Circle Merchant Answers All Burning and Frequently Asked Questions

As a merchant, we are sure that you have a lot of business-related questions, so without further ado, let’s give you some first-hand answers.

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What do I need to open a merchant account?

Opening a merchant account is easy, but you need to fulfill a few requirements first. Having a registered business is the first and mandatory step you need to take. Other requirements include having a US bank account and submitting financial statements, articles of incorporation, and a personal guarantee. In case you have any questions about this, don’t hesitate to contact us.

What is a merchant account, and why do I need it?

Merchant accounts are basically a specific type of bank accounts that enables merchants to accept credit and debit card payments. These accounts transfer funds from customers’ accounts to your business bank account. The advantages of having such an account are numerous, and the process of opening one’s pretty straightforward. For the best rates and offers, feel free to contact us.

What are monthly merchant statements?

Think about merchant statements as monthly reports where you can track all vital financial information such as your sales, fees, and chargebacks in one place. It gives you an insight into how much money you’re making, and how much you’re spending on fees. If you don’t like what you see, contact us to get the best rates on the market.

How can I start working with Circle Merchant?

We welcome new merchants from all industries and strive to provide them with the best possible services. To start our cooperation, we will first ask to take a look at your merchant processing statements. Based on these documents, we will get an insight into how your business is doing and be able to tailor the best possible solution for your business.

Does Circle Merchant work with high-risk merchants?

If you’re running one of those businesses that are marked as high-risk due to the greater possibility of chargebacks, the good news is that you can still work with Circle Merchant. However, you can expect to go through a more detailed checkup, and pay a higher fee than the low-risk businesses.

How long does it take to get approved with Circle Merchant?

We are aware that time is money, which is why you don’t have to wait longer than one to three days to get approved, in case no additional documents are requested. All of our devices are programmed and ready to use as soon as they arrive, so you won’t have to wait or pay additional for setting them up.

Can I get approved if I have a bad credit score?

We don’t require a certain credit score, but if you have a bad credit score, you can expect that submitting additional documentation will be required from you. We do this because we have to make sure your business is legitimate. Therefore, even if your credit score is not excellent, we will do our best to get your account approved.

What are the benefits of accepting cashless payments?

The main advantages of accepting cashless payments are that your business will certainly experience a boost in sales since more and more people are canceling paper money. Cards are way more practical, and not to mention that the entire payment process is much faster and secure. It is simple, the more payment options you offer, the more customers your business attracts, not to mention the perks for running an online business.

What do I need to start accepting cashless payments?

Besides setting up a merchant account, you need to find a reliable merchant processing company. Browse through different companies to explore their offer and fees since they can vary significantly.

What can credit card processors do for me?

A payment processor is a company that processes all your cashless payments, and therefore it is an inevitable part of every cashless transaction. When a cashless purchase is made, credit card processors send all information to the customers’ bank and then resend them to your POS.

What is a payment gateway?

Simply said, a payment gateway is a service that provides a smooth online shopping experience. Many confuse them with processors because they both process information and send it to the customer’s bank, but getaways are mainly used for e-commerce businesses since neither the customer nor credit card is present.

What do I need for my business to start accepting credit cards?

To start accepting cashless payments, your business will need specific new software and hardware. Based on the type of transactions you want to implement, your payment processor will provide you with complementary software.

Is there a minimum monthly sales volume?

Although there are no maximum limits for monthly sales and Circle Merchant doesn’t cancel its services in case of a low sales volume, the system is designed so that it doesn’t accept monthly sales volume lower than $1,000.

How much will credit card processing cost me?

Accepting cashless payments is beneficial for a business in many ways, but it does not come without a certain cost. Some fees you’ll encounter are interchange, assessment, and processing fees, and they all can be charged differently. Usually, they go from 2% to 3.5%, because for example, keyed-in or online transactions are charged more than swiped, due to higher risk.

How can I get lower fees?

We are glad you asked because Circle Merchant is completely transparent when it comes to costs. You will always know exactly how much and what you’re paying for. However, the fee depends on the size and type for your business, the way you want to process payments, and so on, which is why we strongly advise you to contact us and get all the necessary information to start boosting your sales. We’ll make sure you get the lowest possible rates.

What is credit card factoring?

In case you use your merchant account for something that is not its purpose, you’re involved in the so-called credit card factoring, which is basically illegal activity.

What is PCI compliance?  

PCI stands for Payment Card Industry and it refers to numerous standards that are used to protect sensitive credit card data. Merchant processing companies rely on PCI compliance to ensure the security of each transaction.

What is the cash discount program?

Some merchants who wanted to avoid paying processing fees got creative and offered discounts for payments in cash. This is legal in all US states, unlike the surcharge.

What is the credit card convenience fee? 

This is an extra charge that certain businesses impose when they want their customers to pay in cash. For example, a certain product can cost more online than in the brick-and-mortar store when paid in cash.

What is a CNP transaction?

CNP stands for card not present, meaning that these transactions are those when the card is not physically present, and the merchant can’t see it, for example, online or payments that are done through phone, email, etc.

What is the early termination fee?

When merchants want to step away from the contract made with a processing company, they can expect to pay this fee.

What is flat-rate credit card processing?

Having a flat rate means that your processing company will charge a fixed fee per transaction, it usually goes around 2.7%.

What is interchange plus credit card processing?

This refers to the additional fixed markup to the interchange fee, imposed by credit card companies and banks. Interchange plus has one of the cheapest rates, and it is very transparent, which is why it is often preferred among merchants.

What is tiered credit card processing?

This is probably the least convenient solution for merchants because it can be pretty confusing to know under which tier each transaction falls. Also, it often comes with additional (hidden) costs.

What does AVS stand for?

Address Verification Service is a tool that, together with CV2 numbers, helps prevent fraud in CNP transactions. AVS requires the person entering data to insert the billing address and compares it to the address given to the issuer.

What are CVV, CVCC, and CV2?

These are security features used in CNP transactions. CVV stands for Card Verification Value, CVC is the Card Verification Code, and CV2 is the Card Verification Value Code. This number is on the back of every debit and credit card, but keep in mind that it is not the same as the PIN.

Is storing CVV numbers allowed?

No. Storing CVV numbers is a violation of PCI compliance terms, and it is not permitted to store them in the system after transactions.

What are chargebacks?

A chargeback is money returned to the customer and processed by the issuer. It is not the same as a refund, which the merchant pays directly.

How can I process payments through a website?

Of course, there are several options to do that. Please contact us to get advice on the best solution for your type of business.

It never hurts to know how much you can save.

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