Payment Processing FAQ

Below is a comprehensive list of the most frequently asked questions regarding payment processing that are asked by merchants and businesses wishing to engage in payment processing. The FAQ’s aim to answer all questions and queries relating to payment processing and covers a broad area ranging from credit card payments to accepting e-checks and bank wires.

Click on any of the Payment Processing FAQ’s below to reveal the corresponding answers.

What are my payment solutions options?
There are a range of payment processing solutions available and it is essential that you select the most appropriate payment solution to meet the needs of your company and your customers. The selection of payment solutions offered by Starting Business include; bank guarantees, bank wires, e-checks, mobile payments and postal payments, credit/debit card payments, co branded card payments and cash payments.
How do I apply for a payment processing solution?
The first step to take is to determine which payment solutions you require and then seek consultancy with Starting Business regarding your selected solutions and obtain advice on how to proceed. You will be required to fill in the appropriate application form and on approval of your pre-application you will need to pay for the relevant services. Once your application has been approved and signed and fees have been paid, you can obtain your payment processing solution and integrate it into your company operations.
What requirements are there for obtaining a payment solution?
To obtain a payment solution there are a number of requirements to satisfy in order to ensure your application for your processing solution is approved. In general you will be required to acquire a bank account and a company registered in the same jurisdiction. You will then need to obtain the relevant merchant account to enable you to process payments from your customers. However there are certain payment solutions that do not require merchant accounts including the accepting of bank wires, cheques, postal payments and cash payments.
What is a merchant account?
A merchant account is an account that enables payments to be processed either online or offline in a secure and cost effective manner. A merchant account can vary in type however in general it takes the form of a bank account that enables businesses to accept debit and credit card payments. The main types of merchant accounts include; travel, international and forex.
What is online payment processing?
Online payment processing is the processing of transactions made by credit or debit cards over the internet. Online payment processing is sought by online retailers and other ecommerce businesses in order to provide customers with a convenient and secure method of payment.
Do I need a website to accept online payment solutions?
Yes. Companies and individuals wishing to accept online payment solutions such as credit/debit card payments and e-checks will require a website in order to facilitate the payment processing option for customers. In general, a customer will view the products or services via a company website and then proceed to the check out online to pay for the goods.
What is offline payment processing?
Offline payment processing is the method of processing payments in an offline format such as through POS terminals including chip and pin or swipe machines. Offline payment processing is typically used by shops and companies that offer goods or services to customers from a physical store.
What do I need to accept payments through my website?
In order to accept payment through your website you must be a registered company with a bank account in the same jurisdiction. You then need to obtain a merchant account that is able to accept the type of payments you desire, whether it is credit card payments or bank wires.
What is credit card processing?
Credit card processing is the facilitation of payments online or offline made by using a credit card. Online credit card processing is achieved by inputting your card details into a website for payment of goods or services and the transaction is processed electronically. While offline credit card processing will typically be achieved through the use of a POS terminal such as chip and pin machines.
What are the benefits of credit card processing?
There are various benefits of credit card processing including offering fast, convenient and a safe method of paying for goods or services over the internet. Credit card processing gives customers the freedom to pay for products or services which they may not be able to afford that that particular time and purchase the goods on credit.
Why do I need a bank account to obtain a merchant account?
Before you can accept and process online or offline payments, you will need to set up a bank account. Upon setting up a payment processing account, you will need to open a bank account in order to receive your customers’ funds. Once the necessary payments have been cleared they will be sent to your specified business bank account by your merchant acquirer.
If I want to offer offline and online payment solutions do I need separate merchant accounts?
To accept both on and offline transactions, you do not need separate merchant accounts. If the payments being made are for the same goods or services, and are made to the same company, you can ask the acquiring bank to link both your online and offline accounts through 1 payment gateway. Alternatively, you can have 2 separate merchant accounts that are paid into the same bank account. Having 2 separate merchant accounts for online and offline transactions is preferable, as offline payments or Card Present transactions are lower risk than online transactions, and therefore cost the merchant less to process than online transactions.
What is an e-check?
An e-check is the electronic version of the traditional paper cheque used to pay for goods or services from your bank account to another party. An e-check operates in the same way as a traditional cheque only it is processed electronically and a digital signature is applied. The clearing period of e-checks vary and depend on the provider i.e. Check 21 or ACH.
What is a bank wire?
A bank wire is the process of transferring funds electronically from one bank to another without the physical movement of money. Bank wires are a safe and secure method of making a payment and can be instantaneous depending on the sending bank and receiving bank being the same.
Can I accept bank wires without a merchant account?
Yes. Bank wires are a popular choice for companies wishing to accept payments from customers without the need to obtain a merchant account first. Bank wires are payments transferred electronically and directly from one bank account to another for the payment of goods or services. Due to the direct transfer there is no requirement for a company accepting bank wires to also obtain a merchant account.
What is a bankers draft?
A bankers draft is also known as a bankers cheque and is basically a cheque with a stipulated amount of money that is withdrawn from the lending bank or financial institution’s account rather than the personal bank account of the individual. To obtain a bankers draft you must first transfer the sum of money into the bank account of the financial institution showing that the funds are available and the bankers draft can then be authorized.
What is a postal payment?
A postal payment is a payment that method involves a customer visiting a post office in order to make a payment. Customers can write a check and send it to the relevant address, together with a payment, or submit a crossed or uncrossed postal order in order to make a postal payment. A postal payment is advantageous as customers do not need to input their personal information anywhere.
What are the benefits of postal payment solutions?
Postal payment solutions are a safe and secure method of making payments. They do not include information about the customer’s bank account or other personal data and so there is a much lower risk of fraud or theft. In addition, a postal order is traceable and is a convenient method for many customers who do not have access to internet or who do not have a credit card.
What is a mobile payment?
A mobile payment is a point of sale payment made through a mobile device, such as a mobile phone, a smart phone or other personal digital device. A mobile payment enables customers to make pay for a range of goods and services through the use of a mobile phone. Setting up a mobile payment facility offers customers a highly fast and efficient manner in which to make payments.
What is a co-branded credit card?
A co-branded credit card is a credit card which has both primary and secondary companies featured on it, enabling a company to feature its logo and name as the dominant brand on the card, along with the logo of the associated bank. A co-branded card unifies a partnership agreement between the card issuers, the card brand and the company seeking the co-branded card for promotional activity.
What are the benefits of a co-branded credit card?
The benefits of a co-branded credit card are many. They provide businesses with an opportunity to enhance their brand recall value and serve to remind the customer of the company each time they are used. Co-branded cards drive usage and preference as a consumer reaps the benefits for their business and loyalty. Your customers will be able to benefit from the value added services of the card, which will help to enhance the relationship held with existing customers and will be likely to allure more customers to your company.
How can I obtain Starting Business payment processing services?
You can enlist the help of Starting Business consultants to obtain your desired payment processing solution by filling in our online application form or using the contact us link. Starting Business consultants are specialized in consulting on payment processing solutions and once you proceed with your payment solution application we will provide ongoing support and guidance throughout the entire process.