Getting Started

Finding the Right Merchant Acquirer

First, gather information from a range of merchant acquirers

  • Basic business information - Name, type of business, address, phone number and establishment date.
  • Processing information - Estimate how much you expect to process, and how you'll be processing (face-to-face, online, etc.).
  • Identification numbers - Federal Tax ID (if you have one) and your social security number.
  • Bank information - Business bank account and routing number.

Questions to ask a merchant acquirer to help you find the right one:

1. What are your discount rates and charges for each type of transaction?

  • Ask the salesperson to walk you through calculating the fees you would pay for a $100 charge in each manner you plan to accept cards (in person, phone/mail, online).
  • Ask which types of cards get automatically downgraded (some potential types include: rewards, corporate, international).

2. What are your other fees? (Some potential fees include: annual, set-up, application, monthly service fee, monthly minimum, statement, support, cancellation, and gateway access)

  • Ask if there is a contract and if so, what the terms and cancellation fees are.

3. How quickly will the funds reach my bank account?

4. Can you provide me with three small business references?

5. What is your customer service number?
BONUS TIP: Call the number to find out how long the wait is.

Start accepting credit cards today and reap the benefits tomorrow. We hope this information was helpful and will serve as a springboard to accepting credit cards at your business. For even more detailed information about merchant acquirers, please visit www.merchantcouncil.org.