We appreciate there is a lot you need to know
Even though our website has more information then you
can shake a stick at, we do find that some merchants
can feel either overwhelmed by all the information,
or they just don't read it all. Even after signing the
contracts some merchants are unaware of the terms provided
to them as they have not fully read the agreements etc.
Below we have outlined what we feel are the
most important parts of the merchant account that you
need to fully understand before applying.
Please also read through our website
and FAQ's as these tell you everything you need
to know - and more. Most importantly please read the
contracts, once you receive them, to fully understand
what it is you are getting. We obviously can not be
held liable once you have signed them and the account
you understood the pricing and transaction rates for
Each account has different transaction costs and
terms depending on status and business model.. Please
make sure that you have read and understood these
before you apply. To find the prices for each account
EU businesses applying for an EU Merchant Account
With our high risk and adult account,
we accept shell companies. We recommend www.fletcherkennedy.com
for these, as they're cheap and easy to arrange.
With our Standard account, you
must have a physical office address and employ
at least one person in the incorporated country.
You can not simply use a mailing or shell address.
credit and debit cards depending on country of incorporation
Because of the credit card rules, many merchants
simply assume they can accept all credit and debit
cards no matter what they are doing or where they
are located. Unfortunately this isn't the case.
To be able to accept credit cards
you can be incorporated anywhere (within reason).
However to accept debit cards you
must be incorporated in the country the debit card
originates, normally the UK and Europe. Below is
a list of cards and the country your business must
be incorporated in.
Visa debit and credit
MasterCard debit and credit
UK and Europe
Austria or Switzerland
reasons why application timescales extend
When you apply for a merchant account you need
to complete and return various documents, proof
of ID and also have your website up to scratch
(unless MOTO only). This may take an applicant
a few hours or even a few weeks to provide them.
Because of this applications can become delayed.
Simply put - for every day it takes to receive
the relevant documents back that's at least how
much of a delay there will be. For example if
we provide an estimated timescale of 5 days to
process and activate an account, but receive the
documents back 10 days after sending them, the
complete process from sending out the documents
will take 15 days.
One tip to speed up the time it takes to process
an application is to get all the relevant ID ready
while we process your initial application. That
way you will only need to complete the relevant
documents sent to you, if we can indeed help,
and not have to suddenly run around looking for
ID, utility bills etc. slowing down the process.
ID Documents do I need to supply?
Due to money laundering regulations 1993, fraud
and obvious ID theft, we will need the following
from you once you have applied and been initially
accepted. Please note that you will be notified
via email of what exactly you need to supply and
when - learn
Scan of valid ID of
company's owners/director(s). Preferably Passport
or National ID
Original utility bill
or bank statement i.e. dated within the last
three months, and for a service provided directly
to your home. Acceptable examples are bank
statements, gas, water, electricity, or landline
Voided cheque (or a
copy of a recent Bank Statement)
Certificate of Incorporation
(and related documents)
A copy of the Terms
& Conditions as listed on website
Domain name must be
registered in the applicants company (legal)
performed as part of the application process
As part of the application process, only done once
we have received all the relevant documentation
back, we perform two main checks.
- MATCH Database - The
MATCH File is maintained by MasterCard International
and is the way by which MasterCard and Visa acquiring
banks identify merchants, and the principals, which
have been terminated for specific reasons. These
check find information such as when a merchant has
been convicted of credit card fraud, deposited sales
that were not authorized by cardholders, deposited
transaction that were for sales generated by another
business (known as laundering.)
- Credit Checks - During
our assessment of your application, we will use
the services of credit reference agencies to confirm
your home address and calculate your personal credit
score. Information held by the credit reference
agencies is used by us and others to help verify
the identity of customers and to assess their ability
to meet financial commitments. This enables accounts
to be opened more quickly and reduces the need to
obtain third-party references.
To enable us to form an accurate view of the
existing financial commitments of customers, credit
reference agencies may link the records of “financial
associates” (such as spouses, family members,
or cohabiters) who have entered into joint financial
obligations. Once linked, this association means
that each of the records will be taken into account
in all future applications for credit by either
financial associate and will continue until one
of them successfully files a “disassociation”
with the credit reference agencies by establishing
that this financial link no longer exists. Information
held about you by the credit reference agencies
may already be linked to records relating to one
or more of your “financial associates”.
If so, for the purposes of any application to
us for services you may be treated as financially
linked and if so your application will be assessed
with reference to any associated records. Further
details about “financial association”,
“disassociation”, and credit reference
agencies are available by contacting the credit
reference agencies directly.
We may make periodic searches of our records,
credit reference agencies, and fraud prevention
agencies to manage your account, and to take decisions
regarding your account and the terms under which
we have opened it, including whether or not to
confirm or extend your account.
