Merchant Account Application Process


Merchant Account Application Process

At OnlineMerchantsHelp, we know that every merchant wants to start accepting credit card payments through their website as soon as possible. However, to get a fast approval and avoid any inconveniences, they definitely need to be well informed about what steps should be taken in order to successfully apply for a merchant account.

By the end of this article, you will be completely informed what documentation and information are needed for a successfully completed merchant account application process with OnlineMerchantsHelp. Regardless if you want to apply for a low risk or high risk merchant account, the application process is the same. It can be divided into three parts: the pre-check stage, know-your-customer stage (KYC) and lastly, the integration stage. Below you can find a detailed description of every stage.


First of all, you will be kindly asked to fill out our express application form (pre-check form), so we will be able to start the assessment of your specific business. Within 1-2 business days, we will be able to narrow down to a few potential acquiring banking partners or payment providers, that will be most suitable for your specific business needs. In case, that our selected bank/payment provider considers you as their potential client, you will get a pro-approval. Once you are pre-approved it doesn’t necessary guarantee you an approval, however it is a great news, as in 99% of all cases it does.


Based on your pre-approval, we will proceed the application process with our selected acquiring banking partner or payment provider. At this stage, you will be kindly asked to fill out our application form and send us some supporting documentation to prove your company existance, ownership and financial situation. Please see below the list of required documents:

1. Certificate of Incorporation
2. Articles/Memorandum of Association
3. Appointment of Directors
4. Shareholder Registry
5. Bank Account Statement
6. Passport/ID Copy
7. Credit Card Processing Statements
8. Conditional Documents
9. Overlying Company Documents

These documents will give an insight of your business structure and thus estimate your possible risk factors. At this point, it will be also determined if any additional documentation will be needed.

Besides that, certain merchants, applying for a high risk merchant account, have even higher responsibilities than just sending the supporting documentation. In some cases, additional registration may be required. For example, tobacco merchants need to register with VISA and MasterCard through their acquiring bank on an annual basis. This registration comes with an extra fee which needs to be paid to VISA/MasterCard and must be renewed every year, or the merchant account will be terminated.


When full approval is given, you will proceed to the final stage. There are several possible options of integration with a payment gateway. All of them have their own peculiarities, which allows you to choose the best option for your business.

The most common one is called Server-to-Server API integration. Your clients enter their credit card information on your website and after submission, their card details are securely sent in the background to the payment gateway server. As your server will be processing sensitive card data, PCI compliance is required (free for our EU based merchants).

The second option is called Hosted Pages. Your clients will fill out the basic order information on your page, for example the shipping address, but when they press the payment button they are redirected to a secure payment page and after back to your “thank you page” on your server. This option is the easiest one, as you don’t need to do anything additional.


Apply today and let our experts find you the most suitable merchant account solution for your specific business for highly competitive pricing.