Congratulations on your new business— it is quite an exciting venture! One piece of the puzzle for your business setup is the credit card processing aspect. You definitely understand the importance of offering credit cards as a form of payment to your customers. So, when should you setup a merchant account?
Normally, applying for a merchant account is quite simple and the approval processing usually is quick, depending on your business type. First thing is to assess is the kind of business you are and the needs you require. Are you a retail location and also need equipment? Perhaps you are doing business solely online. Maybe you are doing both?
For a brand new business that is not yet open, it is recommended to look into credit card processing anywhere from 1 to 3 weeks before opening (though this can be done earlier or later). This time frame is large to accommodate for different business types. For example, if you own a clothes store at a physical location, the time it takes to apply and getting approved for a merchant account should just take a few days. You will likely need a credit card machine, so you can add on about 1 week for delivery time.
However, for e-commerce business owners, there are a few additional steps required that you should allocate time to. For example, if you own an online golf-store, you must configure your website so that it has a shopping cart and then apply for a merchant account and finally, integrate the merchant account to your website.
Further, you should dedicate at least a couple of weeks for shopping around for the best merchant service provider.
1) Determine what you require for your type of business, whether it is a credit card machine or just a payment gateway for your online store
2) If you want to accept credit cards before you launch the opening of your retail or web store, set aside a 1 to 3 weeks to shop around for rates, best support and any equipment you need to arrive.
If you have questions regarding this or just about merchant accounts in general, contact Group ISO. One of our merchant account consultants will be glad to guide you through the process. 1-800-571-2606.