Merchant Accounts: What is a Merchant Account, How do I get One? | Nav

As a little business owner 20 or so years ago, one of the most confuse and thwart things I did was reconcile my recognition batting order transactions. They were deposited in my business bank account with a slowdown of several days from the clock the transaction was completed, and at the time, I don ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate think I wholly understood precisely what a merchant explanation was or how it worked. I good knew I needed to have one to process credit cards .
If your occupation accepts credit cards and debit cards, you need a merchant account. A merchant report international relations and security network ’ t something you can fair do on your own, you need to establish a kinship with a merchant services supplier to create an score .

What is a Merchant Account?

basically, it ’ s an account where you transfer funds from your customers ’ citation and debit card purchases after they ’ ve been processed. You will most likely not have direct access to the funds in your merchant report, but the funds will be mechanically deposited into your business bank account, normally within one or two business days .

How Does a Merchant Account Work?

The merchant services provider, or processing service, confirms the handiness of funds whenever one of your customers uses a credit or debit card to pay for a product or serve. If there are sufficient funds, they will authorize the transaction and funds will be deposited into your report.

There are normally fees associated with every transaction of anywhere from 3 % to 5 % ( depending on the merchant services supplier ). These fees will be deducted from each transaction before the funds are deposited into your score. These fees can besides vary depending on the card issuer. For example, American Express fees might be different from the fees VISA charges which may be different from the fees associated with a debit card .
This was one of the things that caused me bookkeeping headaches. Reconciling each transaction when it was deposited, making sure to account for the processing fees, and the two- or three-day interim waiting for the transaction was a bookkeeping job that ate into the clock I needed to do other things. At the prison term, like many of my small commercial enterprise peers, I lacked the bookkeeping understanding to understand how important it was to stay on peak of all that stuff and probably should have accommodated for the credit card fees in the price of my services if I was going to accept citation cards, but I didn ’ thymine .
That was a lesson I had to learn the hard manner .

How Does a Business Establish a Merchant Account?

There are numerous merchant serve providers, so there will be a bunch of options to choose from, but individual providers may charge different fees, offer different features, along with varying abridge terms. In early words there are good providers and bad providers .
The standard contract distance nowadays is three years with extra fees for early result. Some military service providers will go on a month-to-month sign, so you ’ ll want to look at several providers before you sign on the scatter channel. It may besides be worth it to talk to early belittled businesses in your community to learn about what they have done to help inform your decisiveness. The local chamber of commerce meeting could be a good place to get that information .
once you ’ ve gone through the evaluation process and decided on the supplier you want to use, it ’ second normally pretty straightforward. You ’ ll need to provide information like your business appoint, contact data, tax information, along with the spread-eagle and report numbers to your occupation bank score so they can make the automatic deposits. You may besides be required to provide a credit batting order count to pay the transaction fees, depending on the serve you choose .
You may besides be liable for any chargebacks or refunds on your account. What ’ s more, don ’ thyroxine be surprised if the merchant services supplier pulls your credit rating reputation before they set up your report .
You should besides be aware that those cancellation fees can be reasonably steep if you terminate your merchant services agreement before the abridge result date .

6 Easy Approval Merchant Accounts to Get Started

  • Summa Office Supplies
  • Quill
  • Grainger
  • Uline
  • Wise Business Plan
  • Crown Office Supplies

Summa Office Supplies

Products offered : Office supplies such as composition, folders, envelopes, labels etc .
Reports to : Experian and Equifax ( business credit )
worth note : Summa Office Supplies is tidal bore to work with small businesses, and their submit goal is to provide the “ human touch. ” They offer credit for both newfangled and well-established businesses and will provide written trade credit references upon request. As you establish a positive payment history, you can request larger credit lines .
Open a Summa Office Supplies account now. Use code SOSNAV at checkout .


Products offered : Office supplies, including a wide diverseness of supplies in the follow categories : clean, coffee/snacks, safety, testing ground, healthcare, health and health and more .
Reports to : Dun & Bradstreet
worth note : Some commercial enterprise owners with no business citation history have reported they were required to purchase at least $ 100 of products per calendar month over a 90 day period and pay those off before qualifying for a net-30 account .
Open a Quill history immediately


Products offered : Over 1.6 million industrial and base hit products offered
Reports to : Dun & Bradstreet
worth noting : While a Grainger account is by and large easy to get, some clientele owners have reported that they were unable to qualify immediately because they had no business credit references, or because their business was barely recently incorporated. Some found they were able to talk with a example to establish credit terms, while others had to start with early accounts .
Open a Grainger account now


Products offered : packaging, janitorial, food serve, safety warehouse supplies and more

