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Merchant Accounts Explained

Updated: Dec 29, 2023

As a merchant, or business owner, you will need a way to accept payments in multiple forms - including debit and credit cards. A merchant account is a type of bank account that will allow you to do this. If you’re unfamiliar with this very important part of owning a business, don’t worry… we’ll explain what exactly merchant accounts are, plus how and where to get one!

What is a merchant account?

A merchant account is a business account used to move payments from your customer's bank account to your business bank account after they make a credit card purchase. The big difference between merchant accounts and bank accounts is that a merchant account is equivalent to a company line of credit. This means when applying for a merchant account, your company will go through an approval and underwriting process before being able to obtain one.

How to obtain a merchant account?

In order to get a merchant account, you will need to establish a relationship with a merchant services provider first - such as Align eCommerce. Most payment processors will require you to fill out an application with both your personal and your company information. This includes things like bank account information, SIN (social insurance number), and business financial details, which can leave some consumers apprehensive. The credit check is normal though since merchant accounts act as a line of credit, and a line of credit always requires a thorough assessment (especially as a business). These are just standard regulations put in place to defend against fraud, corruption, and money laundering.

Where to apply for a merchant account?

Align eCommerce makes applying for a merchant account quick and easy by offering an online inquiry form and response times within 24 hours. After a brief introduction, we will send a merchant account application to you so that you can provide the necessary personal and business information, plus any supporting documents needed to verify. Also, if you already have a merchant account, be prepared to provide three months’ worth of processing statements as well. Once everything has been submitted, Align eCommerce’s team will review the completed application for overall risk assessment. Approval can take anywhere from a couple of days to a week, at which point you will receive a merchant account acceptance or rejection letter. After your company is accepted for a merchant account, you will have immediate access to your merchant account and payment gateway.

Merchant accounts are necessary for a functioning business, but it can be even more important to make sure those accounts are in the right hands. At Align eCommerce, we are here for you and all your payment processing needs.

Congratulations! You can now accept credit cards!

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