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How to get Merchant Account in US?
How to get Merchant Account in US?

 4:58 am on Jul 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

Just registered at this forum.

I am selling on the net and wanted to get a merchant account in USA. But it seemed to be hopelessly difficult to get this done now days. I have my US corporation registered without any problems. But opening a US bank account was a complete nightmare. All US banks seemed to require US resident with SSN.

Any one in this forum had real experience or had a solution about how to set up, under the current laws and regulations, corporate bank account and merchant account in US?

I am open to any suggestions including new shareholder/director with SSN to my company or new US officer with SSN to my company. Will this fulfill US laws and regulations and allow me to set up US bank account?

Mike D.

[edited by: lorax at 12:42 pm (utc) on July 14, 2005]
[edit reason] removed contact info [/edit]



 4:15 pm on Jul 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

Why do you want to do this? Why not just get a merchant account in your own country? It can accept credit card payments from around the world.


 2:44 pm on Jul 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

Not really. I am for example in Bulgaria. Our banks do not offer merchant accounts for accepting Visa, Master, etc. They can set me up with a merchant acc.for accepting only maestro so far - a local brand. If not US, I'll still need a foreign bank account for making a merchant acc.

Corey Bryant

 1:52 pm on Jul 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

Check out etrade. They seem to be working with some citizens in opening up a merchant account. A few clients have had success



 3:34 pm on Jul 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

just type "us bank account and merchant account for non residents" in Google.

You will get a huge list. Now the problem. some of these sites are scams and ripoffs.

You will need to do your research. Do a search on the web about the legitmacy of the companies you are interested in, and never pay a large fee upfront.

The way this is done, is one of the banking officers of
an US internet bank, becomes an officer of the company,
and performs transactions on your behalf, since they are a US citizen. Due to the paperwork and security checks involved, this is probably going to cost over a $1000 US.

Another option, is to open a bank account in Canada,
as most Canadian banks can setup a US dollar account with a US Dollar merchant terminal.


 4:12 pm on Jul 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

so is it impossible to open an account that can be both merchant and debit in the same time - i.e. not to make banks risk money with me but just to let me spend no more than what I have in my account?
in other words: can a merchant account be a debit account ot it must be only credit?

Corey Bryant

 4:32 pm on Jul 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

Most banks outsource the merchant account process because it is not their speciality. For example, Chase is the number one ISO last year & they partner with First Data to process credit cards.

And most debit cards have a Visa / Mastercard logo on them so they can actually be processed in the Visa / MasterCard network



 4:41 pm on Jul 19, 2005 (gmt 0)

so does it mean that if I am able to open a debit account, I can have a merchant acc as well?

Corey Bryant

 4:08 am on Jul 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

I am not exactly sure what you mean by debit account? When I here that - I have to think of a debit card - one that you put into an ATM to get money out of



 9:48 am on Jul 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

Debit - I mean an account that uses only the money deposited by you and where you are not able to overdraft money. You can withdraw only what you have put in it. This is what I call debit, or maybe deposit account is more correct to say.

Corey Bryant

 1:33 pm on Jul 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

Well that is like a checking account - not a merchant account. They are two different things



 2:34 pm on Jul 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

Thank you for all your help on this topic.

Well, to my understanding a debt account is like a traditional checking account plus a VISA/MASTER debt card which acts like a regular credit card + ATM card in one. the only difference is that debt card spend money against your own real cash deposit every time you use your debit card online or at POS. And you never need to pay credit card bills cause it is not a "credit card" by definition.

Corey Bryant

 4:01 pm on Jul 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

Basically - but the debit card is issued to you, the consumer. And if it has a Visa logo on it, it allows you (the consumer) to use it at a merchant's website that accepts Visa. The merchant has either a merchant account and an electronic payment gateway or a third party processor to accept that card.



 7:07 am on Jul 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

all right, I think I am starting to understand. A merchant acc is not needed to have money deposited in it, but must be able to be credited at some point /when a chargeback is made for example/, is this right?

Corey Bryant

 1:46 pm on Jul 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

A merchant account allows you to accept credit cards in your place of business or on your website. The consumer will use a credit card with the Visa / MasterCard (or possibly Discover / AmEx) logo on it to make a purchase from your website / place of business.

A chargeback is when the consumer calls the issuing bank of the credit card to start that either the product was wrong, he did not get what he paid for, the product never came, etc instead of contacting you. The issuing bank usually gives the refund to the consumer and then gets the money from the acquiring bank who gets it from the merchant account processor who gets it from you.



 1:50 pm on Jul 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

which still means that you /if you are a MAP/ are credited by the acquiring bank.
I have another question, but will open a new thread.

Corey Bryant

 2:02 pm on Jul 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

If you are a MAP - then that means that you are licensed by Visa / Mastercard to issue merchant accounts to individuals. I think you are trying to read too much into this. To one extent, the differences are very simple.


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