Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is a Merchant Account?
  2. Who is the back end service provider?
  3. How do I know which Merchant Account is right for my business?
  4. How do I apply for a merchant account?
  5. How long will it take to get approved?
  6. What credit cards will I be able to accept?
  7. Can I accept international credit cards?
  8. What information is required to complete the application?
  9. Can I use my existing Merchant Account?
  10. What type of transactions can I record?
  11. What does the service cost to get started?
  12. Is there support?
  13. What rate will I be charged when I accept a credit card?
  14. How does the card swipe work?
  15. Once my application is approved, how long will it take until I can process credit card transactions in Checkout?
  16. Why do swiped rates differ from manually entered rates?
  17. When do the funds show up in my bank account?
  18. How secure is the transaction?
  19. Will I need to purchase additional equipment to accept credit cards?
  20. Can I accept a debit card from a customer as a payment?
  21. Can I print a receipt for Credit Card Payments?
  22. How can I find out what rate I will be charged for American Express transactions?
  23. How can I obtain credit card decal stickers?

QWhat is a Merchant Account?

A Merchant Account is basically a type of bank account that allows businesses to accept payments via credit card (or debit cards that can be processed as a credit card). This serves as an agreement between a retailer, their bank account, and a merchant account provider/processor for the settlement of these transactions.

QWho is the back end service provider?

Our Merchant Accounts are powered by Forte (formerly ACH Direct) in the US and NXGEN Canada in Canada, suppliers of merchant transaction processing services and industry leaders in providing high tech processing solutions.

QHow do I know which Merchant Account is right for my business?

Essentially, credit card processing is a game of averages. What you must figure out, is what % of your dollar volume you swipe vs. what % you key-enter. When you swipe more than 80% of your credit card transactions, chances are a Card-Present Account will be best for you as you will be eligible for a rate as low as 1.79% (1.90% in Canada) on that majority of transactions. The rest of your transactions that are key-entered will be processed at 1.79% (1.90% in Canada) PLUS whatever surcharge rates you are qualified for (often equals more than 2.29% or 2.50% for Canada). The AVERAGE of all these transactions will hypothetically be lower than 2.29% (2.50% in Canada). If you do not swipe 80% or so of your transactions, then the Card Not Present Account may be best for you because ALL transactions will be processed at as low as 2.29% (2.50% in Canada).

QHow do I apply for a merchant account?

You can request a callback from one of our sales representatives, or call either 877-548-8516 or 877-788-1202 to have an application emailed or faxed to you.

QHow long will it take to get approved?

Approval for a credit card merchant account takes an average of 3-5 business days. This average is dependent upon the amount of information filled out on the application and the documentation provided at the time the application is submitted.

QWhat credit cards will I be able to accept?

You'll be able to accept: VISA, MasterCard, and Discover (handled separately for Canada). American Express is optional. For those of you who are new to accepting credit cards, American Express approves customers with their own merchant account which Forte handles setting up for you and merging with the account you setup with them. NXGEN similarly handles the setup and account merge for both AMEX and Discover for Canadian customers.

QCan I accept international credit cards?

You will be able to accept credit cards whether they're domestic or international. However, all payments will be processed in US dollars only (either Canadian or US dollars only for Canadian merchants).

QWhat information is required to complete the application?

The basics are documents supporting company ownership (DBA Certificate, Corporate Resolution, etc), a voided check, and copies of bank statements over the past two months. Depending on your expected volume, you may also need to provide signed Tax Returns from the past two years as well as your most recent fiscal year end business or personal financials.

QCan I use my existing Merchant Account?

No, you will have to apply for a new merchant account with our provider in order for the service to work with Checkout.

QWhat type of transactions can I record?

You can record credit card sales. All debit card sales will must be processed as credit cards.

QWhat does the service cost to get started?

$99 Setup/Application Fee - see Merchant Account pricing

QIs there support?

Initial setup through the software can usually be handled by either us or Forte (NXGEN in Canada). Any further issues are handled on a case by case basis. You will need Checkout Support for help with other software features. Tech support options can be found on our website, or you can call customer service at 877.788.1202 for more details on support plans and payment options.

QWhat rate will I be charged when I accept a credit card?

If you use a swipe card reader to enter the credit card number, your rate (swiped rate) will be as low as 1.79% (1.90% in Canada) plus $0.25 per transaction. If you manually enter the credit card number (key entered), your rate will be as low as 2.29% (2.50% in Canada) plus $0.25 per transaction.

QHow does the card swipe work?

The card swipe reader is a USB-based device that plugs into any Mac that supports USB. No device drivers are required. Currently, only the card swipe reader we supply will interact properly with Checkout. A card swipe reader can be purchased during the application process or by calling customer service at 877-788-1202 (Canada - must order through Forte).

QOnce my application is approved, how long will it take until I can process credit card transactions in Checkout?

Once you are approved, you are immediately ready to begin processing credit card transactions. You must enter the merchant account information provided by Forte (NXGEN in Canada) into Checkout.

QWhy do swiped rates differ from manually entered rates?

Swiped rates are lower because there is less risk (you physically have the credit card in hand, and more data can be read from the card) vs. manually entering a card number, which does not prove the card is present.

QWhen do the funds show up in my bank account?

Funds are transferred into your bank account within 2 business days, beginning the day after the transaction is approved.

QHow secure is the transaction?

We use industry standard encryption protocol to keep customer card information secure. The processing bank is responsible for fraudulent charges.

QWill I need to purchase additional equipment to accept credit cards?

No, the only equipment, aside from your computer, our software, and a web connection, is an optional credit card reader.

QCan I accept a debit card from a customer as a payment?

If you enter a card that is both a debit and a credit card when using our Merchant Account Services, you must select Credit Card and the Merchant Account will process the transaction as a credit card transaction. True debit card payments where a PIN number is required canot be processed with our Merchant Account Service.

QCan I print a receipt for Credit Card Payments?

When you print a Thermal Receipt, Checkout will print a signature line if the integrated credit card processing has been used to accept payment.

QHow can I find out what rate I will be charged for American Express transactions?

Your merchant account application will also allow you to apply for American Express accounts. While Acclivity and Forte (NXGEN in Canada) will manage the application process for you, we don't have visibility into or influence over the specific rate(s) your business will pay.

We do know that both companies will evaluate: type of business, estimated annual volume (and historical volume), and whether you have had a previous AMEX account. Once you are approved, we will better be able to assist you in understanding the rates you will pay for each type of transaction.

If you are currently an AMEX merchant, then Forte can likely integrate your existing American Express account into the merchant account you get approved for.

QHow can I obtain credit card decal stickers?

You can order the stickers direct from the card associations. Below are the links where the stickers can be ordered.

American Express

Discover

MasterCard

Visa