By submitting the application documents you confirm
that you have read the foregoing and agree to
us obtaining the aforementioned information during
our assessment of your application for payment
Periods and Rolling Reserves may be increased
In order to increase the merchant's chance
of obtaining a merchant facility with one of our
sponsor banks due to an applicants status and/or
business model and following a full risk assessment
of an application, we very occasionally need to
increase or place two specific elements: the settlement
period and the rolling reserve. Indeed a longer
settlement period and a larger rolling reserve
(normally 7-14 days and 10%) are more likely to
reassure our processing bank that we have taken
sufficient steps to mitigate the risk exposure
on an account.
Please be assured that you will be notified of
this prior to going live, and if not happy can
reject the new terms without any risk of being
liable for payment. However once you have agreed
the new terms and signed the agreements you would
then be liable.
to reduce or even eliminate a rolling reserve
With the Standard Account (and High-Risk
account if one has been placed) we would, on occasion,
be able to consider 0% reserves, however before
we would make this offer we would need to see
the latest set of financials for the company to
make sure that the health of the business is sound.
This will help us to get a better picture and
alleviate the need of a rolling reserve. To do
this we would look at the financials on the public
database through Companies House, however if these
are not filed there then you will need to supply
these to us.
and High-Risk Registration and annual Fees
Please note that due to certain 'Adult' businesses
(downloadable videos and photos. NOT physical hard
goods), needing a different kind of merchant account,
they are subject to additional “High Risk
Registration Fees” imposed by MasterCard and
Visa of £760 (950 EUR). However certain select
'adult services' are only £78 (98 EUR). We
would like to make it clear that this is
not an extra charge incurred by us but
by VISA and MasterCard. This means that even if
you decide not to use us, you will still need to
pay regardless of what PSP you use. We will inform
you of the annual fee following a full assessment.
Categories which fall under the £760 mark.
We would like to make it clear that this
is not an extra charge incurred by us
but by VISA and MasterCard. This means that even
if you decide not to use us, you will still need
to pay regardless of what PSP you use.
Terminal and VPOS - There is a difference!
The Virtual Terminal is a secure browser based
interface that will enable your business to process
mail order, telephone order (MOTO) credit card
transactions, It eliminates the difficulty and
additional hardware expenses normally related
to manual credit and debit card processing. Access
your Virtual Terminal from any Internet connection
to process card payments.
The VPOS (Virtual Point Of Sale) is a Windows-based
software application that provides all the necessary
features required for processing credit and debit
card transactions quickly and easily in situations
where cards are not present.
false details and business descriptions
A number of businesses try to apply using false
details and/or business descriptions e.g. selling
DVD's but in fact selling medication. As you can
imagine this wastes a lot of time for all parties
involved, chiefly us. For this reason, anyone
who knowingly provides wrong business information
will be charged a £150 + VAT Fee.
More importantly this practice is illegal and
is classed under UK law as 'trying to acquire
products or services under false pretenses'. As
you can imagine we take this very seriously and
anyone caught doing so will have their business
details past over to the appropriate authorities
Any company who changes their business model
must inform us as soon as possible, otherwise
their account could be closed with immediate effect
and no refund given.
Mandatory Website Requirements
If you are using a website to sell online you
must comply with certain website requirements.
These are mandatory and must be complied with
before an application can be fully approved. If
you have not developed a live website then a test
(BETA) site will be adequate.
here for much more information
will I be liable for payment for the merchant account?
Payment is applicable once the account has
been set-up. The Standard account settles what
you are owed (minus the processing fees) straight
into your bank.
With regards to the High risk and adult account,
you will be sent a monthly invoice for the fees.
This is also the same for the annual fee associated
with the High-Risk and Adult Merchant Account
(this will be invoiced once the account is live).
On certain occasions the
accounts that we provide are not used by the merchant.
This could be because they have taken longer to
set-up the rest of their business, not taking
as many online payments as expected or have decided
not to use it. Whatever the reason we are unable
to issue a refund as this is not due to a problem
caused by us.
the prices you advertise really the prices I will pay?
YES the prices always stay the same!
However certain merchants may have slightly different
In order to increase a merchant's chance of obtaining
a merchant facility with one of our sponsor banks
due to an applicants status and/or business model
and following a full risk assessment of an application,
we may need to increase certain elements: mainly
the settlement period and the rolling reserve
(other terms may be effected depending on the
risk sector you operate in and your company’s
credit rating). Indeed a longer settlement period
and a larger rolling reserve are more likely to
reassure our processing bank that we have taken
sufficient steps to mitigate the risk exposure
on an account.
As you can imagine we are unable to tell who
will have their terms increased until an application
has been put in and is being processed. Please
be reassured that you are under no obligation
to continue with the application if the new terms
offered no longer meet your requirements. If this
is the case than simply reply to the relevant
email and your application will be terminated.