When is it Time To Open a Merchant Account

It is fairly easy to start accepting credit cards. All you have to do is open a merchant account, set up the processing equipment, and you’re pretty much set. However, very small businesses, and businesses that are just starting out have several factors to take into consideration before they start accepting credit card payments. When is the best time open a merchant account, if you are just starting out in business?

Doing the research

First, it is important to get acquainted with some of the details that are involved with credit card processing. Doing some quick research online will help you understand the many facets of card processing. To start, you will have to know four basic concepts: the merchant bank, the processor, the issuing bank, and the credit card brands.

The merchant bank is the financial institution that facilitates the transfer of funds through a credit card. The processor is a third-party entity that acts as a middleman, offering merchant account services to companies like yours. The issuing bank is the financial institution that releases credit cards to the banks, and the card brands are the familiar credit card companies such as Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express.

When is the right time?

In short, it is almost never too early to sign up for a merchant account.  Most companies will let you sign up and then suspend your account for three months or more, and you can always unfreeze your account earlier than you had scheduled  That way, you can be ready to go instantly as soon as your business is up and running.  If you are signing up with a company other than Charge.com, then just make sure to verify that you will be able to suspend your account before you sign up with them.

Waiting to the last minute can potentially lead to delays that can doom your business before it even gets off the ground.  Many merchant account providers, including Charge.com provide instant approval for a merchant account, but with any merchant account provider, there can sometimes be rare delays if there is an issue with your initial application, and you can wind up having your entire business held up for weeks or longer while the underwriting department works with you to get your account open.


For more information on when to open a merchant account as a new business, or to open a merchant account, please call (888) 924-2743 or go to Charge.com.


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