Reports to : D & B and Experian ( business )
worth noting : Most clientele owners report achiever opening a credit score with Uline. If your business is young and you have trouble qualify, you can contact their credit department .
Open a Uline report now

Wise Business Plans

Wise Business Plan® specializes in creating professionally written occupation plans, pitch decks and Powerpoint presentations for modest business owners. Plans cover a variety show of purposes, including franchises, non-profits, deoxyadenosine monophosphate well as investor class and savings bank compliant plans. Each commercial enterprise design is custom written by writers with MBAs, researchers, and fiscal modelers, and are professionally designed. Wise Business Plan purchases are paid for with 50 % due up front and 50 % due earlier releasing the gulp. Those purchases are reported to Dun & Bradstreet .
Open a Wise Business Plans report now

Crown Office Supplies

Products offered : A wide variety of office supplies including everything from artwork to computers to snacks and more
Reports to : All major commercial credit agencies, including Dun & Bradstreet, Experian, Equifax, Credit Safe, and NACM
Crown Office Supplies is eager to work with both new and established businesses. There is no personal credit check. Businesses without an established commercial citation history will be offered base credit telephone line which can grow angstrom farseeing as they are making their payments. There is a $ 99 annual fee ( which may be waived for businesses with a strong business credit history. ) This annual fee is reported to the chest of drawers, which may far help the commercial enterprise establish accredit .
Open a Crown Office Supplies bill now

There are Different Types of Accounts Available Depending on the Nature of Your Business

If your occupation is a brick and mortar business you might need different services than those required for an on-line business—which may besides be different for businesses that do most of their transactions via the telephone. With that in mind, there are a numeral of variations of a merchant score you need to be aware of .

  • Retail Merchant Accounts: If your primary business does business out of a physical location, your needs will be different than a strictly online business. You’ll be able to physically inspect the credit card and possibly even ask to see some ID. My merchant services provider preferred that we didn’t take a lot of credit cards over the phone in those days, because they perceived them as higher risk, and it’s safe to assume that might be reflected in the fees you are charged for each transaction.
  • Internet Merchant Accounts: Many businesses today, even if they have a brick and mortar retail location, also do e-commerce business. Many other businesses are strictly online and never see their customers or their credit cards in person. Your service provider will want to know how you transact business because in addition to the fees they charge you, it might also impact the device (or interface) you use to accept credit cards. An online business will likely not require a card reader, for example.
  • Mobile Merchant Accounts: There are some businesses that do business strictly on mobile devices, which may or may not physically run your credit card. If you’ve even swiped a Square® card reader, with a food truck, kiosk, or similar business, for example, you’ve done business with a business that requires a mobile merchant account.
  • Telephone Merchant Accounts: Some businesses still predominantly take payments for services over the telephone. When I was a small business owner, my merchant services provider preferred we not take credit cards over the phone, so we had additional protocols when we did to reduce the risk of fraudulent transactions.
  • Mail Order Merchant Accounts: Many merchants still do business via the mail and allow their customers to submit credit card numbers to pay for purchases. This presents additional challenges to the merchant services provider because customers are manually writing their credit card numbers on an order form and like many of the other transaction types, they don’t get to inspect the credit card before the transaction is submitted.

What is the Cost of a Merchant Account?

As mentioned above, you should expect there to be fees associated with each transaction, but those will likely not be the only fees you should expect to pay for the convenience of accepting a credit wag .
Fees vary depending on the provider, but here are some of the fees you should expect .

What is a Payment Service Provider (PSP)?

In recent years, a issue of modern players like Square, PayPal, and Stripe have entered the commercialize to disrupt the marketplace. These PSPs aggregate their users into something alike to a single, big, merchant account .
These services are credibly beneficial suited to businesses that do a relatively smaller book of transactions ( less than $ 5,000 per calendar month ) and typically operate on a pay-as-you sound basis without long-run contracts or commitments. Smaller businesses that don ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate require all the services offered with a more traditional merchant score, may find the PSP model does a better job to meet their needs .

Nav’s Final Word: Merchant Account

Regardless of whether you have a physical location, work out of a truck, or an on-line business, accepting credit rating cards is likely part of the equation. To do that, your business will need some kind of merchant account to process those transactions before they can be deposited into your commercial enterprise bank bill. Before you decide which merchant avail account makes the most common sense for your business, be certain to shop around, look at two or three services, and possibly even speak to other small occupation owners in your area to see what services they like best .
Accepting credit cards is convenient for your customers and critical ( depending on the nature of your business ), then the military service you choose needs to make sense for you and your business needs .
This article was originally written on June 11, 2020 and updated on December 29, 2021 .

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