Meramak Bankcard Midwest Merchant Account Services

Merchants frequently asked questions about merchant accounts

 

Merchant's Frequently Asked Questions FAQ 


How do I know what terminal I will need?
Why do I need Equipment? Can't I just call the number in for verification?
Can I use the old style sliding imprinter and turn in my receipts for processing?
Should I go with software or hardware?
I want to accept credit cards on my web site. What do I need to do?
Why are there different rates?
How long does it take for the money to be deposited into my bank account?
Will you raise my rates later?
How do I get the equipment to process credit cards?

What about debit cards? How do they work?
What is a chargeback?
What is a transaction fee?
Do Mastercard and Visa get anything?
Is there a monthly statement fee?
What is a Minimum Monthly Discount?


 

How do I know what terminal I will need?
If you have a storefront, where the customer comes in and presents their credit card for a purchase, a simple terminal is all that would be needed to read the magnetic stripe on the card. A receipt can be printed for the customer after the transaction has been authorized with some terminals having printers connected and some having them built in.
If you accept credit cards on location, like a service call, terminals will work in any phone outlet allowing you to take the equipment with you. Dragging along a printer might not seem like a good idea, but a terminal with a built in printer would work. Or you can take an old style sliding imprinter with you, get an imprint of the card, and bring it back to your business to key in the numbers. You can also use a cellular phone with some terminals. Software can be installed on a laptop computer and you could process cards anywhere. Or process online with a Virtual Terminal if you have access to the Internet.

If accepting credit cards over the phone, as in mail-order, everything works the same except you will have to key in the numbers. You would be unable to swipe
the card through a reader. Optional card readers are available. A printer is optional if you want to keep track of purchases easily and send your customer a receipt. Otherwise, you would need to keep track of reference numbers and authorization numbers that are returned to the terminal's LED readout yourself, when completing a sale.

If you have a restaurant, nightclub, beauty salon, or a business where you need a machine that can track your receipts, you'll need a terminal that can track multiple accounts. Waitresses can have their tips separated, the different chairs in a beauty salon can each have a code number, and each could have their day's receipts assigned to the code and tracked. Have your daily or weekly transactions broken down into categories such as average ticket, and Mastercard versus American Express purchases for example.

