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Shopping for payment processing software can take a while. After considering a product’s security features, reviewing the front-end for its customer centric properties, ensuring it allows you to accept multiple payment methods, and learning how it will impact your office operations, you may be ready to dive in and start taking payments. Unfortunately, there’s one more step of the process merchants often forget – system setup.
Even the perfect payment processing software may lose its appeal if you’re not prepared for the merchant account underwriting process. Here are some factors that determine how quickly your underwriting and onboarding process may be completed:
- Service Agreements – Most software products provide a contract or agreement that must be read and signed before services can be set up. The faster you, the merchant, return these documents, the faster your underwriting and onboarding process can get underway.
- Applications and documents – If you are looking for a merchant account for either credit card processing or ACH processing, be prepared to fill out paperwork. To understand if your business is a good fit for the bank, they will want to get a clear picture of your business (in other words, they’ll ask a lot of questions). Filling out and returning applications quickly speeds up underwriting. Most banks also look for a few other items, such as merchant statements or tax EINs. Work with your payment processing software’s merchant onboarding team and try to provide them everything they ask for as quickly as you can get it. This will allow the team to provide underwriters with a complete, accurate picture of your business, reducing the amount of correspondence required to make their decision.
- Turnaround time for paperwork –After giving items to an underwriter, the decision to approve or deny (and the amount of time it takes to do so) is out of the merchant onboarding team’s hands. When all required items are provided, a decision can be made in as little as two business days. But again, it depends on whether they have been provided a full picture of your business through the documents you provide.
- Additional documents – If there is any question or confusion on the part of the underwriter, additional documents may be requested before they make their decision. If you heard from the payment processing software’s merchant onboarding team that they require more from you, try to produce the items promptly.
- A conversation with the business owner or operator – Occasionally, underwriters may need to verify certain information directly with the business owner or operator. This is nothing to be nervous about. They are merely trying to gain a full picture of your business. Be sure to make yourself available and answer questions as thoroughly as possible.
- Stronger financials – This may be outside of your control, but it’s something to keep in mind. Stronger financial statements make the underwriting decision easier. If your business is in a good place financially, that gives you a leg-up for getting a merchant account. If your financials aren’t great, however, you may still qualify. Speak to the onboarding team about your situation, and they can give you further insight.
- Higher risk – 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 thing so you are prepared to provide all the documents and information required.
- After underwriting is approved – After underwriting, a customer centric payment software team can usually get your account created in just a few business days. This step may require information from you as well. Be sure to provide the merchant onboarding team with names and contact information for those within your business that will be receiving daily reports, administrative emails, etc.
In short, although the work is done by the onboarding and underwriting teams, it doesn’t mean merchants can sit back and relax as soon as they’ve signed on the dotted line. What most often slows down setup time is a merchant failing to provide documents or respond to questions during underwriting. That doesn’t mean you should be left to fend for yourself. Look for payment processing software with excellent customer service ratings, so you know you’ll have support throughout the process.
To learn more about the considerations involved in choosing payment processing software. Download the PDCflow Payment Processing Buyer’s Guide.