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  1. #1
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    Question Need a Merchant account

    Hey,

    I will be launching a subscription based website in about a month. I expect to have more than a thousand subscribers paying $ 25 each after a few months.

    I have been searching for a payment solution for quite a while now. I wanted to use paypal or 2CO in the beginning, but if i understand it correctly that would require all the subscribers to update their payment info if i decide to get a merchant account later. Correct??

    So i've come to the conclusion that a merchant account would be the way to go.

    However, i do not have a business account yet. All the merchant account providers i've checked require business information. Now i could register a business but i do not know a way around trade refrences, previous sales volumes and like.

    So my question --- Is it possible for someone to get a merchant account who does not already have a business offline?

    Thanks for your help

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    SitePoint Zealot number7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by romeiyo
    Hey,
    I have been searching for a payment solution for quite a while now. I wanted to use paypal or 2CO in the beginning, but if i understand it correctly that would require all the subscribers to update their payment info if i decide to get a merchant account later. Correct??
    Correct. All payment info of your subscribers will be related to 2CO.

    Quote Originally Posted by romeiyo
    So my question --- Is it possible for someone to get a merchant account who does not already have a business offline?
    Hmm.. I'm really interested too. Does MA like authorize.net, or PayQuake require business info ?

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    He's No Good To Me Dead silver trophybronze trophy stymiee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by number7
    Hmm.. I'm really interested too. Does MA like authorize.net, or PayQuake require business info ?
    Absoutley. It happens everyday. New businesses could never survive if they weren't able to accept credit cards. Your personal credit will be the major factor in getting an account although it won't be the only one. For the volume you plan on doing you definitely want a true merchant acount. Much cheaper then using a thrid party processor.

    And authorize.net is only a gateway. Not a processor.

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    Texan at Heart Corey Bryant's Avatar
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    Actually with Paypal - your members do not have to be a mber of Paypal if you are based in the United States and you have the proper business account. Unfortunately, most consumers are not aware of this & it might cause you some problems. It does sound like though either a merchant account & Paypal or 2CO & Paypal might be better off.

    Quote Originally Posted by stymiee
    And authorize.net is only a gateway. Not a processor.
    And thanks for saying it Stymiee

  5. #5
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    However, i do not have a business account yet. All the merchant account providers i've checked require business information. Now i could register a business but i do not know a way around trade refrences, previous sales volumes and like.
    Hey Romeyio,

    If you're going to run any kind of business - online or off - you really do need to have a business checking account, and it's not all that difficult to get one.

    I can only speak from my experience in New York and New Jersey, but all you probably need at the very least is to register a DBA (ficticious name) to use for your business with your local county clerks office, then take the papers you get to your local bank and open up an account with a few bucks in there to get started. Of course you really should discuss your options with an accountant or attorney and decide which form of business if right for you, but I've registered a few DBA's myself and it's never been expensive or much of a hassle.

    Something to consider though is that some merchant account providers will give you a hard time if you're a new business and you expect to do over $25-$30,000 in business a month. Let's just say that it looks a little suspicious for a new business to all of a sudden do so well, so in cases like that they'll probably make you jump through all sorts of hoops to get your merchant account.

    I've been looking into getting an account myself through 1shoppingcart.com with Authorizenet and they've got some good info and FAQ's you can find online at
    http://www.1shoppingcart.com/epp.asp

    Oh - and don't worry so much about it if you need to start with 2CO and then move to a "real" merchant account later. I really don't think asking people to update their information and renew their subscription will be that big of a deal if you're providing a valuable service that they want to be a part of.

    Take it one step at a time and the details will fall into place as you go.

    Cheers,

    Steve
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    Follow Me On Twitter: @djg gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy Dan Grossman's Avatar
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    Why is a business checking account something people recommend for businesses? I talked to Wachovia and all the business account options were quite expensive... they either had minimum balances or maximum transactions per month and such to avoid extra fees. Having my merchant account dump into a personal checking account costs nothing, there's no transaction limit, there's no minimum balance, and nobody other than me knows that my checking account is personal. It's been over two years since I had to write a physical check.. every bill I have is paid by credit card online.

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    He's No Good To Me Dead silver trophybronze trophy stymiee's Avatar
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    A lot of processors require merchant accounts to be linked to business checking accounts especially if a business is registerred as c orporation. It's also a good idea to keep business funds mixing with personal funds just as a general rule but it's not a bad thing to use a personal checking account.

