If you’re a business owner looking to scale your business, it’s important to offer a variety of payment options. As cash becomes less popular than ever, electronic payments continue to gain popularity. As of 2018, there were 174.2 billion non-cash payments totaling $97.04 trillion, and that number grows yearly. Electronic payments, including the use of credit cards, have become the norm, especially as the cost of living rises. Consumers rely on credit cards now more than ever, with 57% saying they used their credit card as help over the last year.
Accepting electronic payments not only makes it more convenient for your customers but also helps increase your revenue. However, to accept electronic payments, you’ll need to go through the merchant onboarding process. This process may seem daunting, but with the right payment processor, it can be a smooth and stress-free experience. Partnering with a reputable processor will give you access to a team of experts to guide you every step of the way.
What is merchant onboarding?
Merchant onboarding is the process of registering and setting up a merchant account to accept electronic payments. It involves filling out an application, providing necessary documentation, and passing the compliance check.
The process may vary depending on the payment processor, but generally, it includes the following steps:
- Account setup: Set up an account with a payment processor or acquiring bank.
- Documentation: Provide the necessary documentation, such as legal and financial information.
- Verification: Pass compliance checks and verify account information and identity.
- Integration: Integrate payment solutions into your business, such as payment gateways and hardware.
The merchant onboarding process ensures that the necessary documentation and compliance checks are completed before any transactions can take place. It also helps to protect both the merchant and the payment processor from fraud and financial risks.
Why is merchant onboarding important?
Merchant onboarding has become increasingly important with the growth of e-commerce and mobile payments. Many payment processors and acquiring banks streamline the merchant process by offering online application forms and integrating with e-commerce platforms. This has made it easier for businesses to accept electronic payments and expand their reach to customers around the world.
How long does merchant onboarding take?
The merchant onboarding process can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, depending on the payment processor. The length of time also depends on the complexity of the application. The payment processor or acquiring bank may evaluate the merchant’s history to assess the risk level involved. This evaluation helps determine the fees and transaction limits associated with the merchant’s account.
Merchant onboarding best practices
When going through the merchant onboarding process, it’s important to follow best practices to ensure a smooth and successful transition.
Here are the best practices to follow with merchant onboarding:
- Be prepared: As part of the onboarding process, payment processors will require a significant amount of documentation and information. Make sure to have all documents ready before starting the application process to avoid delays or requests for additional information. This may include legal and financial information, business licenses, tax information, bank account information, and other supporting documents.
- Be honest: It’s important to provide accurate and truthful information in your application. Payment processors perform background checks and verify the information provided. Any discrepancies or inaccuracies can lead to delays or application rejection. Additionally, disclosing any potential risks or issues upfront is important to avoid compliance issues down the line.
- Be patient: It’s essential to be patient and follow up with the payment processor regularly to ensure the process is moving forward. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or clarifications.
- Choose the right partner: Partnering with a reputable payment processor can make all the difference in a successful onboarding process. Look for a provider with experience in your industry and an excellent customer service track record. Good payment processors provide support and guidance throughout the onboarding process and beyond, efficiently helping you get up and running.
Merchant compliance and regulation
Compliance is another critical aspect of the merchant onboarding process. Businesses can avoid fines and legal issues by complying with regulations such as AML and KYC requirements.
In addition to the benefits of accepting electronic payments and complying with regulations, merchant onboarding is also important because of the following:
- Security: Payment processors and acquiring banks have robust security measures in place to protect against fraud and financial risks. Merchant onboarding processes ensure businesses are verified, and their accounts are set up correctly to minimize the risk of fraud.
- Reputation: Partnering with a reputable payment processor or acquiring bank can enhance a business’s reputation and credibility. Customers trust businesses that offer secure and reliable payment options, and they’re more likely to recommend those businesses to others.
- Efficiency: The onboarding process involves integrating payment solutions into a business, such as the payment gateways and hardware. This integration can streamline the checkout process, making it easier for businesses to process payments, reducing errors and saving time.
- Expansion: Accepting electronic payments can help businesses expand their reach to customers around the world. Merchant onboarding processes ensure that businesses are set up to process payments in multiple currencies and comply with international regulations.
Overall, merchant onboarding is essential for businesses that want to stay competitive in today’s digital landscape. It enables them to accept electronic payments securely, comply with regulations, and provide a positive customer experience.
PAYARC’s here to help you with your merchant onboarding process
The merchant onboarding process can seem overwhelming for businesses looking to expand their payment options. However, partnering with the right payment processor can make a world of difference. At PAYARC, we’re dedicated to providing innovative payment solutions and expert guidance to help businesses scale and thrive.
Our state-of-the-art technology and 24/7 customer support ensure that our partners have the best possible payment solutions for their business. We understand the challenges businesses face during the onboarding process and work tirelessly to make it smooth and stress-free.
If you’re looking to expand your payment options and unlock new opportunities for growth, we’re here to help. Contact us today and see how we can help your business succeed.