Merchant Account Questions

Merchant Account FAQ

Below are the answers to some of the most common merchant account questions.

What is a merchant account?

A merchant account is a special type of bank account used by a merchant or business necessary for them to process credit and debit card transactions in a variety of ways: Online, over the phone or through the mail. A merchant account operates under an agreement between the merchant, the payment processor or independent sales organization (ISO) and acquiring bank in settling credit or debit card transactions.

Can I get a merchant account if I am a startup business owner?

Yes and no. The answer really depends on your industry. Instabill works with multiple acquiring banks and some are able to provide merchant accounts to businesses that have no processing history.

What type of fees will I pay for an internet merchant account?

The fees you will pay for an Internet merchant account will vary based on your provider. Some merchant account providers charge an application fee and setup fees as well as monthly fees, including gateway access fees, service fees, AVS fees, and statement fees. You should expect to pay per-transaction fees, including a fixed transaction fee and discount rate. Read about Instabill’s merchant account fees.

How do I activate my Instabill merchant account?

Once you finish integrating your website with your bank’s payment gateway, email your account manager with your business name and Merchant ID (MID) Number. After we review your website, we will active your merchant account and notify you via email when it is complete.

How many websites can I link to my merchant account?

As long as the websites pertain to the same industry and your Instabill account manager approves the additional websites, you can link as many websites to your merchant account as you wish. However, if the industry is significantly different from the originally approved website, you cannot use your merchant account to process credit cards for that site.

How much do I need to process each month to maintain my account?

This depends on your industry type. Instabill’s banking partners that provide merchant accounts like to see processing volumes of at least $5,000 USD per month, but each industry has different standards.

Do I have to sell to only U.S. and Canadian consumers?

No. Merchants processing with Instabill can sell goods or services to consumers worldwide. Read about our international merchant account solutions.

If I live outside the U.S. or Canada, can I still get a merchant account?

Yes, you can! Instabill serves e-commerce and MOTO merchants worldwide. However, if you are looking for a retail merchant account and POS terminal, we can only provide them to U.S. merchants.

What currencies can I accept with an Instabill merchant account?

Instabill is partnered with many domestic and acquiring banks willing to process transactions in most currencies, including USD, GBP, euros and more.

What is the maximum dollar amount I can process in one transaction?

The maximum dollar amount on each transaction is determined by your acquiring bank. Many banks have a $1,000 to $2,000 limit while others may not have any restrictions at all.

Do the merchant accounts have monthly processing volume caps?

Yes and no. If you have a domestic merchant account with Instabill, then you will most likely have a monthly volume cap. For this reason, we encourage merchants processing high monthly volumes to establish offshore merchant accounts that have no volume caps.

Do free merchant accounts with no charges actually exist?

Free merchant accounts are a deceptive marketing ploy or a straight out scam. Most advertisements for free merchant accounts typically entail a free application and no setup fees. However, you will still have to pay processing fees, including a fixed transaction fee and discount rate, and monthly service fees, including payment gateway access fees and statement fees.

Can Instabill help me find tax solutions for my merchant account?

Not only can your Instabill account manager help you establish an offshore merchant account, but he or she can also help you incorporate your business offshore. With an offshore merchant account, your business will benefit from the same tax requirements as the offshore jurisdiction, oftentimes meaning little or no taxes at all. Read more about offshore incorporations.