Merchant Acccounts FAQ
Welcome to the WestHost Frequently Asked Questions. Here you will find answers to the common questions asked about our services.
- How can I accept credit cards on my site?
- What is a merchant account? Why do I need one?
- How does a Merchant Account work?
- What do I need in order to obtain a merchant account?
- How do I get a merchant account?
- Would it be easier to go to my local bank to get a merchant account?
- How long does it take to get a merchant account?
- I currently have a merchant account through someone else, can I still use this merchant account with Zen Cart, Magento, and osCommerce?
- Which credit cards can I accept?
- What kind of equipment do I need to process credit cards?
- How do I know that I'm getting a "good deal"?
- Can I use my merchant account to accept credit card payments in my online store? Is it safe to process credit cards over the Internet?
- What kind of payment solutions are available through PayQuake?
- Will the PayQuake Authorize.net Payment Gateway work with my shopping cart?
- Internet technology changes so fast, will I be able to use my merchant account with my Internet store in the future?
- What is a Discount Rate?
- What is a Transaction Fee?
- Terms, Conditions and Acceptable Use Policy
1. How can I accept credit cards on my site? - Top
In order to accept credit cards you must have a Merchant Account. WestHost has partnered with payQuake and e-onlinedata to provide you with your own merchant account & online processing system. If you don't already have a merchant account please click here for information on obtaining one.
2. What is a merchant account? Why do I need one? - Top
A merchant account gives a business the ability to accept credit cards as payment for the company's goods and services. This provides your clients with the more convenient payment option of credit card, instead of cash and checks. Plus it gives clients and you greater payment security.
Studies have shown that merchants can typically increase their business by 30 - 70% or more - sometimes even hundreds of percent by offering credit card transaction processing! Plus, clients are more willing to purchase higher cost goods using a payment method that offers them repayment flexibility.
3. How does a Merchant Account work? - Top
The merchant account provider authorizes the credit card transfer from your client and deposits the funds for their purchases right into your business checking account, typically within two business days.
4. What do I need in order to obtain a merchant account? - Top
In order to obtain a merchant account you need to have some sort of business. This could be retail, home-based, internet-based, network marketing, etc, but it needs to be a business. You cannot obtain a merchant account for personal use. To open a U.S. merchant account you need either a Social Security number or Federal Tax ID number, a U.S. based checking account and a U.S. based address. If you do not have these three, you may apply for an international merchant account.
5. How do I get a merchant account? - Top
WestHost has partnered with three of the best merchant services providers in the industry. Each offers a payment processing service that is more geared toward a specific type of business, but both are extremely affordable, reliable, and completely compatible with the most popular shopping carts, including Magento, ZenCart, and osCommerce. To learn more and sign up, please go to our E-commerce Hosting page.
6. Would it be easier to go to my local bank to get a merchant account? - Top
Many local banks do not set up merchant accounts, but have relationships with companies such as PayQuake, and e-onlinedata. Also, in addition to offering outstanding programs, PayQuake regularly works with the kinds of businesses that most banks consider risky and shy away from, such as new businesses, Internet, phone and mail order businesses. If you do decide to get a merchant account from your local bank, be sure that you can get a payment gateway as well. That will allow you to connect your merchant account to your website. PayQuake provides you with a payment gateway at no additional cost.
7. How long does it take to get a merchant account? - Top
Application approval and set-up can be completed in as little as 24 hours through the special PayQuake program available to WestHost clients.
8. I currently have a merchant account through someone else, can I still use this merchant account with ZenCart, Magento and osCommerce? - Top
Yes, if you currently have a merchant account through someone else, you can use that merchant account to process credit card orders with your WestHost account. You will need to find out who your payment gateway is (you can ask the company providing your merchant account). Depending on your payment gateway, you may or may not be able to do real time transactions with your ZenCart, osCommerce, or any other shopping cart. If you can't do real time credit card processing, you will still be able to use your merchant account, you will just have to store the credit card numbers securely and then process the numbers manually through your merchant account.
9. Which credit cards can I accept? - Top
You can accept the most popular credit cards: MasterCard, Visa, American Express, and Discover. In addition, PayQuake allows you to accept Diners Club, and can provide you with the ability to accept many ATM and debit cards.
10. What kind of equipment do I need to process credit cards? - Top
If you are a retail business and do a lot of face-to-face transactions, a POS (Point-of-Sale) terminal is best for you. This is because you are able to swipe the card and get signed customer receipts; hence you obtain a better discount rate.
If you do business over the Internet, a payment gateway is recommended as your customers themselves are able to pay for goods online in a secure environment 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. For mail order or telephone order business, either a terminal or gateway can be used. A gateway has a 'virtual terminal' built in that allows you to log in and process transactions like a terminal online - you can do these transaction at any computer that has Internet access. WestHost recommends both payQuake and e-onlinedata merchant accounts because a gateway is bundled with their services (Authorize.Net).
