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Payment Processing Discuss payment processing with PayPal, Stripe, Authorize.Net, Bitcoin and other processors for your products and services.

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  #1  
Old 12-29-2010
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Default merchantfocus account setup in 2.5 hours

I have experience with merchant accounts as I've had 3 or 4 of them in the past for various business ventures. I even used to have one for ebay back in the day (pre-authorize.net, ebay checkout, PCI compliance, etc).

I wanted to use HSBC bank as the main processing bank as my past experience has proved they don't care about my bad credit and they had pretty easy underwriting criteria. I came across Merchantfocus.com today and decided they were a good fit for me.

I wanted one with no setup charges...I cared less about monthly fees than the setup cost at this point.

$10 statement fee + $15 monthly minimum ($685 in sales per month breaks even)
$15 authorize.net fee
Their discount rate was good as it was based on an interchange plus forumula. I paid only .2% + $0.10 on top of interchange rates.

I really, really like vantagecard.com since I have first hand experience for a few years with them (also HSBC) but they wanted $199 setup plus $10/mo statement, $10 gateway fee. Their rates are only plus .1% which in the long run would have been better but I did not want the $199 setup cost.

Anyway--I filled out the application online. It is easiest to get a $60k/yr approval so that's what I filled in. There is no reason to apply for less than that IMHO.
--I have a business entity with separate EIN number although the application made it very clear that it can be done as a sole proprietor and deposit into a personal checking account.
--For the products I simply said "retail general products" and no further questioning was asked.
--I said I was not currently accepting credit cards

The automated email asked me to sign the application and fax it in. It also asked that I send in my utility bill and voided check. I opted out of the "express" identity check as I did not want to specifically authorize a full credit pull. I also voluntarily sent in a copy of my ebay feedback profile (2 pages) showing my 10+ year history on ebay, 500+ feedbacks, and good DSR ratings. The only other thing the underwriter asked for was for a copy of my ID. I don't know if they did a full credit report or not but my past experience with HSBC is that they only pull a soft-credit report which didn't even show up on my credit reports as a soft pull. Basically just an identification check.

The whole process from start to finish was about 2.5 hours. I liked to ebay no problem and did the test verification. Seems to work great although I haven't sold anything using the account yet.

Other notes---it specifies a term contract length in the terms but under the termination it doesn't say a cost to break the contract...only 60 days notice and that you can't pursue another merchant account for 30 days into the notice to terminate. If you do then you're liable for $250 liquidated damages. Vantagecard is very easy, no contract, a better company that I've had a couple years of experience with...but again I didn't want the $199 setup fee.

Just thought I'd post a review. I'm new here and wanted to share a little of what I know to the group. Let me know if you have any questions or if I left anything important out of my review.

Last edited by fdafdafda; 12-29-2010 at 09:41 PM.
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  #2  
Old 12-29-2010
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How long they been around?

What about a reserve or holds?
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Old 12-30-2010
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Part of me wonders if it even matters how long a company has been around since they are going through HSBC bank but that was also important to me to work with even a sales agent company able to effectively push through an application.

Merchantfocus's domain was created in 2005 and they get ~2600 visitors per month to their website. Vantagecard.com has been around since 1996 and gets about double the traffic to their website.

No holds or reserves...all transactions they say will be deposited on the second business day.

I did forget to mention that the application was 100% online, then an email requested that I fax or email in documents, then I was fully approved via email pending a verification phone call (I called in). I was asked only for my DOB, last four of SSN, and a previous address. He then asked if I planned to do all of my transactions through ebay because if I had my own website they would need to verify it (I'm guessing for PCI compliance) once it was up and running. The entire phone call lasted maybe 60 seconds and the account was then fully activated.
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Old 12-30-2010
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Does this service accept people who want to pay with Pa yp al?
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Old 12-30-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fdafdafda View Post

No holds or reserves...all transactions they say will be deposited on the second business day.
I suspect they ran a pretty deep credit check. Must have to let you run cards immediately with no reserve or waiting period up front.
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Old 12-30-2010
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I highly doubt they ran a pretty deep credit check because I have HORRIBLE credit. It's a bit better now (high 500s) than it used to be but HSBC has approved me in the past when my scores were in the 400s.