There are many equipment options, and the best way to determine what equipment you need is to talk with one of our representatives.
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Why do I need equipment? Can't I call for verification?
Yes, you can call in a credit card number for verification. Our service, Dial Pay, allows you to phone our processing center with the credit card number, and our processing rep will actually process the transaction for you. There is an activation fee, and a higher transaction cost, which is not cost feasible if you have many sales. If you have just a few sales, Dial Pay might be just right for you.
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Can I use the sliding imprinter and turn in my receipts for processing?
If you cannot swipe a card through an electronic terminal to complete a transaction, you can use an imprinter to get an impression of the card, fill out the old style carbon paper receipt, get a signature, and punch the numbers in later. This transaction carries with it the MO/TO rate, but you won't miss a sale. You may want to call and get authorization if the sale is large enough, to make sure the card is good. The receipt is yours, we don't use the receipts for processing. Keep signatures on file for one year. We'll give you a sliding imprinter in case you ever need it, with the paper receipts. Some terminals now have Store and Forward features, where you can swipe a card and send the information at a later time.
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Should I go with software or hardware?
It really depends on your future needs. Software can perform like a regular terminal, but it needs optional add-ons to swipe a credit card, or to accept debit card PIN numbers. Software is not dependable, and can have many bugs in the code. Most cannot be upgraded. If you plan on accepting cards personally in the future by opening a storefront, you may want to consider a terminal capable of swiping credit cards. Use it for mail order today, and later you will be ready to accept cards in a retail setting.
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I want to accept credit cards on my web site. What do I need to do?
You have two choices, accept credit cards in real time, or accept them off-line. MasterCard and Visa require you to have a secure page to accept credit cards in real time on the Internet. Information must be encrypted to guard against the theft of credit card numbers. The easiest and most economical way of accepting credit cards over the Internet is by telephone, off-line. The customer simply calls you to place an order. Just like ordering from a catalog. Accepting credit card numbers using e-mail is not acceptable. If you accept credit cards in real time you will need to do at least an average amount of business each month. Otherwise, try the telephone method until your business does enough transactions to warrant real time processing. A Virtual Terminal is included.
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Why are there different rates?
The lowest rate is obtained when you physically swipe the card through a reader. To credit card companies, this is the safest against fraud. When you manually key in the numbers, from a telephone sale the magnetic stripe on the card is not read, and the risk of fraud, and loss, goes up according to card companies, so the rate is higher. To keep your costs lower, always try to swipe the card through your terminal if at all possible. It is difficult to determine if a credit card is stolen, or fake, if the card is taken over the telephone.
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How long does it take for the money to be deposited into my bank account?
If a customer comes in on Monday and makes a purchase, the sale is recorded and saved by your terminal. At midnight, our banks receive information from businesses all over the country. The next day it is processed, and at midnight, the money is transferred to your business bank account and will be available to you on Wednesday, unless your bank posts it later. If a purchase is made on Friday, since banks are closed over the weekends at midnight, your money will reach your bank account by Tuesday. It takes 48 hours to post to your account.
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Will you raise my rates later?
The only time we will raise Mastercard and Visa's rates are when MasterCard and Visa does. When this happens, all companies will be raising rates. If they increase it .02% we will increase ours by .02%.
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How do I get the equipment to process credit cards?
You can choose to purchase processing equipment. You can choose to lease-to-own processing equipment. Leases include a service plan that completely protects your equipment! If your equipment fails, call us immediately! We will overnight you a replacement. Others will tell you that you'll have to send yours to the manufacturer and they won't Federal Express you an overnight replacement. We know how important lost sales are to your business! We also have options for seasonal businesses.
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What about debit cards? How do they work?
Debit cards combine the functions of ATM cards and checks. Debit cards are issued by banks, but are used at stores, not at the banks themselves. When you pay with a debit card, the money is automatically deducted from your checking account. Many merchants accept ATM cards as debit cards. Banks typically issue a combined ATM/debit card, which looks just like a credit card and can be used in places where credit cards are accepted. But don't be mistaken--they are not credit cards. The money spent comes out of a checking account immediately using debit. Many people prefer debit cards over checks. Debit is not available in all states.
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What is a chargeback?
A chargeback occurs when a customer disputes a charge on their monthly statement. If a customer sees a charge they think they did not make, or if they ordered something through the mail and did not receive the product, that customer has up to one year to dispute the charge according to Mastercard and Visa's consumer protection regulations. All they have to do is call the bank where the card was issued from and tell them they want the charge dropped. The bank will chargeback the transaction to you, and take the money from your merchant account. You have to prove that the sale or delivery of the product went to the actual person whose name appeared on the credit card that was used, as well as the address. Many companies will not ship to any other address than what is listed as the card holder's address.If someone else had used the card and made a fraudulent purchase, naturally the owner of the card would notice the charge and immediately dispute it. It is very important and helps in your favor incases of chargeback disputes to have utilized AVS. Address Verification System.

Terminals used for credit card processing of mail orders and telephone mail orders should have the AVS enacted and be using it. Fraud is more of a problem than most people realize. Credit card fraud is widespread. The hardest hit victim is usually the merchant. Any steps you can take to protect yourself from chargebacks is a positive step.
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What is a transaction fee?
A transaction fee is charged for connection of your terminal or software into the processing network. The fees for using their lines and network are as low as .20 cents if the credit card was swiped through a card reader electronically, and .30 cents if the transaction was keyed in on the terminal.
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Does Mastercard and Visa get anything?
Mastercard and Visa fees are as low as 1.75% for swiped cards and 2.39% for unswiped cards. That would be $1.75 for every $100 of swiped credit card sales, and $2.39 for every $100 of unswiped credit card sales.
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Is there a monthly statement fee?
There is a $10 monthly statement fee. This is for maintenance and frequent access of your merchant account. A report will be sent each month detailing all of your transactions and deposits to your merchant account. It's the same type of maintenance fee assessed by banks to maintain your personal bank accounts. Top of page


What is a Minimum Monthly Discount?
The Minimum Monthly Discount is a minimum fee to be met when you have a merchant account. The $25 monthly minimum, is waived when you meet your minimum volume or go over it,and is prorated when you meet part of your minimum.

Example: If your MC/Visa processing rate is: $2.39
Take your rate (2.39%) X your monthly sales volume ($xxxx)
example 1: .0239 rate X $1050 volume = $25.09 ($25.09 exceeds the $25 monthly minimum, no fee is owed)
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