11. How do I know that I'm getting a "good deal"? - Top
Before deciding to partner with payQuake and e-onlinedata, we looked at dozens of the top providers online, read reviews, set up comparison charts and gathered customer feedback who have experience with these companies. We are confident that we have selected two of the best providers available. Both payQuake and e-onlinedata offer outstanding value across the board - functionality, security, reporting, and most importantly, value.
It is important to consider all costs associated with the merchant account when comparing programs. Be sure to check for hidden fees for payment gateways, service charges, monthly minimums, and membership fees.
12. Can I use my merchant account to accept credit card payment in my online store? Is it safe to process credit cards over the Internet? - Top
We provide you with the use of our SSL certificate so that you can securely exchange information with payQuake offering Internet Service Providers an encrypted connection to its Secure Payment Engine. By using the Authorize.net's Secure Payment Gateway technology, all payQuake merchants receive fraud screening on each transaction and real-time reporting via their Web browser. PayPal also provides a secure environment for your clients to give you their credit card information.
For the merchant who wants to get online fast with a limited start-up budget, payQuake is the best choice.
When using payQuake, all orders and payment information sent from the merchant's website will be encrypted using industry standard RC4 1024-bit encryption with SSL Version 3. This encrypted and secure data is routed to payQuake and is decrypted and processed. All processed information (Approved/Declined transactions) is then re-encrypted and sent securely back to the website. Once at the Web server, it is decrypted and displayed to the consumer. Also, order confirmation e-mails are sent to the consumer and to the merchant. PayQuake guarantees that the orders and payment information generated by the merchant's website remains totally secure.
13. What kind of payment solutions are available through PayQuake? - Top
Three unique and user-friendly payment solutions are available to serve the e-commerce needs of any merchant:
- Pay for Play- is ideal for small merchants that want the ability to accept credit cards, but process only a few credit card payments each month. Benefits: No monthly fees - period. You only incur the discount rate and transaction fees as you have sales. Since this is a real merchant account, you are more in control than with third-party merchant account
- Select-Perfect for the merchant that is on its way to a professional merchant account, but not quite there yet. Benefits: Medium-sized merchants like this choice as it offers lower discount rates and only has a $9.95 monthly fee that is All-Inclusive. There is no monthly minimum. A truly economical way to process credit card payments for small to mid-sized merchants.
- Pro-Full-fledged merchant account for merchants with higher processing volume. An excellent choice for virtually any type of business. Benefits: Merchants processing a higher volume of payments realize large savings as their discount rate is significantly lower. PayQuake Pro also comes with the ability to add, for additional fees, American Express and Discover card acceptance, Check Guarantee, ATM/Debit card acceptance and many other options. American Express and Discover are subject to separate approval.
14. Will the PayQuake Authorize.net Payment Gateway work with my shopping cart? - Top
The PayQuake Authorize.net Secure Payment Gateway works with a wide variety of shopping carts. WestHost offers shopping cart software that has already been integrated with the PayQuake Authorize.net Payment Gateway and has been fully tested. It is ready to go!
15. Internet technology changes so fast, will I be able to use my merchant account with my Internet store in the future? - Top
Absolutely. As PayQuake upgrades its products in the future, merchants will receive free upgrades to keep them on the cutting edge.
16. What is a Discount Rate? - Top
The discount rate is the percentage that gets discounted (deducted) from the transaction amount. The discount rate is the rate that gets paid for the most part to the bankcard company (Visa, MasterCard, etc.), the issuing bank (the bank that issued the bankcard to your customer) and the Acquiring Bank (the bank that the merchant processes with).
It is called a discount rate since this is the percentage that gets discounted off the transaction amount at the time of payment processing. Thus, if the transaction amount totals $100.00, and your discount rate is 2.50%, then a total of $97.50 will be deposited into the merchant's account.
The most important factor in determining the merchant's discount rate is the transaction method the merchant uses. There are other factors as well, such as monthly processing volume and type of industry the merchant is in. Therefore a discount rate is predetermined by the acquiring bank or processor and can not be set by the merchant.
17. What is a Transaction Fee? - Top
The transaction fee is the fee a merchant pays every time he or she enters the network. For example, when a bankcard is swiped or keyed in, when the merchant "batches out" or when the merchant performs a return or void. The transaction fees are assessed at the end of the statement period.
As with the discount rate, the most important factor in determining the merchant's transaction fee is the transaction method the merchant uses. The transaction fee is predetermined by the acquiring bank or processor and can not be set by the merchant.
18. Terms, Conditions and Acceptable Use Policy - Top
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