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Q: What is merchant account processing?

A: Merchant account processing is the service provided by a bank or a third party processor (Merchant Service Provider), to the merchant that include authorization of credit cards, settlement of funds through the bank associations (MasterCard/Visa), depositing of funds to checking accounts, merchant billing and account activity reporting.


Q: What is a Merchant Service Provider (or Acquirer)?

A: A merchant service provider or acquirer provides the products and services necessary for companies to process credit card transactions. United Payment Solutions is a merchant service provider. That means we provide a merchant bank account, we process credit card transactions for our merchants, and we move the funds from those transactions into the merchant's bank account. Additionally, United Payment Solutions provides credit card processing equipment and training, merchant reporting, customer service, and risk management services.


Q: What types of equipment or software do I need to process credit cards?

A: The main task your equipment or software performs is the transmittal of the credit card transaction to the authorization and clearing systems. If you are processing credit card transactions at a retail location, you will most likely use a combination processing terminal and printer (for printing receipts) as well as an encrypted pin-pad if you plan to accept debit card payments.

Transmitting the credit card transaction can be done via a point-of sale-terminal, software on a PC, a touch-tone telephone, or via a secure Internet payment gateway. The choice of the type of equipment or software to use depends on your specific business needs.


Q: What credit cards will I be able to I accept?

A: Once your terminal or processing software is set-up and installed, it will accept all MasterCard and Visa transactions. All other major credit cards, including American Express, Diners Club, JCB and Discover can be added to your system at any time, upon approval from those organizations.


Q: What kind of businesses will you accept?

A: We accept most legitimate businesses. We specialize in processing for Lodging, Retail, Restaurant, Automotive, and Internet businesses. We will also accept mail order/ telephone order, home based and mobile businesses, where many other processors will not.

There are some business types that we cannot place. We will not accept the following: businesses involved in illegal activity, businesses engaging in deceptive sales or trade practices, certain outbound telemarketing and high-risk travel businesses.


Q: Do I need to purchase my equipment?

A: You can purchase your equipment with cash or check, however, many of our clients choose to lease or rent their point-of-sale equipment. If you choose to lease your equipment, that lease is 100% tax-deductible and will not show up on your personal credit report as a credit liability.


Q: Will I need any training on the equipment?

A: Operating a processing terminal is fairly simple if you consult the instructions included with your equipment. However, our Merchant Account Representatives will contact you, after the arrival of your equipment, to help you set-up you new terminal and provide training should you need desire.


Q: What is a discount rate?

A: Every acquirer charges a discount rate to merchants that accept credit cards. A discount rate is the percentage of each transaction that the processing company (United Payment Solutions) charges the merchant to handle the transaction. Your "discount rate" is the amount that you (the merchant) have agreed to be deducted from the total of each sale. Discount rates will vary according to the type of business, the type of transaction, and the method for delivering the transaction to the payment system.


Q: Is the discount rate for retail sales the same for mail order/telephone sales or Internet sales?

A: No. Telephone and mail order sales, and especially Internet sales, are riskier because the customer and credit card are not in merchant's presence at the time of the sale. In the case of retail sales a signature is required from the consumer at the time of sale, the merchant can see the credit card and a photo ID, and the customer usually receives the product or service at that time. When you see low rates advertised, it is usually for face-to-face retail sales.

Telephone, mail order, and Internet sales are charged a higher discount rate because of the increased risk associated with this type of business transaction. If a card is not present at the time of the sale, the likelihood of a fraudulent transaction not being detected increases. When deciding to process such transactions, make certain that you choose an acquirer that has solid experience in setting up and managing such merchant accounts. United Payment Solutions has extensive experience in this area.


Q: Is there a transaction fee?

A: Yes. All acquirers and banks charge a transaction fee and the type of transactions you conduct will determine your transaction fee.


Q: Why can United Payment Solutions Merchant Services Offer A Much Lower Rate Than The Bank?

A: The bank normally charges a rate of 2.20% to 3.5%(depending on the volume per month and the average transaction amount). It's too costly for local banks to process their own accounts. Usually a local bank would prefer to have a MSP, like us, to support this application process division. The merchant pays the rate according to bank and agent mark up. United Payment Solutions is an MSP for the processing company (First Data), therefore we could offer lower rates without the additional mark up cost of the bank.


Q: How Many Days After Will The Merchant Receive The Money?

A: Once the merchant closes the batch at the end of the day, the information is directly sent out to the processing company. The processing company will process all the information the day after and have the ACH (Automated Clearing House) wire the transaction amount to the merchant's checking account. This standard amount of time is TWO business days for most of the processing companies.


Q: How Long Does It Take To Get The Application Approved?

A: We normally take around 3 to 5 business days to process the application. It depends on merchant's credit, type of business, average ticket, monthly volume and information provided (i.e., business financials, tax returns, brochures, Article of Inc.). It also varies with processing companies.


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Copyright 2002 United Payment Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved. United Payment Solutions is a registered MSP/ISO of J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. and powered by First Data.