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How To Apply For A Merchant Account
When you have your own business and you would like to welcome credit card payments, you will have to get a merchant account. As there are several merchant account providers (more commonly called credit card processors) available, it is key that you grasp what a merchant account is all about and what are the things that you should consider when you are applying for such an account.


Information Required When Applying
The following info will be required:
• Average total per transaction
• Average volume
• Transaction percentages
• Highest expected transaction total
As your numbers will influence the terms and conditions of the merchant account, it is crucial that owners provide the correct figures when they apply to open an account. In fact, if an owner does not give the right numbers, it could lead to termination of the merchant account. When the precise figures are not available at the time of the application, an estimation of these totals can be provided as long as these are as correct as possible.

What Is the Processing Volume?
This is how much the credit card processor will allow an owner to charge via MasterCard and Visa sales per month. It is similar to a limit on a line of credit. Exceeding the processing volume that was declared will not cause any issues; it just gives the processor an idea of how much volume they should allot to your company.

What Is The Average Transaction Total?
Another term that gets used is "ticket". It refers to the amount of an average sale via Visa or MasterCard. This will give the credit card processor a calculated guess of how much will be processed per credit card sale.

Why is this important you might wonder? Well, your credit card processor will use the average amount per sale as part of their approach to prevent fraud. When you have a transaction that is glaringly more than the declared average amount, this could be a sign of possible fraud.

What Is The Highest Expected Transaction?
The highest anticipated transaction is also at times known as the transaction ticket limit. It refers to the biggest amount you anticipate for any individual credit card sale. These numbers assist the processor with their evaluation of your company’s operations.

What Do The Transaction Percentages Refer To?
Transaction percentages have to do with the manner that you accept payments via credit cards. To evaluate the risk linked to the transactions that you will have, your processor must know how you will be transacting any sales via credit card. Certain processors will merely want to know how many transactions will be swiped credit card transactions and how many will be keyed in. Though, some processors will require more details like if you will accept cards via the Internet and over the phone.

How Do You Calculate Your Tickets?
You will have to work out your average ticket and volume before you can apply for your merchant account. Even when you are only roughly calculating, it is still crucial that the figures that you declare are indeed accurate.

The average ticket will be determined by the types of services or products that you will provide. By referring to your business plan, roughly calculate how much you expect your highest and lowest possible transactions to be. Then, use these two numbers and determine the average amount per sale.

Now that you have worked out your average ticket amount, it is recommended that you raise that number slightly. It is just to play it safe since you will not face any issues in the event that your average ticket was overestimated.

How Do You Calculate Your Volume?
It is straightforward when your business is already established to work out the monthly processing volume, because you can simply consult all your previous merchant account statements.

Though, when you have a brand new company, the best manner to determine your processing limit is to begin by roughly calculating what your gross sales will be per month for that particular year. Also, remember to consider any seasonal factors that can influence your sales. For example, depending on your product or service, you might make more sales during the summer months.

Now that you have determined what your gross sales will be more or less, determine how many of these sales will be via MasterCard or Visa. If you have a retail merchant account, you can expect that up to about 75% of your gross sales will be via MasterCard or Visa. If you run a mail order/online company, then as much as 95% of your gross sales will be via MasterCard or Visa.

Pick the relevant percentage of gross sales depending on your kind of business and be sure to round that final number up to the next $500 increment.  

Tips For Preventing Processing Issues
When your merchant account violates the regulations/limitations, the loss of an account can be quite harsh. In order to protect yourself against possible issues, be sure to follow the next four tips:  
1. Remember your processing limit and average ticket amount
2. Track all your sales
3. Be sure to read the notes section that appears on the statement of your merchant account every single month. It has important information.
4. Study your merchant processing agreement (MPA).

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