How do I apply for my merchant account?

Enter your information on the “apply today” form. You will receive a quick response to your query.

Will I be charged startup fees to open my account?

You will not be charged a startup or application fee. There are also no charges for those that already have software, machines or a gateway that can be used to accept transactions. Those setting up a new account or need help replacing their equipment will be charged for these items. In most cases your current equipment will be compatible with our program, but you can contact us if you have questions about which credit card machines are compatible.

Can I use my own terminal/gateway if I already have them?

If your equipment is still PCI compliant you will likely be able to reprogram it, to use with it.

What are the pay rates for my account?

There are over 200 rates for MasterCard and Visa alone. The rate you will pay varies, based on the type of card that your machine accepts, the industry your merchant is in and how the transaction was completed. Our clients have unique needs. You can talk to one of our representatives when you fill out your sales inquiry form, to get a personalized quote on our services.

When will by transactions get funded?

In most cases we can fund your transaction within 48 hours, but for an additional $6 a month we offer guarantee 24 hour funding.

Can I be approved as a low credit or new merchant?

We have several options available to merchants with less-than-stellar credit or in high-risk industries. Our representatives are skilled at navigating the processes to get you approved.

Will I be trained to use the software/POS/gateway/terminal?

We provide full training when we install our service. You can do this over the phone, but those in the San Diego area can choose to have a rep visit them for training.

How long should it take to set up my merchant account?

There are a variety of factors in play so we cannot commit to a ‘one-size-fits-all’ turn around, but in most cases it takes 2-3 days after your application has been completed.

How do I review my account information?

You can find your account information both on your monthly paper statement and online. You will be able to access your portal to monitor transactions at any time, 24/7.

When should I let my current processor know I am closing my account?

You should wait until your account has been approved and the setup is complete before closing your previous account, to ensure there is no downtime in your payment processing.

What are interchange fees?

Interchange refers the hard costs set by credit card companies to accept transactions. These are non-negotiable costs and need to be paid by all merchants that accept these cards.

What is the difference between signature and PIN-based debit?

PIN-based debit refers to PIN debit, where customers enter their PIN number to complete a transaction. This will draw money from their bank account to cover the payment. Signature debit is a transaction that takes place without the customer entering their PIN, which functions like a credit transaction. In this case the money is not drawn from the customer’s account immediately: the transaction gets funded, after a set amount of time.

What is PCI compliance?

PCI refers to the payment card industry compliance. This is a fee that all merchants must pay to ensure that they are meeting set security standards for the industry. All Southwest Merchant Services clients are PCI compliant. Compliance is only $7.50 per month.