Before founding any business, large or small, it is important to get information and ask for guidance before starting any application. This will help you to comply with all the requirements when applying for loans, quotes, or credit cards.
In the case of credit cards, it is necessary to have a merchant number. Otherwise, the payment processing system would not know where to send the funds from your sales.
How can I get a merchant number for my business?
A merchant number is, in other words, a merchant ID. To apply for a merchant number, you need to have a tax identification number and provide information confirming that you are a legitimate business owner. After that, you can follow the next steps:
Open a merchant bank account
Before applying for your merchant number, you must have a commercial bank account. This is where the money from credit card sales will be deposited.
Banks will ask for your employer identification number (EIN) and your business license to open it.
Ask yourself what you are looking for in your business
Before deciding, first analyze what you are looking for in your business, what types of credit cards you want to receive, if you only want them to work for in-store transactions, or if you would like to support online and mobile payments.
This is because not all providers offer the same services, so you can be sure to choose the best option once you are clear about your business needs.
Start the application for the opening of your merchant account
After you have decided on your best provider, you can start the application. Most companies usually ask for the same basic information, so ensure you have it on hand.
Among the information, you should provide the date you opened your business, your personal information, the authorized signatory’s personal information, bank account number, tax ID, and the dollar amount you estimate to process.
The information you must provide may vary depending on the estimate you provide. Bank statements from previous years are usually required for large companies, while a voided check may be sufficient for small companies.
Underwriting and evaluation
As is well known, banks seek to decrease the risk of losing money. Therefore, before approving any application, they subject businesses to underwriting and evaluation.
In this way, they get to know which businesses are at high risk of discarding them. This is done according to the businesses that have not been operating for a long time or show signs of fraud.
In the case of a new business, it may be more complicated to be approved since few banks take risks with them.
Wait for merchant account approval
Once you have completed the above steps, you have to wait. The waiting time varies from one business day to one week, depending on your chosen provider. Once your application has been approved, you can accept credit card payments.
In addition, you should receive the merchant number with your merchant account. If the supplier has not notified you, please ask for information, as they should provide you with a merchant number.
Where can I get my merchant number if I already have a business bank account?
Merchant numbers are private, so they can only be found with the owner of the company or the persons authorized to handle them. Usually, they have 15 digits, and you can get them through:
Your business bank account
Log into your managed service provider (MSP) and locate in the upper-right corner a 15-digit number.
Your payment terminal
Some providers add the merchant number on your payment terminal, so check the funds and sides for a 15-digit number.
Your bank statement
During transactions between your business account and your account, you get a bank statement that may contain the merchant number. Generally, they usually begin with BTOT or MTOT.
Contact your MSP
If you have not found your merchant number with any of the above methods, it is best to contact your supplier and ask for information.
Why is it necessary for my company to have a merchant number?
You must have a merchant number to receive credit or debit card payments. The number will be sent to the payment processor for each transaction you make, ensuring that the money is transferred to the correct merchant account.
Otherwise, you will not have an account to send the funds from credit or debit card transactions to, so you will not be able to receive this payment method in your business.
Thus, it is essential to have a merchant number because card payments are the most common, so your business could be affected.
Is it mandatory for my company to have a merchant number?
It is not mandatory, but if you want a thriving business, you must have one. However, you may not have a merchant number if you wish to be a cash-only business.
Just keep in mind that you will not be able to receive payments with credit or debit cards. On the other hand, you could look for alternatives for your business, such as e-wallets.
Can I have more than one merchant number?
Although it is not very common for a company to have more than one merchant number, it is possible. You only need to have more than one merchant account to do so.
For each merchant account, you will have one merchant number. You will receive the transactions made depending on the account to which you add the payment processor.