During the initial process of opening a merchant account, you will have to provide certain documents and details about your business. This is a standard process to check what risk level your business falls under and how best to proceed with your merchant account approval.
Initially, you will have to answer a couple of questions such as:
What is your business model?
This is a very important question to answer since it will determine if your business is high or low risk, which will, in turn, affect the fees and the type of merchant account that you are applying for.
What countries are you targeting?
When applying for a merchant account, knowing which countries you are targeting will also help to find the best payment solutions for you.
What payment methods do you want to offer?
Businesses offer different kinds of payment methods. Such as selling a service that streams movies online, which may differ to a company that provides the purchasing of Bitcoins. One may require recurring billing and the other may not. Would you like to offer recurring billing, or maybe you would just like to offer a one-time payment option, you could even offer both?
What are your monthly volumes?
Providing documents containing your processing history from the last 6 months is essential in order to get your merchant account approved unless of course your company is just being launched and you have never processed any payments.
Other questions may also include:
- Minimum Transaction Amount?
- Maximum Transaction Amount?
- Average Transaction Amount?
- Planed Monthly Turnover?
Does your business require a License or specific procedures?
Like most financial institutions your business might require a specific license. Other merchants like crypto or gambling businesses may require AML and KYC procedures in place to screen their clients.
Documents required to open a merchant account:
- Incorporation certificate
- Articles & Memorandum of association
- Shareholders register
- Registration certificate/contract
- Domain ownership
- Proof of address of the company (ideally would be the company’s business bank statement)
- Website URL and test logins
- Processing history of the past 6 months (if applicable)
- Settlement account information, such as SWIFT, BIC, etc.
- License Certificate (if applicable)
- Proof of address of the directors and the beneficiary (With 10% control or more). Utility bills, bank statements, insurance bills, rental or lease agreements or official government-issued letters. These must not be older than 3 months. Also, if it’s not in English, it must be translated and signed by the certified translator.
- Proof of identification of the directors and the beneficiary (With 10% control or more). This can be either a passport or a national identification card in full colour, if the scan or photo is in black and white it has to be signed and stamped by a legal representative.
This is the minimum amount of data that each client, looking to create a merchant account, needs to have. When dealing with higher-risk clients, additional information will be asked for accordingly.