I need a merchant account but I don't have an SSN

I am working to implement VeriSign Payflow Pro system on my site, but I have difficulties to find a merchant account because I have not yet a SSN (Social Security Number). Despite my corporation is a US Corporation based in California (with a true Tax ID number) and I have a business checking account with Bank of America (always in California), I am in process of US immigration and I have not yet a SSN.

Anyone can suggest me a merchant account service that would allow me to use VeriSign without to have a SSN?

Any advice is very welcome.

Thank you in advance.

Fabrizio Ferrari

Do you have a US bank account?

Yes, of course. We have our own business checking account on Bank of America in California.

Thank you Corey.


Sorry I missed that part. Should learn my lesson about waching TV & reading at the same time :slight_smile:

Well there are some processors that will accept you - but limit you to $10K a month - you can always request more after you have established a relationhsip with them. You discount rate might be a bit higher (like 3.5%) and the transaction rate about $.35. They also might require a 5 day ACH hold.

Thank you for your reply.

The limit of $10K a month is bad for me. My monthly average is around $15,000, so I cannot have such limit. But really there’s not a service that can allow me to do business with VeriSign? That’s incredible to me! I have excellent credit history since 1999, strong assets, etc. There’s not solution?

Thank you again.


I have not come across one yet. The reason for the limit is because you are not in the US & you do not have a Social Security number. We Americans are numbered everywhere you can think of. LOL - I guess we are just lost without them. But without that SSN, they have hardly no chance at all at tracking you. And with you not being in the US, makes it a little harder.

The limit can be rasied after you have an established relationship with them, but they need to see it themselves on their system

But, I am wondering, doesn’t suffice my passport number? Or my Corporation Tax ID? or my CPA US Address? or:

1 - My business checking account on Bank of America (US) with currently over $30,000 in cash
2 - Another personal checking account on Bank of America (US) with currently over $10,000 in cash
3 - Other two personal checking accounts on Washington Mutual (US) with currently over $90,000 in cash
4 - Over 5 years of business with ClickBank and PayPal with a business growing of over 100%/year
5 - Excellent credit history on US and Italian banks (3 bank accounts here in Italy at my name), I never been in debit of 1 cent.

or even the fact that I own a condo of over $400,000 in Laguna Niguel, California? This seems to be ridiculous to me… I was able to open several checking accounts, to buy a condo and to establish my corporation in the US without a SSN… and now I need it for a simple Internet merchant account! That’s obviously ridiculous to me… I think will be obliged to wait until my definitive immigration in the US in the beginning of the next year (2005), so I will lose around 4 months of growing business… for a SSN!

Thank you anyway for your explanation. Any other idea is always very welcome.


And you never visit me? LOL

Three yearsand one month ago, I would have said yes - no problem. But things changed.

That SSN is the key unfortunately. The only other option I could suggest would be get two merchant accounts if you could find another company. I emailed by business partner to see if he had some ideas as well.

I actually just tried a few days ago for $15K for an international merchant. Unfortunately the system is not even set up to take more than $10K on an inetrnational code. When the system gets the application - see the international code & see more than $10K - it gets rejected.

If your CPA is willing to sign up as well with you for the merchant account & use his SSN - then yes, you should be able to get one, no problem

You should be able to use your corporate Tax ID number in place of the SSN

Thank you Steelsun for your message.

I would agree with you, but I have not found a service accepting simply my Tax ID number yet… any suggestion?

Thank you again.


Unfortunately you cannot. I have yet to find an acquiring bank that will allow this. After 9/11, things changed. And things will change more as well when they finally implement the 9/11 commission suggestions.

Thank you for the information. I am unaware of ‘the 9/11 commission suggestions’. Can you tell us more?

Thank you.


Here is the report: http://wid.ap.org/documents/911/finalreport.html

I had placed a message in the forums actually the weekend before the Paysystems fiasco about the 9/111 commission & the fact there would be a lot of major changes in the processing world soon. I cannot find that message in this forum - but I do know it is in another forum. I can search for it & send you the link later - heading out to the movies in a bit :slight_smile:

I found part of the report I quoted: http://www.sitepoint.com/forums/showthread.php?t=186715&page=2&p=1346206

Thank you Corey for your quote. Anyway, I don’t believe something will change so “drastically” soon. I think PayPal as well commercial banks, have big interest in foreign customers. And, so, the US. Something will surely “slowly” change as already began since 2001 (like, for example, immigration procedures!); but above all new actions will start against who could potentially abuse the system.

This is my thought.


Ah they do have interest in the customer, but no interest in messing with the feds. This is an election year - so if a lot of the suggestions are implemented - they won’t have a choice.

I don’t want to turn this into a political thread but I get the distinct impression (from both sides) that this election is much less about what new policies need to be implemented and a lot more about who’s military record sucks more.

Jsut curious fabrizio - do you have a driver’s license number?

Hello Corey. No, I don’t have a US driver license number. Not yet! As soon I will move in California, I will have it. In the meantime I have my Italian driver license as well the International Drivers license (suitable for the US).

Let me know your ideas…

Thank you.


I do not think so. That social security number is the key :frowning: