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HOW to Get a Merchant Account in Canada

Part 2

There are alternatives to the Bank:

This is the easiest way to get a merchant account online and most likely the cheapest if you just have a small product line. They will even let you sell in Canadian funds and deposit right into your Canadian bank account. They’ve been around for years and you know if E-bay uses them, they must be trustworthy and reliable. We use paypal on a few of our sites.

Other Reputable Canadian Merchant Account Companies:

Merchant Accounts, InternetSecure or PSiGate
Both of these companies above don't require you to make a substantial security deposit when you open your Internet merchant account (unlike many banks), and they don't require you to set up an American bank account (unlike American merchant account providers).

Once you set up a merchant account through either of these companies, you'll be able to accept payment by MasterCard, Visa, and American Express credit cards on your e-commerce site. With Internet Secure, you'll also be able to accept Discover, while with PSiGate, you'll also be able to accept Diner's Club/Enroute.

Global Payments
I can personally recommend this company since I’ve used them before and never had any problems with them. They accept a wide variety of credit cards and they also have Point of Sale products. There are monthly fees so you have to weigh out the return on your sales.

Last but not least (although sometimes slow via snail mail) is Canada Post to the Rescue!

eParcel© Store
Canada Post now offers an online application that lets you quickly create a virtual store, in English, French, or both. The store includes SSL (Secure Socket Layering) to provide a secure online purchasing environment, credit card, COD, and billing payment options, and even multi-currency pricing.

Search Engines – Use your favourite search engine and type “Canadian merchant accounts” in it, you will find tons of links to research.

Whoever you decide to open a Merchant Account with:
Make Sure There Are No Hidden Charges!

It is unfortunate, but some merchant account providers try to sneak hidden charges into their contracts.

The following article exerpt by David Goodale of Merchant says it best:

If you see a deal that looks too good to be true, then it probably is.

The "typical" charges you may see can include:

• application fee
• setup fee
• monthly fee
• discount rate
• per-transaction fee
• statement fee
• monthly minimums
• gateway fee
• minimum term contracts that you cannot cancel without penalties
• chargebacks
• rolling reserves.

As you can tell, with all those different fees it can be very confusing, and expensive to get a merchant account and process credit cards on your website.

The best way to avoid any hidden or unexpected fees is to do your research…

Pre-Application Checklist

When searching to find the company that is best suited to provide a merchant account for your business, you MUST be sure to ask the right questions.

Below you will find a list of the critical questions that you must ask when researching to find your merchant account provider, along with a listing of answers I would look for when considering a merchant account provider. (The answers listed below are with respect to merchant accounts obtained through

Q) Are there any hidden charges or fees?
A) There are no hidden charges or fees.

Q) Is the payment gateway included?
A) Yes the real time payment gateway is included.

Q) Are transactions approved in real time?
A) Yes transactions are processed and approved in real time.

Q) Is U.S. or Canadian incorporation required?
A) Canadian or U.S incorporation is not required. Any legal business entity will qualify - This includes corporations, proprietorships, partnerships, and non-profit organizations. All that you need is a business bank account in the country in which your business is located.

Q) What currencies can I accept payment in?
A) Payment can be accepted in almost any currency from around the world.

Q) How long does it take to be approved?
A) 3 business days.

Q) What is involved in the application process?
A) We have an online pre-application form. It is short and simple or else we can talk you through it over the phone.

Q) Is there anything else needed?
A) No, there is nothing else required. We do NOT require business plans or any complicated paperwork.

Q) How long is money from transactions held back?
A) Remittance is made on a weekly basis directly into the bank account of your choice, with a one week delay from the date the transaction is processed.

Q) Where can I find a detailed listing of your rates? (Pricing information)
A) On our website and here is the URL.

Back to Part 1

Tawnya Sutherland, Copyright © 2003
This article may be freely reprinted in your ezine, e-book and/or on your web site so long as it provides a link back to the Mediamage Business Solution’s website. Email for permission guidelines.


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