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General Questions

Why Merchant

The question you really want to ask is "What do I get out of it?". That's okay, it's the question you're supposed to be asking. The answer is "You get quite a lot, actually".

You work with a single dedicated expert - the same person will help you every time you call.
We are a team of highly trained consultants in the field of international and multi-currency e-commerce payments. The person who works with you is assigned to help your business for the lifetime of your account. You will know them on a first name basis and they will understand your business inside and out. Most importantly, they have the ability and the authority to help with any issue that comes up. They are not just salespeople. Your account manager will have the ability to quickly solve any problems that arise, and can help with any e-commerce related question or requirement.

You will save money on your processing costs.
The reality is there is no one single bank or processing platform that can support the needs of every business on earth. We are very specifically not exclusive back to any one financial institution. Instead, we work with a diverse network of payment processing platforms. Our network utilizes some of the largest banks in the world including the Royal Bank of Scotland and leading Canadian institutions such as Home Trust Company. A strategically deployed payments solution will lower costs and improve conversions by better supporting your customers in different areas of the world. This may require a fair degree of complexity because of the range of countries and currencies involved, but with our expertise we make this process easy. We help you to implement a global payment processing solution more quickly and at a lower cost than could possibly happen by piecing it together on your own.

In terms of expertise, we have been one of Canada's foremost providers of e-commerce payment processing for over 23 years. We are able to write accounts in almost any transaction currency, in any country, for almost any business. This global flexibility is why we are able to offer rates that are actually meaningfully lower than other processors. Where others are only able to write merchant accounts through one banking platform, we have the tremendous advantage of being able to place our accounts globally on the acquiring platform that is the best match for their business. If you combine this with the large number of accounts that we write it becomes obvious why we have a strategic ability to provide pricing that is lower and will significantly reduce processing costs.

We'd like to think we know everything about e-commerce.
We've been helping merchants establish online processing solutions for over 23 years. That may not sound long compared to old world businesses that have been passed down through generations, but in the e-commerce industry that is a long time. We've worked with merchants in every major industrialized country worldwide, and have payment solutions in every major currency. It is very difficult for a merchant to come to us with a payment processing challenge that we have not seen before. And on those rare occasions when they do we have such strong relationships with our network of banking partners that there is almost nothing that we can't support. (Outside of casino gambling and pornography as we do not work in these areas).

We want you to succeed.
We only make money when our clients manage to process successfully. We do not employ an anonymous team of underwriters who share no concern in the success or failure of our clients business. There is an incentive for us to want you to get live and be successful. The incentive is that we provide accounts at or close to cost for all our clients, only breaking even until they start processing. So quite literally, we are successful if you are successful. Fortunately for us, we are very good at helping our clients set up successful e-commerce businesses!

Any other reasons?
There are many reasons to want to work with us. We suggest starting with a phone call. You will see very early on in the conversation that we are people who really know e-commerce. We challenge you to call us and stump with your toughest e-commerce questions. We can't say it's not possible - but it's not likely. More than anything you will see that we are real people just like yourself, and much like yourself have a sincere interest in doing a good job and providing a service of great value to customers. We want to be your merchant provider, and we want to help you succeed. If you want to know how we can do that give us a call and we'll be happy to help.

Do you include everything I need to accept credit cards?

We include everything that is needed to accept credit cards. E-commerce merchants will receive both a merchant account and payment gateway access for secure, real time credit card processing.

Merchants using our Virtual Terminal will be able to process transactions using a computer, iPhone, Android phone or tablet, BlackBerry or any device with an internet connection. With every one of our services you receive everything you need to process credit cards. There are no hidden fees or additional costs .

We are also able to provide our clients with free access to EasyInvoice or EasyCheckout. Both make it tremendously easy to add either online invoicing or "Buy Now" buttons to a website. For merchants looking for a more advanced integration they can choose from over one hundred pre-compatible shopping carts, or can build their own custom integration.

If you are new to e-commerce and need help understanding how to set up payments on your website do not hesitate to contact us. One of our representatives will be happy to walk you through the process and will explain the steps involved.

To find out more about our services, what you get, and how much it costs visit our Credit Card Processing page.

Which credit cards can I accept?

You can process all major credit and debit cards including Visa and MasterCard. We can also process American Express transactions, however only American Express can issue the merchant ID, which you must get from American Express directly if you wish to support AMEX payments.

Support for China UnionPay has recently been added. European cards such as Switch, Solo, Maestro, Laser and JCB are also supported. Note that some European cards have currency limitations and can only handle payments in GBP and Euro. You also will be able to accept all credit and debit cards carrying the Visa or MasterCard logos.

What is a merchant account?

A merchant account is a special type of bank account that is used to hold funds that are captured from credit card transactions. When you process a credit card transaction the funds are moved from your customers credit card into your merchant account. Funds are then transferred once a day from your merchant account into your regular business bank account.

