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Merchant Account Website Requirements

Website Requirements for Merchant Accounts

When applying for an e-commerce merchant account with a payment service provider, your website will need to meet their requirements in order to be approved. This is true for US acquirers, international Payment Facilitators, and e-check/ACH merchant account providers alike.

Most payment service providers have a similar set of requirements that we have listed below for your reference. To avoid delays in getting a merchant account, you want to be sure that these items are addressed early on in the process.

Website Content

DBA / trade name prominently shown throughout the website: Your DBA, otherwise known as a trade name, trading name or business name must be prominently displayed. The company name, its mailing address and relevant contact information, should be prominently displayed in the footer.

Clear and detailed product and service description: Many payment service providers receive applications from merchants who are not serious actors, and as such they take a close look at the products or services offered on your website. These must be clear, detailed and accurate. Vague or confusing descriptions often result in immediate declines.

Use of intellectual property: The use of images, videos, and other copyrighted items must be licensed or produced in-house. Certain acquirers will run your site through a system that detects potential copyright infringement (such as using stock photos without authorization).

Policies

Shipping policy: If you are shipping products, the shipping policy is of utmost important. It must be detailed, complete and clear. It should be linked from the main menu and footer of your website, the checkout and payment pages, and the order confirmation and tracking emails you send to the customer.

Terms and conditions: This is a vital component of your website, as payment service providers read this extremely carefully and will bring up any problems. This page should display the applicable jurisdiction for disputes to be settled, the rights of the customer, and terms of sale.

Privacy policy: Every website needs a privacy policy, explaining what is done with information collected. For e-commerce merchants it is especially important to detail exactly how sensitive payment information (such as credit card) is collected and how your secure the data. For example, if you're using a hosted payment page from a payment gateway, you will want to mention this here.

Working payment page: You'll want to set up a working test/dummy payment page before you apply. Depending on the CRM or shopping cart platform you're using, we can provide you with a test account with our payment gateway and integration details to set up the payment page ahead of time, or you can use dummy gateways that most platforms provide for testing purposes.

Card brand logos: You'll need to display the card brands you want to accept on your website. Please refer to Visa Point-of-Sale Guidelines and Mastercard Brand Center for those payment cards.

Domain and Web Hosting Setup

Domain and hosting country: Many acquirers need your website to be hosted in the same region, as well as the domain registered with the applying company. This is especially true for US-based acquiring banks, which require the site to be hosted in the US and the domain registrant to be US-based. If domain privacy settings are enabled, you'll need to show proof of domain registration details.

SSL certificate: Any website accepting payments must be SSL secured throughout all pages. Also, there should be a Forced HTTPS setting in place (ie when someone connects to http://yourstore.com, it should redirect to https://yourstore.com).

WWW subdomain and broken links: Be sure that your website works just fine whether you enter in yourstore.com or www.yourstore.com. Also, fix any broken links ahead of time as they will be noticed.

Subscription Sites

Members area functionality check: Payment service providers will review the members area of any pay subscription sites to ensure that the service is acceptable. Please provide a test login to log in to your site as a paid member would.

Easy cancel membership: Any paid subscription site needs an easy and obvious way to cancel a paid membership with the least number of steps possible. Please be sure to have Cancel Membership buttons on the home page, the footer, and in the members area. Members should be able to cancel without having to log in, for example by filling out a form with some basic details that they will know (email, last 4 digits of CC number). This form should prominently display alternatives as well, such as a support phone number.

For more information on getting a merchant account for your online business, please contact us today, or get started and apply for a merchant account using our pre-qualification form.

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