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Important Information


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 is set-up.

 

 


 
*Have you understood the pricing and transaction rates for each account


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 please click here



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Non 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.




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Accepting 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.

All Visa debit and credit

Worldwide

All MasterCard debit and credit

Worldwide

Maestro

UK and Europe

Diners Club

Worldwide

Carte Bleue

France

Dankort

Denmark

CartaSi

Italy

Laser

Eire

AMEX

Worldwide

Discover

Worldwide

JCB

Netherlands, Germany, Austria or Switzerland




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Main 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.



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What 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 more >>>

  • 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 telephone bills.

  • 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) name



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Checks 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.


  1. 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.)

  2. 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 processing services.



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Settlement 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.



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How 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.



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Adult 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.

  • Vitamins/Supplements

  • Adult (mainstream)

  • Dating Services

  • Escort Agencies

  • Webcams

  • Travel/Tour/Entertainment

  • Credit Repair Companies

  • Skill Gaming

  • Gambling

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.



*Virtual 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.


*Providing 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.



*Important 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.

Please click here for much more information

 


*When 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.



*Are the prices you advertise really the prices I will pay?


YES the prices always stay the same! However certain merchants may have slightly different terms...

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.

 

 


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