You must have a merchant account in order to accept credit cards. We include both the merchant account and the payment gateway so that you will have everything needed to process credit card transactions. If you would like more detailed information about how e-commerce works you may want to read our e-commerce lesson.

How much does this cost?

We pride ourselves on having the best rates in the industry. To view our merchant account pricing information visit our rates and pricing for payment processing page.

Why is an application needed to get a merchant account?

Different types of products or services are considered higher risk than others by banks.

When you process a credit card transaction the bank will transfer the funds from your merchant account into your business bank account. Even though the transaction is complete your customer has the ability to raise a dispute with their card issuing bank for 4 months past the date of the transaction. This is because of the protection laws that are built into credit card transactions to protect consumers. Disputes can occur for numerous reasons including the product was not received, not as described, or it was an unauthorized use of their credit card. This means that long after you have received the money from this transaction your processor is still exposed to liability from potential disputes. These disputes are called "chargebacks". If there is a dispute, and if the card issuing bank rules in the favour of the cardholder then the funds must be returned to the cardholder. If for some reason the merchant is not able to repay the funds from that transaction then the processor is liable for that transaction.

That is where the concept of risk comes from on the banking side, and is the reason why every merchant must complete an application. If the product being sold is particularly likely to result in disputes then the bank is more likely to require security or additional information before approval. Generally speaking all low risk products and services are approved very quickly. Most merchants selling household goods and services are considered low risk and are easily approved.

If you were to work with a company that promised approval no matter the product or service being offered it would mean there would be no controls in place to protect themselves from the financial liability associated with fraudulent and disputed transactions. It would not be desirable to place your business with an acquiring bank that did not have these controls in place. It is worth noting that we approve over 98% of submitted application packages and work very closely with business owners. The businesses we do not support are those offering high risk services such as pornography or online gambling, and if your business falls outside of these areas you should receive quick and easy approval.

With regards to the application process itself, we understand that some providers have a long and complicated application process. By listening and responding to our customer feedback we have developed one of the easiest and most streamlined applications in the industry. The amount of paperwork required is minimal and you can be approved within 5 business days.

Get Started

What is involved in submitting an application?

We have built a reputation for having a simple and merchant friendly application process. The first step of the application is completed online, and you are then given offline documents which you must complete and fax back in. The application paperwork is minimal:

Merchant AgreementYou will sign and date the merchant agreement.
VOID ChequeUsed to confirm your banking institution and funding into your business bank account.
Balance SheetThe balance sheet is a one page financial statement for your company.
(Not required if it is a new or small business with low trading volumes).
Certificate of Incorporation
or Business Registration
Used to confirm existence of your business entity.

The process of applying and being approved for the merchant account is incredibly fast and simple. You can be fully approved in 5 business days.

How long does it take to get approved?

To a large extent you are in control of how long the approval process will take. The most important issue to remember is that you must complete all the necessary paperwork before your approval can be issued. Once we have received a complete application package the approval can be issued within 5 business days.

Note that if you provide a particularly high risk product or service, or if your trading volumes are particularly high the review process may take slightly longer. If you are working on a tight timeframe and need a quick approval you can request an escalation in the review of your application. You should contact our customer service team if you require an expedited review.

Will my application be approved?

We take particular pride in working closely with every single client. This close working relationship enables us to establish a good understanding of your business, helping you to get approved far more quickly and easily than would otherwise be possible. Ultimately, our clients are likely to find the application review streamlined and easy to complete, with a tremendous amount of support available throughout the process.

It is for this reason that we can approve merchants that other providers often cannot - even if you have bad credit it will not prevent approval. The entire process is designed (and is constantly being refined based on customer feedback) to be extremely fast and simple.

Almost all typical household goods and services can be quickly and easily approved. If you have any questions about the products or services you are offering do not hesitate to contact us. Keep in mind that we offer an approval guarantee. There is no risk when applying because we do not charge any upfront fees at all in order to open an account.

What is your approval guarantee?

Our guarantee is simple:   We do our best to help every merchant to get approved. There is no upfront cost of any kind to open an account.

Do I need to be incorporated in Canada or the USA?

There is no need for incorporation in order to obtain an account. We work with both small and large businesses. The only requirement is that you must have a business bank account in the country in which your business is based. Any type of legal business entity can use our processing services including proprietorships, partnerships, charities and corporations. Our merchant account solutions are available to merchants located in Canada, USA, UK, Australia, Germany and Japan. Other countries can be supported on a per-case basis.

Can international merchants get a merchant account?

Our focus is primarily on the Canadian market because we are a Canadian company. However, we have a large international client base and in particular work with merchants in the UK, Australia and many other countries. Because we support so many different payment currencies our processing solutions are particularly desirable for international merchants.

Do you have a Reseller or Partner Program?

We offer several rewarding programs that will enable smaller businesses to refer clients to Merchant for a referral fee, and recurring commissions to our merchant industry partners through our ISO and reseller programs. Click here for information about our Partner Program .