Q: How long does the approval process take?

A: Once your application is complete, the processing time is usually 24 hours or less, especially if we receive your application before noon EST. If approved, we will ship your terminal equipment or software promptly.

Q: How soon will I get my money after the transaction is processed?

A: Visa, MasterCard, and Discover transactions are deposited next business day depending on the type of business.

Q: Do I need a business license to obtain a merchant account?

A: You do not necessarily need to have a business license if you can provide a different acceptable documentation item that is required. These items vary depending upon the level of risk associated with your business.

Q: Do I need a business checking account to obtain a merchant account?

A: You only need a business checking account if your business is set up as a corporation. If it is a sole proprietorship, you may use a personal checking account or a business checking account.

Q: Do I need to have an American Express or Discover account before I apply?

A: No, you do not. We can do all this for you.

Q: What is the discount rate?

A: The discount rate is the fee that a merchant pays to the acquirer for processing services that enable the merchant to accept bankcards as payment. Our discount rates are extremely competitive. 

Q: What is the Interchange Fee?

A: A fee paid by an acquirer to an issuer for transactions entered into interchange. The interchange fee is a percentage applied, according to Visa/MasterCard regulations, to the dollar value of each transaction. There are multiple categories of interchange, and Visa and MasterCard each have their own criteria for their own categories. A transaction must meet the specified criteria for a category in order for that category's rate to be applied. Each transaction is evaluated individually, so various interchange rates may apply within one batch of merchant transactions.

Q: What is NPF?

A: The Visa Network Participation Fee / Fixed Acquirer Network Fee applies to all settled (batched out) U.S issued Visa credit card and Visa debit card transactions processed by a U.S. based merchant. 

The fee will be billed on one line item and one amount on the merchant’s month end statement with a descriptor of “Visa NPF” for TSYS merchants. 
The fee amount will vary from merchant to merchant and is calculated by Visa based on a number of factors including:

  • Number of Tax ID’s
  • Card Present vs. Card Not Present
  • Merchant Category Codes (MCC)
  • Number of Locations
  • Visa Gross Monthly Sales Volume

If a merchant does not process any Visa cards during the month, a minimum fee of $3.00 is still charged to the merchant.

Q: Do I have to be PCI compliant?

A: Yes. Anyone who accepts credit card payments needs to comply with PCI-DSS rules.

Q: What are the charges for PCI compliance?

A: When you have a merchant account with us, we provide free PCI compliance validation. 

Q: What is a surcharge?

A: A surcharge, also known as a checkout fee, is an additional fee that a merchant adds to a consumer’s bill when he or she uses a credit card for payment.

Q: It's too good to be true! How can I accept debit and credit cards at my business without paying high merchant fees?

A: The simplest and quickest way to do so is contact us and we will provide you with all the necessary tools to start saving money today.

Q: Is it illegal and will my bank shut me down for not paying credit card fees?

A: As a result of a legal settlement to resolve claims brought by a group of U.S. merchants, merchants in the U.S. and U.S. territories may add a surcharge to certain credit card transactions, starting January 27, 2013. Your may choose to choose to surcharge by following all the requirements agreed to as part of the settlement.

Q: The majority of my customers prefer to pay with cash.

A: There is no surcharge on cash payments. As a business owner, you can offer incentives and encourage your customers to pay by alternative methods.

Q: The majority of my customers prefer to pay with cash.

A: Most customers are already paying for the convenience of paying higher prices to use cards and even alternative methods of payment. Prime examples are Gas Stations, Municipalities and Education facilities, and ATM’s. These are prime examples of goods and services sold at various businesses going up in price without merchants having to pay for them. Keep the money and use it to expand your business and improve your bottom line!

Q: Can't I surcharge myself?

A: Complex calculations and credit card equipment issues may cause delays and frustration from your customers. Surcharging is also explicitly defined in Visa/Mastercard rules and guidelines, violation of these rules may result in fines and closure of your merchant account.

Q: I want to let my customers know about the surcharge before they checkout. I don't want them to be caught by surprise.

A: Once enrolled into Credit surcharge program, we will provide you with the signage to be displayed at your business location. 

We will also provide you with the terminal that displays the surcharge on the receipt.

Q: Is there a limitation on how much I can surcharge?

A: Retailers must limit the amount of the surcharge to the merchant discount rate for the credit card transaction surcharged, or 4%, whichever is lower.

Q: Can any business do it?

A: Yes. Any merchant in 42 out of 50 States may elect to surcharge by following all the requirements set by credit card networks. Merchants may not Surcharge if they are located in any one of these 8 States: Colorado, Connecticut, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, Oklahoma and Texas.

Q: My type of business handles a lot of returns and occasional chargebacks. It sounds very complicated with the surcharge.

A: It's actually very simple. On a chargeback or a return, the purchase amount plus the surcharge will be credited to the cardholder. Insert the chip as usual and our compliant terminal will do all the work for you.