SaaS Payment Onboarding: Setting Up a Merchant Account

SaaS Payment Onboarding: Setting Up a Merchant Account

Last Updated December 2022

Do you know what it takes to begin payment processing for your business through a new software vendor? Understanding how to set up a merchant account can save time and frustration going through the process for your business.

Here are the basic considerations for companies setting up a new merchant account.

Merchant Onboarding Paperwork

Merchant account underwriting can be done quickly if your business is in good standing and you have the necessary documentation on hand. Here is the basic paperwork you can expect to encounter when you apply to set up a new merchant account.

SaaS Service Agreements or Sales Orders

Most software companies require you to read and sign a contract or agreement before you can begin using their services. The faster your organization is at returning these documents, the faster your underwriting and merchant onboarding process can get underway.

Merchant Service Provider Applications and Documents

To understand if your organization is a good fit for the bank, they will want a clear picture of your business financials. In other words, they’ll ask a lot of questions. So if you need a merchant account for credit card processing or ACH processing, be prepared to fill out paperwork.

Most banks also look for a few other items, such as merchant statements or tax EINs. Work with your payment processing software’s onboarding team and try to provide everything they ask for as quickly as you can get it.

This helps show underwriters a complete representation of your business. It also reduces the amount of correspondence required for the acquiring bank to make its decision.

Merchant Service Accounts Approval Time Frames

The SaaS payment vendor’s onboarding team can tell you how to set up a merchant account but they can’t influence whose applications are approved. After giving items to an underwriter, the decision to approve or deny – and the amount of time it takes to do so – is left up to the bank’s due diligence.

When all required items are provided, your company may get a decision in as little as two business days. The time frame may be longer if the bank is missing the documents they’ve requested or your application is incomplete.

Additional Documentation

If there is any question or confusion from the underwriter, additional documents may be requested before they make their decision. If you hear from the underwriting team that they need more materials, produce the items promptly to avoid further delays.
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General Checklist of Underwriting Documents for a New Merchant Account

Completed and signed application

Voided check or bank letter

Corporate documents

 Bank statements

A Conversation with the Business Owner or Operator

Occasionally, underwriters may need to verify information directly with the business owner or operator at your company. This is nothing to be nervous about.

They are merely trying to understand your organization and assess the risks involved in approving your merchant account. The appropriate staff members should be available to answer questions at their earliest convenience and with full transparency.

Additional Merchant Account Considerations

Those just learning how to set up a merchant account may think that a single application is all that’s required. However, the risk your company poses to a bank can affect their choice in approving or denying your account.

Stronger Financials

Stronger financial statements make the underwriting decision easier. If your business is in a good place financially, that gives you an advantage in getting a merchant account approved.

If your financials aren’t great, however, you may still qualify. Speak to your SaaS payment vendor’s onboarding team about your situation and they can give you further insight.

High Risk Industries

If you are a merchant in a high risk industry, the underwriting process will require more documents and consideration than a low risk business.

Don’t be discouraged from trying to obtain an account but make sure you speak to the onboarding team first, so you are prepared to provide all the documents and information required.

After the Merchant Application is Approved

After underwriting, most SaaS onboarding teams can create an account in just a few business days. This step may require information from you as well.

Provide the names and contact information for those within your business that will be receiving daily reports, administrative emails, or other communications.

PDCflow helps set up merchant accounts for payment processing by matching your company with the best merchant service provider to fit your business needs.

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Hannah Huerta - PDCflow Marketing Specialist
Hannah Huerta, Marketing Specialist

Hannah Huerta is a Marketing Specialist at PDCflow. She creates content for the accounts receivable and payment industry.

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