4 tips for success when applying for merchant status

What to remember when applying for merchant status

When you meet with your bank’s representative, make sure your business plan is rock solid. Remember he or she is selling you a service – don’t be afraid to ask questions.

  • For Visa, Mastercard, Switch, Solo and JCB transactions, your existing business bank will offer you the best deal.
  • Amex and Diner’s Card will cost you more to accept – but they are not as widespread as Visa or Mastercard. Think carefully about why you want to accept these cards – they’ll make a statement to your customers but unless you’re into serious luxury goods sales, you’re unlikely to lose much business by leaving these out. However if you’re selling to the US tourist market or the business market then Amex is probably a necessity.
  • Security is paramount, particularly if your customers are coming in through the web. You should invest in making your cash transactions secure – and let your customers know about it.
  • Feel free to set a minimum size of transaction for credit card purchases; if there’s a problem with a card and you need to call for authorisation, you really don’t want to be hanging around waiting for a response when all you’re getting is £2.50 at the end of it.

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