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Simple but effective ways to speed up the application process...

For every day it takes to receive the documents back or get a reply to a question, that's at least how much of a delay there will be in processing your application. For example if we provide a timescale of 3 days to activate an account, but receive the documents back 10 days after sending them, the complete process will take at least 13 days.

Make sure you provide what we ask

Please make sure that all information contained in the application forms and documents is complete, cohesive and correct. Incomplete applications cannot be processed and will cause delay. Therefore supplying the relevant information in the correct format from day one will speed up the process tremendously.

Make sure your website is compliant

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 (you can be developing this while your application is in progress). If you have not developed a live website then a test (BETA) site will be adequate.

If the website is still under development, then we require a username and password which enables Risk and Compliance to access the BETA site and carry out due diligence

Domain name is in your legal name

As part of due diligence our Risk team check the WHOIS database to make sure that your website domain is registered to the same legal entity applying for the merchant account. For example, if you are a sole trader it must be registered to you personally, if you are applying as a Limited company it must be registered to the Limited company, not an individual.

Sometimes a merchant may hide their details for privacy reasons or registrars set-up domains in their name, not the customers. It may even be that you asked a friend or relative to register one for you and they put it in their name. If this is the case please make sure that all details are changed, relevant paperwork received and details available to view using the WHOIS before applying.

Bank account set-up and ready

Due to money laundering legislation, when setting up or using a business bank account please make sure that it is in the same name as the company you are applying under. If a personal bank account (sole traders only) make sure it can accept internet payments. With most accounts they do as standard, however you wouldn't want to get to the point of going live only to find out your account isn't any good for your needs.


Reply to questions in a timely manner

One of the main reason an application is delayed is due to a merchant not replying quickly. Sometimes questions arise and queries need clarification. Being able to respond to our Applications and Risk departments quickly means that your application will not have to be put on hold until the answers are received. Also remember that even when you do reply, your dedicated account manager may not be able to continue with your application straight away as they have had to move on to another account. Therefore answering as quickly as possible will help a great deal.

Know your integration method

There are numerous ways to integrate your eCommerce website. By knowing your integration methods from the beginning your application will be activated much sooner.

Choose the right web development company

The inconvenient truth is that a proportion of merchants use the wrong type of person (or company) to do the integration (for example a friend or family member who once used PayPal). Not only does this delay you going live, cost you money having to pay shoddy developers only to have to pay again to get it done properly, it also means you could lose potentially thousands in lost trading days.

As this is the most common cause for delay, we highly recommend that you use a professional developer who understands integrations and integration methods. Not only will this help you work out how you want payments to be taken on your website (for example will you use 3D Secure, store card details, repeat billing facility etc.) it will also enable you to complete the relevant online application.

ID and other proof

Make sure you have your proof of ID and home/business address is scanned and ready to email (we don't accept digital photographs). If you have only just moved into a home or office, or you are using serviced offices, you may not have available proof of address. If this is the case then collect as much evidence as you can i.e. Welcome letter from a utility company, lease contract from your landlord etc.

Have ready your Certificate of Incorporation

If a Limited company make sure you have your Certificate of Incorporation (and ALL related documents i.e. Memorandum of Association and Articles that accompany them) ready to send. These are ordinarily available in pdf format .If you don't have them please either login to your Companies House account and get a copy, or contact the relevant person or company.

Finally, and most importantly...

...Don't try and pull the wool over our eyes

Some companies and individuals try and lie their way into getting an account. This may be a white lie or great big whopper! Either way it never works and just causes work for everyone concerned. It also causes bad feeling and kills any trust (this is a big issue with us and the banks) and you could even find yourself on the fraud MATCH database.

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