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    Thanks a lot for the quick and detailed responses.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Grossman
    Why is a business checking account something people recommend for businesses? I talked to Wachovia and all the business account options were quite expensive... they either had minimum balances or maximum transactions per month and such to avoid extra fees. Having my merchant account dump into a personal checking account costs nothing, there's no transaction limit, there's no minimum balance, and nobody other than me knows that my checking account is personal. It's been over two years since I had to write a physical check.. every bill I have is paid by credit card online.
    So Dan what you are saying is that i could use my personal account as a bussiness account if i have registered a DBA?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ravedesigns
    Oh - and don't worry so much about it if you need to start with 2CO and then move to a "real" merchant account later. I really don't think asking people to update their information and renew their subscription will be that big of a deal if you're providing a valuable service that they want to be a part.
    Steve what you said really does make a lot of sense - why did'nt i think of that .

    Corey .... that is a great idea. I'm not very comfortable with getting a merchant account -- yet. So i will get an account with 2CO and Paypal for now and see how things go. When i get close to 500 members or so i'll get a merchant account. Hopefully by that time i'll know how all this stuff works!

    I dont know about you guys - but i think online payment processing is so much more complicated than it should be .

    Thanks again.

  9. #9
    SitePoint Wizard
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Grossman
    Why is a business checking account something people recommend for businesses? I talked to Wachovia and all the business account options were quite expensive... they either had minimum balances or maximum transactions per month and such to avoid extra fees. Having my merchant account dump into a personal checking account costs nothing, there's no transaction limit, there's no minimum balance, and nobody other than me knows that my checking account is personal. It's been over two years since I had to write a physical check.. every bill I have is paid by credit card online.
    Hey Dan,

    Well, I would think the biggest reason to have a separate business account is to make keeping track of business items easier since the funds aren't mixed in with your personal account. If you're keeping track of business expenses and profits or losses...wouldn't it be easier for you to just look at your business account instead of everything all together? I would also think that if you have an accounting firm handle your taxes that they would rather just look at your business account - and for personal reasons, I wouldn't want to share anything other than my business account info with them.

    I suppose if someone is just collecting affiliate checks from a merchant it wouldn't matter all that much - but if you're got your own merchant account to receive payment from people, I would think a $10/month business account (that's what mine costs from Wachovia anyhow) would make your life much easier now and in the future.

    Cheers,

    Steve

    P.S. Romeiyo - let us know how you make out with 2C. I'm about to start looking into using them or maybe Paypal myself. Good luck!
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  10. #10
    SitePoint Zealot oldford's Avatar
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    Another reason to get a Business checking account is that it allows you to accept checks or money orders made out to your business name/domain name. (ie. if advertisers send you checks made out to "YourWebSite.com" instead of your name.) Don't laugh, it's happened to me with several advertisers. I could send the checks back and make them rewrite them, but it's faster and easier to just be able to deposit them.

    Obviously this doesn't apply if you get all your ad income from the big guys like Fastclick, Google, etc. but it may come up if you have smaller "mom & pop" advertisers.

  11. #11
    Follow Me On Twitter: @djg gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy Dan Grossman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldford
    Another reason to get a Business checking account is that it allows you to accept checks or money orders made out to your business name/domain name. (ie. if advertisers send you checks made out to "YourWebSite.com" instead of your name.) Don't laugh, it's happened to me with several advertisers. I could send the checks back and make them rewrite them, but it's faster and easier to just be able to deposit them.

    Obviously this doesn't apply if you get all your ad income from the big guys like Fastclick, Google, etc. but it may come up if you have smaller "mom & pop" advertisers.
    Good point. I forgot about that. I have turned down orders by check/money order because it's inconvenient for me to cash them without driving circles for 20 minutes to find a parking spot after going to the bank. If I actually accepted one of those orders I'd have run into this problem and remembered why I looked into business checking accounts in the first place.

  12. #12
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    I definately agree with the business account. They come in handy especially if payments come in as your business name.

    As for a merchant, I would not recommend Paypal, although I use them and have used them in the past. The problems I have had go beyond a posting in a form, but just note that I have had some very unpleasent problems with Paypal and am not the only one. I would recommend Charge.com as a merchant if you are a new business. They approve just about anyone and have very decent rates for processing.
    Reg

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