What is a credit card acceptance agreement?
Online stores that want to enable their customers to pay by credit card require a credit card acceptance agreement. This is comparable to a credit agreement. It is not concluded with the credit card issuing company, but with a credit card bank, so-called acquirer. This service provider handles the payment of the purchase sum on behalf of the merchant with the customer. This can be an e-commerce merchant or a provider of digital content such as downloads, games, memberships or singles exchanges. When a credit card acceptance contract is concluded, the online merchant receives a so-called contract partner number. This number is required by the payment service provider, which handles the technical connection of the online store to the payment gateway of the credit card companies.
Credit card acceptance agreement – requirements
A credit card acceptance agreement is comparable to a home loan agreement in terms of its importance and risk. Accordingly, the criteria applied by an issuing credit card bank when granting it are strict. It is therefore recommended to be well prepared for the interview with the acquirer. For a credit card acceptance contract, only companies that have been on the market for at least six months – whether off- or online – and can show a positive balance sheet or a positive business evaluation are accepted. In addition, acquirers require a convincing presentation of the business model and ordering process before signing. In some cases, banks even conduct an on-site audit.
Costs of a credit card acceptance agreement
With an appropriate offer, an average of 30 percent of an online store’s business turnover is generated via credit card payments. For its services under the credit card acceptance agreement, the acquirer charges corresponding fees, which can vary significantly depending on the provider. The costs include a basic fee, discount, fees for refunds and chargebacks, and charges per transaction. The level of costs depends on the business model, the disbursement frequency and the average transaction amounts or volumes. It is therefore worthwhile to review the terms and conditions of your own credit card acceptance agreement from time to time. Even small changes, such as in the discount rate, can result in significant savings.
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