29 Aug What information will you need to open merchant bank account?
If you’re thinking about starting an online shopping website, you may be thinking about accepting credit cards directly via a merchant bank account. What information will you need to do this?
- Sign up for a third party payment service like PayPal
- Sign up for an all-in-one combined gateway and merchant account service via your bank (or via a specialist provider like 2Checkout)
- Sign up for a merchant bank account and separate payment gateway
The main benefit of using a merchant account over a third party payment service is that the money gets transferred from the customer into your bank account so it can be used for paying your business expenses rather than having to be transferred out from the third party service and clearing like a cheque. If you want to go through the merchant bank account application process, the bank will want to reassure themselves that your website and business will not cause them any risk to their reputation, and that you are a legitimate online seller.
The bank will therefore usually check to see the following on your website:
- Your domain name is real and registered to you or your business.
- Your website mentions your full legal name (in the Website footer, About Us, or Contact Us page).
- The presence of your Australian Business Number (ABN).
- Shows your location of business.
- Shows your business contact details (e.g., phone number, fax number, or email address).
- Clearly states what you sell.
- Often they will request that you have a separate payment page or how to pay page.
- Advises customers about your shipping policy – how long it takes you to process and send out items.
- You will need to state that your transactions are charged in Australian dollars (or the currency they are charged in).
- Information about the security policies you have in place (with a hosted shopping cart, your shopping cart provider will be able to help you with this).
Use the staging area
To make it easy for you to show the bank your website without opening it to the public, Ozcart allows you to do either of the following:
- Set up your site on it’s real domain name and then close it to the public. You can password protect the website and give the password to the bank when you want them to check and verify your website.
- Set up your website on a temporary domain name and close it to the public. We call this the staging area. You can continue to operate your live website until the new one is ready to go. You can give the bank the temporary URL and password in order for them to view it.
Once you have your website set up and your merchant account approved, you can sign up for the ecommerce payment gateway service you are using to process payments and enter the relevant password for that gateway. Ozcart websites know how to communicate with any of the gateways we support, so there is no programming for you to do or hiring of a third party for integration.