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Look here first for the answers to the most frequently asked questions we receive at Total Merchant Services.
General FAQs
  1. What is a merchant account?
  2. What is an acquiring bank?
  3. How do I apply for a merchant account and a payment gateway?
  4. What credit cards will I be able to accept?
  5. What is the discount rate?
  6. What is a "per transaction" fee?
  7. What is a charge back?
  8. How often will I receive funds from Total Merchant Services?
  9. What type of equipment do I need to accept credit cards?
  10. What makes Total Merchant Services different from other payment processing services?

Internet Related FAQs
  1. Why do I need a separate account for orders I accept over the phone, fax, mail or Internet?
  2. What is a payment gateway?
  3. Do I need to have SSL on my web site?

What is a merchant account?
A merchant account is a special account that allows your business to accept credit cards as payment in person, over the telephone, by mail order, or over the Internet. You must have a merchant account if you want to be able to accept credit cards from your customers.

What is an acquiring bank?
An acquiring bank is the bank that holds your credit card merchant account. It is also the bank that transfers funds from your merchant account into your local bank account.

How do I apply for a merchant account and a payment gateway?
It's easy to establish a merchant account with Total Merchant Services. You can submit an application online, by fax, or by meeting with a sales representative at your business location. Your application will be approved almost immediately, your account will be activated, and, if you're buying or leasing new credit card processing software or terminal equipment, it will arrive in just days.

What credit cards will I be able to accept?
You'll be able to accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express and Diners Club/Carte Blanche. In addition, you'll be able to accept debit cards that carry a Visa or MasterCard logo, purchase cards, and online checks.

What is the discount rate?
The discount rate is one of the processing fees charged to your merchant account. It is a percentage of your gross sales.

What is the "per transaction" fee?
The "per transaction fee" is a nominal charge for processing each transaction through your merchant acccount service.

What is a charge back?
Charge backs occur when a credit cardholder informs the credit card company that the charge was not authorized, or that goods or services were not delivered as promised. Total Merchant Services along with its credit card processors use a sate-of-the-art fraud screening system to help protect you from fraudulent charges. If a customer claims that you did not deliver the goods or services for which they paid, you'll have seven days to provide evidence that the goods or services were received before the cardholder's account will be credited.

How often will I receive funds from Total Merchant Services?
Total Merchant Services will transfer funds from your merchant account to any checking account you designate on a daily basis.

What type of equipment do I need to accept credit cards?
If you have a retail storefront, restaurant, hotel, or service business you can use either a hard-wired or wireless point-of-sale (POS) credit card terminal or a personal computer equipped with credit card processing software. If you have an Internet business, or a telephone order or mail order business, you can use a virtual terminal. With a virtual terminal, you do not need to load any software onto your computer. Since this is Internet-Based software, you simply need access to the internet. Other options includes using credit card processing software. This is software that you load onto your computer. Authorizations are obtained by dialing into the credit card processor with your computer modem. Or, you can hand enter (key in) data into a point of sales (POS) credit card terminal.

Why is Total Merchant Services the best choice to be my merchant account provider?
Total Merchant Services provides competitive rates, world class customer services, and fast and easy enrollment.
  • World Class Customer Service - Total Merchant Services provides customer service via telephone 24 hours per day, seven days a week. Our representatives will help you with questions about transfers of money into your designated checking account, monthly statements, chargeback and retrieval requests, and other issues that face merchant account holders every day.
  • Fast & Easy Enrollment - If you meet our liberal approval guidelines, your application can be approved quickly and simply. In most cases, we can tell you in minutes if your application will be approved, and can complete the entire process in a matter of days. Applying for an account is easy with our online application. Just complete the application online, print it out, sign it and fax it in. There's no need for original signatures and no expensive overnight deliveries. If you prefer, you can apply in person or over the phone with one of our sales representatives.


1336 El Camino Real, Suite 152 ● Millbrae, CA 94030  ● Tel. 1- 800-713-9781  ● Fax: 1- 650-745-1216