- What exactly is a merchant account and how will my business benefit from one?
- What do I need to open a merchant account and start accepting credit cards ASAP?
- How would I potentially get the money from a credit card sale?
- I have a web site and I would like to accept orders over the Internet via credit card. What do I need to know?
- Is it possible to receive payment by check on my web site?
- Some people do not use credit cards and prefer to write checks only, how seriously should I consider this option?
- The fees are less expensive than I thought it would be, are there other hidden fees?
- How can I minimize fraud risk and what type of fraud protection services do you offer?
- After applying how long will it take for my application to be processed?
- Will my business receive a statement on the transactions processed?
- Are my funds guaranteed?
- What is AVPS’ Refund & Dispute Policy?
A merchant account is a commercial bank account established by contractual agreement between your business and the banks we represent. A merchant account enables your business to accept credit card payments from your customers.
You may have hard before that your sales may increase by 40 to 100% just by choosing to accept credit cards but don’t just take our word for it, read this case study by MasterCard and see for yourself! It’s a proven fact that by accepting credit cards you can increase your credibility, customer convenience and best of all, your sales.
Our requirements to open up a merchant account are minimal. You will need:
- Business checking account
- Either a physical business location, or a web site.
- A product or service that is not considered restricted.
AVPS will work with you if you are trying to open a merchant account under specific conditions or if your credit is less than perfect! Contact our customer service department via our online chat or call toll free: 800 719-9198. Or if you wish you can apply online now and one of our sales representatives will get back to you with information on how to get started with your business type!
Depending on your type of merchant account, the funds may take longer to arrive to your checking account than others. In most cases the funds are deposited into your account within 2 business days.
For Internet merchant accounts click here to see how the funds go from the customer, through your web site, and to you.
For retail merchant accounts, click here to see how you receive the funds after processing a credit card with a POS terminal.
For mail order or telephone order merchant accounts, click here to see how you receive your funds from a credit card transaction even when neither the client nor credit card is present.
For wireless merchant accounts, click here to see how you can process credit cards when you or your business is on the go.
I have a web site and I would like to accept orders over the Internet via credit card. What do I need to know?
With an Internet merchant account, you can use real-time credit card processing to accept orders online automatically. AVPS can help you with the details of connecting an online shopping cart with a payment gateway. Click here to see how this process works or click here to apply for an Internet merchant account now! and receive the funds in your checking account.
Yes, AVPS offers check processing, or also known as ACH services. We take pride in being specialists in check processing and can get you up and running right away. Click here to read more about ACH and how you can use our Virtual Terminal to receive check payments from anywhere with an Internet connection.
Some people do not use credit cards and prefer to write checks only, how seriously should I consider this option?
AVPS highly recommends providing a way for your potential customers to pay by check. Refusing to accept checks could mean refusing sales. Many people still use checks as a primary method of payment because of it’s convenience or because they are over their limit on their credit cards. AVPS’s check processing services are very easy to integrate and will get you accepting checks over the phone, in person, or via the Internet in no time!
All fees are presented in the merchant application and agreement. We are here to help you understand all fees and costs associated with your merchant account – before you agree. So don’t hesitate to ask us when in doubt!
AVPS’ Virtual Terminal features the iSpyFraud™Fraud Protection Program. With several useful features such as User Ban where you can use specific criteria to ban certain users and Threshold control where you can edit rules for transactions that could be fraudulent such as large amounts of purchases in a short time, we are sure that you will be able to use it to minimize your risk when processing credit cards.
AVPS would also like for the merchant to consider a few simple guidelines when processing credit cards. Whether it be online, over the phone, or in person, it’s always a good idea to adhere to the following guidelines:
- Use common sense: Ultimately, it is the merchant who is responsible for fraud, so do not hesitate to ask questions or be suspicious of a customer who purchases unusually large amounts of items or who indeed acts suspicious.
- Always ask for identification: It is NOT illegal to ask for a driver’s license when receiving checks or credit cards and in fact is extremely good practice. Also remember to compare signatures on the receipt and back of credit card.
- Verify CVC2 and CVV2 numbers: Visa and MasterCard implemented these verification numbers for your protection when processing an online, or mail / telephone order – so use them! They are 3 digits located on the back of all credit cards and most debit cards following the 16 digit account number on the signature panel. The magnetic band of the card does not contain this information, nor will the receipt, therefore the unauthorized use of the card is more difficult.. Simply submit this code along with the rest of the order information and you can be warned in advance of suspicious use.
- Address Verification Service: Your merchant account will include this service, so we highly recommend you use it. Simply request a billing address when processing online or via mail or telephone and submit this information along with the rest of the order and the processor will make sure they match.
Within hours your company will be able to accept credit cards from your customers. AVPS Risk Management Department specializes in expediting your application so you can immediately start accepting credit cards.
Any customer has the right to dispute a credit card charge from the card’s issuing bank. If a charge is challenged, a retrieval request will be sent to the merchant asking for proof that a sale had been made by the customer. In addition, the merchant’s credit card processor has the right to discontinue service for many reasons. A merchant should take due diligence to protect against someone trying to order merchandise with stolen cards by becoming familiar with the process.
If the customer of a merchant contacts AVPS about a charge on their card or for a refund, AVPS will contact the merchant and give the merchant 48 hours to respond to the customer. If after 48 hours, the merchant does not respond, then the customer’s order will automatically queue for a refund. If the merchant does respond, then the customer will be notified by email of the response. The customer and merchant can thereafter resolve the issue.
What people are saying about AVPS
“GT Trends started processing with AVPS in May of 2005. We originally had some issues with charge back’s. AVPS took the time to teach and incorporate parameters to keep us compliant with Visa/MasterCard regulations. As a result, we are still processing today…”