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Merchant account FAQ


  • What is a merchant account? Why do I need one?
    A merchant account gives a business the ability to accept credit cards as payment for the company's goods and services. It provides your customers with an extremely popular payment option, beyond cash and checks. 
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  • How does it work?
    The merchant account provider authorizes the credit card transfer from your customer and deposits the funds for their purchases directly into your business checking account, typically within two business days. 
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  • How do I get a merchant account?
    Merchant accounts are available from some banks and other independent providers such as Cardservice International. Cardservice is a leading transaction service provider. Last year the company serviced over 125,000 merchants and processed over $8 billion in bankcard volume. 
    Cardservice International offers small-to-medium-sized business merchants a variety of services including credit card services, electronic checking, Internet transaction services, and more. Phoenix Web Service offers an exceptional merchant account program through Cardservice. Click on the link above for more information. 
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  • Would it be easier to go to my local bank to get a merchant account?
    Companies such as Cardservice International actually handle the merchant account business of many local banks. In addition to offering outstanding programs, Cardservice International works with the kinds of businesses that most banks consider risky, such as new enterprises, Internet businesses, and phone and mail order businesses. 
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  • How long does it take to get a merchant account?
    Application approval and set up can be completed in as little as 24 hours through the special Cardservice program available to Phoenix Web Service customers. 
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  • Which credit cards can I accept?
    You can accept the most popular credit cards: MasterCard, Visa, and American Express. Cardservice can also support all other major credit cards, including Discover and Diners Club. 
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  • What kind of equipment do I need to process credit cards?
    A computer terminal or PC with Internet access can be used for Internet, mail, and telephone orders. In the retail environment, a specialized terminal/printer designed to read the magnetic strip on the back of the customer's credit card is used. This device provides the customer with a paper receipt at the time of purchase. An imprinter, which takes a physical copy of the customers credit card, may also be used. 
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  • How do I know that I'm getting a "good deal"?
    The Cardservice program offers an outstanding value across the board: functionality, security, reporting, initial set-up and low residual costs. 
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  • 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?
    Yes, Cardservice International's Secure Socket Layer Application Programming Interface (SSL API) offers an encrypted connection to its Secure Payment Engine. By using the LinkPoint Secure Payment Gateway technology, all Cardservice International merchants receive fraud screening on each transaction and real-time reporting via their Web browser. 
    For the merchant who wants to get online fast with a limited start-up budget, Cardservice International is the best choice. 

    Using Cardservice International's SSL API, all orders and payment information sent from the merchant's web site will be encrypted using industry standard RC4 1024-bit encryption with SSL Version 3. This secure data is routed to Cardservice International, where it is decrypted and processed. All processed information (Approved/Declined transactions) is then re-encrypted and sent securely back to the Web site, where it is decrypted and displayed to the consumer. Order confirmation e-mails are sent to the consumer and to the merchant. The Cardservice International SSL API guarantees that the orders and payment information generated by the merchant's Web site remains totally secure. 
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  • The fraud protection features sound great, but what about other features?
    The Cardservice merchant account includes e-commerce modules that allow Web customers to order products, pay for them, and make shipping arrangements in real-time. These modules include :
    • Fraud Protection
    • Shipping
    • Tax Calculation
    • Business Reports
    You also have the option of choosing between auto-settlement and merchant settlement procedures. By taking advantage of the Cardservice International Business Reporting module, you can view critical ordering and financial information all from a single source: your Web browser. 
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  • What kind of payment solutions are available through Cardservice?
    Three unique and user-friendly payment solutions are available: 
    Virtual LinkPoint allows merchants to manually enter credit card transactions on a PC through a secure connection to the Internet. Virtual LinkPoint is the Internet equivalent of a point-of-sale (POS) terminal or PC-based transaction software - without the hardware and software and maintenance expenses. Virtual LinkPoint provides sales, returns, authorizations and real-time reports. 
    LinkPoint HTML is a simple, yet sophisticated product that requires a little hands-on setup work by the merchant. It wraps around the merchant's existing Web site, allowing shoppers to select and order products and securely pay for them with a credit card. The same services provided by the Virtual LinkPoint are available with LinkPoint HTML. 
    LinkPoint API is the most sophisticated level of service, enabling software companies, Commerce Service Providers (CSPs), Internet Service Providers (ISPs), or cyber-wise merchants to add secure sockets layer (SSL) payment capabilities to their products, services, or custom storefronts. Additional features, such as tax and shipping calculations and electronic softgood download (ESD) (software, pictures or text) are included. 
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  • Will the Cardservice LinkPoint Secure Payment Gateway work with my shopping cart?
    The Cardservice LinkPoint Secure Payment Gateway works with a wide variety of shopping carts. In fact, Phoenix Web Service offers a ready-to-use shopping cart that has already been integrated with the Cardservice LinkPoint Secure Payment Gateway. 
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  • Internet technology changes so fast, will I be able to use my merchant account with my Internet store in the future?
    Yes, absolutely. As Cardservice upgrades its LinkPoint products in the future, you will receive free upgrades to keep you on the cutting edge. 
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