A few years back I had to apply for at least 3 merchant accounts before I got one to accept me...and this was HSBC so that's why I chose them again. I'm sure it helps though that I have a corporate entity with it's own EIN number.

I've never heard of anyone being required to submit to holds or reserves with a real merchant account. I'm glad you all turned me onto this but I'm curious how it will affect sale conversions on ebay since buyers seem to love PP.

And no---they do not let users pay with paypal because this is a real merchant account with a real bank, not some sort of payment facilitator.

Last edited by fdafdafda; 12-30-2010 at 01:10 PM.
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Old 12-30-2010
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Really. Keep us posted once payments start going through. Interested to see how it plays out.
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Old 01-22-2011
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any word back on this?
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Old 01-25-2011
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The payments are going through extremely well...no problems at all. I still haven't made the decision to turn off paypal and as such most of my payments are still being received by paypal.
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Old 01-26-2011
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What are they doing in terms of protecting themselves? Calling random customers for delivery confirmation? They must be doing something. I cant see them letting you sign up, make sales, scoop out cash right away and not have anything in place.
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Old 01-26-2011
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This account is not stealth...I have experience as a business. And I'm dealing with relatively low volume compared to a HUGE bank like HSBC. I'm sure at some point they will ask to verify a transaction or two but I don't expect it until I push the limits of what my account was approved for.

I'm not dealing with high risk products...and my average transaction price is very low ($35). I'm sure that helps.
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Old 01-26-2011
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Thanks. Ya, I wasnt thinking stealth or high risk products. That wont fly with a real merchant account.

I was just looking over site and like most decent merchant accounts, US based only. Whenever you swing into Canada they always throw you into the high risk category automatically. And they usually just refer you to a high risk setup that are usually crappy
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Old 01-26-2011
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I have heard it is much more difficult to get a merchant account outside of the USA. I know a little bit about high risk merchant accounts but nothing about low-risk Canadian bank accounts. I'll keep it on my radar though and let you know if I come across something.
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Old 01-26-2011
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They basically just throw it into high risk without even a look. I spent days last summer filling out applications for merchant accounts and they all just forward it to another company. Without a look. And the other companies have high fees. Whats the point of a merchant account thats 5.5% plus monthly fees. And even setup fees fees that are $100s. Not paying $100s in setup fees to give them 5.5% percent of my sales. thats absurd

May as well use ccnow for that
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Old 02-08-2011
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Update....I forgot to mention that they have me on a daily discount (which deducts an unknown amount of fees every day from the batch total). I called to get it switched to a monthly pull but they declined and said that it is policy for the first 6 months of all accounts.

I've only processed 3 or 4 transactions so far...still using PP a lot and have not made the decision to turn it off. April 1 I'm thinking...
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Old 02-08-2011
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Do you mean 20% chargeback hold?
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Old 05-23-2011
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As far as i understand topic starter is somehow affiliated with merchantfocus, a friend of mine, usa citizen, with perfect credit, applied for a merchant account, requested 10k monthly limit and was declined, i recommend not to deal with merchantfocus.
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Old 05-23-2011
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Thanks for your post but I flat out don't believe that's the whole story. There was something that triggered the decline. I've had nothing but good things to say about them and I know of at least 4 people that have used them in reply to this post. All got approved without an issue.
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Old 08-07-2011
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Do not deal with merchant focus they shut u down without telling u the reason. they will just say.


- YOUR ACCOUNT WAS TERMINATED AT A REQUEST OF OUR MEMBERS BANK

LOL
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Old 08-07-2011
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Makes me wonder what you did to get a bank that profits off fees to not want to work with you anymore.
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Old 08-10-2011
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My account is still going strong. One chargeback from a buyer not recognizing the charge. MP handled it very professionally. I won but still had to pay the $15 fee.
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