promising. The commerce site will offer google checkout, and I opened a PayPal merchant account.

    Some people don't do PayPal or Google. I don't. I've heard too many horror stories. My transactions range from $100 for tshirts and banners to $28,000 for 10 car wraps from a fleet account. I don't need Paypal freezing anything! So I'd like to go it alone if I can.

    BUT (all caps BUT) My LLC is new. My personal credit is gr8. 723, but I thought forming an LLC would separate my personal from my biz, so I don't know if that will help me.

    When the biz was in my partner's name we had a merchant account with Nova, and I didn't handle setting any of that up; but now that we've split and I'm doing it on my own, I need some advice/input.

    Many thanks!
    cre8opportunity
     
  2. GreenGoblin

    GreenGoblin BANNED BANNED

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    http://www.imaxbancard.com
     
  3. chickuzt

    chickuzt BANNED BANNED

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    No edited, that is not the way to go. I am an expert in this field. It'd be much better to go through Authorize.net with some kind of shopping-cart service.

    Much, much better rates!
     
  4. innocent

    innocent Junior Member

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    Go with Authorize.net they will use your personal credit info and it doesn't matter that you set up an LLC. The account can still be within your LLC but they use your credit score to approve you. Very easy to accomplish.
     
  5. calm

    calm Registered Member

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    I haved used auth0rizenet/p@ymerlca
    assuming you are in the us.
     
  6. cre8opportunity

    cre8opportunity Newbie

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    Thanks all for the replies. Yes, I am in the US. I'm trying to find alternatives to online processing for cards I can swipe (in the retail store) or imprint (at tradeshows and remote locations we set up at). I probably asked the wrong question. Sorry.

    Any advice?

    Many thanks!
    cre8opportunity
     
  7. scubaslick

    scubaslick Regular Member

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    Well the easiest advice is "just wait a few days" and you'll start getting calls and junk mail from every cc processor in the universe. This is just because you filed your LLC paperwork and/or dba paperwork.

    But, if you have a physical location, there are literally THOUSANDS of companies that would love to have your business right now. You'll still need to sign a personal guaranty, based on your own credit, but as long as you aren't scamming, you should have no problem.

    As to the satellite locations, you have a couple of options. you can buy a land-line terminal or you could buy a wireless type terminal that you can take to trade shows etc.

    A few words of warning:

    1) Do NOT lease a piece of equipment. You'll end up paying through the nose for it. Either spend a couple hundred bucks in cash to get a terminal or insist on a loaner or rental terminal. Not everyone offers them, but most reputable processors will figure out a way to get you processing that doesn't cost much up front.

    2) Get SEVERAL bids on rates and fees.

    And get it all in writing before you sign anything. Refuse to accept "we'll send you the rest of the paperwork in your welcome kit" and such.

    3) Never put out on the first date. The sales people will try to bully, beg or badger you into signing on the first visit. It's what they get paid to do. Don't be fooled by "I can only do this today" or "What's going to change between now and Friday?" or "We'll give you 30-60-90 days to think about things, let's just get the paperwork started." etc. You need to have several bids in hand, in the form of a CONTRACT so you can compare them side by side and have the sales reps come back out and defend themselves once you have taken a look.

    I would make recommendations for processors but they all suck in some way, so your best bet is to compare 4 or 5 of them head to head.

    4) The rates and fees are almost all negotiable. Here are a few things to absolutely insist on:

    No monthly minimum. Period.

    Statement fee around $5. There is usually a cost to the processor for the statements that they pass on to you and mark up. If you negotiate well you shouldn't be paying more than a few dollars a month, and you can usually get them waived completely if you try.

    I would ask for rates in the form of "interchange plus".

    Interchange is the rate that the processors pay to the credit card companies. You can usually negotiate that base rate plus a fixed profit margin for the processor. It makes your bills VERY complicated to read at first, but you also know that you are paying exactly the right amount.

    Interchange, plus dues and assessments plus about 15 basis points is probably doable, and actually fair for the processor. I know some companies that operate on interchange, dues and as little as 5 basis points, but those are typically for million dollar a month accounts. You won't be able to get that low with most companies since that's basically losing money on your account just in servicing it, but you can try.

    Hopefully that will help a bit.

    Feel free to pm me if you have questions, but please understand this is a very complex industry and it can take HOURS to really go through everything - hours that I don't have to spend unfortunately.


     
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  8. thebleh

    thebleh Registered Member

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    I've used card services international before, and it was fine. Basically, any decent merchant account will give you some kind of api that you call with something like curl in php and get back the response. That way anything on your site will look nice. If you're doing offline biz, you can get cc sliders from them too. The stuff isn't really hard to setup. Be on lookout for hidden fees from whatever provider you chose. They do add up for sure.
     
  9. cre8opportunity

    cre8opportunity Newbie

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    scubaslick: Many, many thanks. I printed your information. This helps immensely!

    thebleh: Many thanks. Will look into Services International.
     
  10. cre8opportunity

    cre8opportunity Newbie

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    Anyone here had success getting a merchant account on a brand new business (LLC formed last Friday)?

    I'm referring to accepting credit cards at my brick & mortar location, same biz commerce site, same biz accepting payments at sporting events...not just ecommerce.

    I'm concerned that fees will be greater, I'll have to put a ton of money down, jump through hoops, etc.

    Anyone?

    Many thanks!
    cre8opportunity
     
  11. innocent

    innocent Junior Member

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    You can get a merchant account on a business you start today...not a problem. Fees won't necessarily be greater the bigger factor is your personal credit score. Now, enough questions here at BHW and just pick up the phone and start calling some merchant account companies, make a decision, and be done with it. That way you can get your account and focus on your business. Just dive in and ask questions later. I'm a big believer in the whole ready, fire, aim concept. Act now and clean up your mistakes later. Good luck!
     
  12. BLACKnHWITE

    BLACKnHWITE Registered Member

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    He is absolutely right, I have been selling merchant accounts for over 4 years now on and off. I can give you a merchant account for use online, at your brick and mortar, as well as at trade shows. Pm me if you still need the account I can have you set up in about a week. Getting a merchant account is actually a whole lot easier than most people believe it to be, it is all part of marketing. I have been on both sides of the equation so I know how it can be.