To Do List: 1. Name my company 2. Name my web site (and register domain name) 3. Open checking account 4. Open merchant account
Youíve made arrangements for adding e-commerce capability to your web site. Who wouldnít? Your goal is to make it easy for your customers to buy from you.
Now youíre dealing with merchant application and paperwork. One thing every bank will need is a voided check from your checking account. Your merchant bank will be depositing your revenues into this account. Any fees assessed will be deducted from this same account.
Many people are tempted to use their personal checking accounts in conjunction with their merchant account. This account is already open and functioning, meaning one less to-do item on list, which just grows longer every day. There would be no extra fees to pay, or new checks to order. Sounds like a solid plan.
Itís fairly easy to put this into operation as well. Your merchant bank will require you to add a statement to your order page or shopping cart that reads like this: Your credit card will be charged Jane Q. Public. Simple enough.
What you may not realize is that name on your personal checking account is name that your customers will see on their credit card statements. So instead of seeing a charge from My Great Company for $125.00, theyíll see a charge from Jane Q. Public. Sure, you told your customer at time of order that charge would be from Jane Q, but who remembers thirty days and no telling how many web sites ago?
It doesnít have to be too expensive to open this account. Of course fees will vary from county to county and bank to bank, but hereís a great hint to save some money: Donít order checks. Whoa! you say. Didnít I just read a few paragraphs ago that my merchant bank will need a voided check from this account? I definitely want to make sure deposits go to right place! Once again, your friendly neighborhood merchant account expert is on your side: just use a counter check. Thatís right- your free book of counter checks can satisfy your merchant bank. The routing number and account number are what merchant bank cares about, and thatís printed at bottom of every check- including counter checks!