Online Payment Processing Questions

From offshore merchant accounts to the truth behind free merchant accounts, get answers to some of the most common and frequently asked questions. If you cannot find an answer to your question below, please contact us online, use our free live chat service, or call us toll-free at 1-800-318-2713.

Payment Processing FAQs

Click on the + to find answers to some of the most common payment processing questions.

Will Instabill provide me with a unique billing descriptor?[+]

Yes, Instabill will provide you with a unique billing descriptor. For businesses wishing to handle their own customer service inquiries, we can provide you with a billing descriptor that includes an abbreviation of your business's name as well as a customer service telephone number. For those businesses that do not wish to handle their own customer service inquiries, Instabill can provide you with its own billing descriptor and we will take calls on your behalf and involve you when necessary. Find out how optimizing your billing descriptor can help you prevent chargebacks.

Why do I incur more declines with 3D Secure payment processing?[+]

With 3D Secure payment processing—or what is more commonly known as Verified by Visa or MasterCard Secure Code—cardholders create one password associated with their credit card account to authorize transactions. However, since many merchants do not use 3D Secure payment processing, cardholders often forget their password. This causes their credit card issuing bank to decline the transaction. Read more about 3D Secure payment processing.

How does SSL payment processing work?[+]

A website using a Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificate identifies and authenticates the site and site owner to its visitors. The SSL certificate also encrypts personal data transmitted from the customer's browser to your website.

The Instabill website and payment gateway have SSL certificates and we require our merchants to obtain SSL certificates for their websites. We complete all transactions through Instabill using SSL payment processing to ensure your customers' sensitive credit card data is safe and secure at all times. Read more about SSL certificates.

Can I process payments for more than one website?[+]

Yes, you can process payments for as many websites as you wish. However, if the products on Website A are different from those on Websites B and C, then you will need to apply for separate merchant accounts. To process payments for a new site through an existing merchant account, your Instabill account manager must approve it if it was not originally included on your application.

If the nature of my business changes, can I still accept payments?[+]

If you change the nature of your business, then you MUST inform Instabill or your merchant account manager. We will then determine if your new business type breaches your payment processing contract. However, if the nature of your business changes so drastically, your acquiring bank may not be able to provide you with a merchant account. In this situation, we will help you obtain a new merchant account through one of our many banking partners.

Additionally, if you do not notify Instabill or your merchant account manager of such changes, you may be subject to fines, delays in payouts, merchant account interruptions, or a terminated merchant account.

Why do some of my customers receive an international charge?[+]

If you sell goods or services to customers internationally, some of them may see an additional charge called the international transaction fee. International transaction fees are typically no more than $0.10 to $0.20. Neither Instabill nor your acquiring bank imposes this fee. It comes from the cardholder's issuing bank.

What is the difference between authorization and settlement?[+]

Although similar, authorizations and settlements are two different things.

An authorization occurs when your customer's issuing bank approves the transaction request. Either the customer has sufficient funds in his bank account to process the debit card purchase or he had enough credit left on his account to make a credit card purchase. Alternatively, if there were insufficient funds in either bank or credit card account, the issuing bank would decline the transaction. There are several other reasons why a bank would decline a transaction request, including an expired card, incorrect information provided, or the cardholder canceled the account. The merchant does not receive approved funds at this part of the transaction. Learn more about types of transactions.

A settlement occurs when the pending amount of approved funds has successfully transferred from the bank or credit card account to your merchant account. At this point, you will receive a payout from your acquiring bank or Instabill based on your previously agreed upon payout schedule.


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