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Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I find the documentation?

Documentation for all of the Merchant Partners Online Commerce Suite products is available here.

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What is a credit card merchant account?

To accept credit cards on your web site you will need to obtain an Internet Merchant Account with an acquiring bank. This is an account designed to enable you to accept credit cards over the Internet. Not all banks currently support Internet merchant accounts. Contact your bank to determine if your existing account will allow you to process Internet-based transactions.

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Does your service automatically come with a Merchant Account?

No. A merchant Account is set up separately through a Merchant Bank. Merchant Partners has partnered with Merchant Banks that can provide internet capable Merchant Accounts. Contact Merchant Partners customer service for assistance in applying for a Merchant Account through a Merchant Partners partner.

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Do I need a credit card merchant account to process transactions?

A merchant account is not required to process electronic checks. However, if you would like to process credit cards, an Internet capable merchant account is required. Merchant Partners is not a credit card merchant account provider. However, we can help facilitate the process of obtaining account if you need one through one of our merchant bank partners

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How do I get a Merchant Account?

For a new merchant account, please contact us for information about our merchant banking partners. We have partnered with banks that specialize in setting up new merchant accounts with very competitive pricing.

If you have an existing merchant account or would like to use the bank of your choice, Merchant Partners can integrate with most Internet ready merchant accounts that use one of our compatible authorizing networks.

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What's the difference between my merchant bank, an authorizing network, and Merchant Partners?

The merchant bank that issues you a Merchant Credit Card Account contracts with a processor to handle credit card processing for it. The Merchant Partners payment gateway provides a "bridge" between the merchant's website (using a secure Internet connection from the merchant's website to Merchant Partners) and the processor (using leased lines from Merchant Partners to the processor).

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Why do I need Merchant Partners if I have a merchant account?

Merchant Partners allows you to use your merchant account and process live, secure credit card transactions over the Internet. Merchant Partners becomes your 'card swiping machine' over the Internet allowing you to accept credit card orders 7 days a week, 24 hours a day without the need of human intervention and with an entire back office environment to run your business.

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Can I use my existing merchant account and process my credit cards through Merchant Partners.

Yes, if the bank your merchant account supports Internet transactions and uses an authorizing network that Merchant Partners is integrated with.

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Should I offer both Electronic Checks and Credit Card transactions as payment methods for my customers?

Offering your customers a choice in payment method greatly increases your market potential. Studies show that for purchases over $25, almost half of all consumers prefer to pay by check with only 18 percent preferring credit cards. Over 90 percent of consumers have checkbooks, and write over 30 billion checks every year. On the commercial side, about 15 billion checks are written business-to-business with an additional 10 billion checks written business-to-an individual.

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Can I process with Merchant Partners if I am not a U.S. business?

You must have a US business address and a US bank account to process with Merchant Partners.

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Is Merchant Partners a Bank?

No. Merchant Partners is a transaction processing company. Through the Merchant Partners Online Commerce Suite, an Internet merchant can process both Credit card and Electronic Check (ACH) transactions.

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Where are my transaction funds deposited?

The funds from your ACH transactions are deposited into the checking account that Merchant Partners has on file, from the voided check that was submitted with your contract.

The funds from you credit card transaction are deposited into the account that is associated with your merchant account bank.

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Can I view a report of fees charged against my account by Merchant Partners?

Your fee invoices are available online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Simply login to Online Merchant Center and select the Invoices/Fee Report under the Accounting menu in the left-hand frame.

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How long does it take to receive funds after my transactions are submitted?

The amount of time it takes to receive credit card funds depends on your credit card merchant bank. Typically the time is 48 hours, but you will need to ask them directly regarding when to expect your funds.

The amount of time it takes to receive ACH (Online Check) transactions into your checking account is 8 banking days. On the eighth banking day you should see a settlement notification in the Online Merchant Center menu titled Online Check Settlements.

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Can I sign up with Merchant Partners online?

Yes, click here to get started:

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How will I know when the setup of my account is complete?

Once your account has been completed, you will receive notification via email.

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How do I log into the Online Merchant Center?

Go to https://www4.atsbank.com/admin/login.taf

Fill in the following fields: Acct Id, User Id, and Password.

This information is sent via email during the setup process.

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How long does it take to integrate the Merchant Partners Online Commerce Suite into my website?

If you have a merchant account that is Internet ready, your Merchant Partners account can be activated with one to three business days. The actual time required to begin processing transactions from your web site depends on the integration method you select and the technical expertise of your staff.

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What are Merchant Partners Online Checks™?

Merchant Partners Online Checks™ provide your customers with the convenience of making online purchases by debiting their personal checking accounts. A customer simply fills in a form at your website with bank information printed at the bottom of his or her personal check. The information is processed as an Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) to the customer's account via the Automated Clearinghouse (ACH) payment system. This is the same system used by the Federal Government to distribute pension, insurance, retirement payments and to collect taxes.

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Which credit cards will I be able to accept?

Merchant Partners Online Commerce Suite can process VISA, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, Diners Club and JCB. Contact your Merchant Bank to determine which of these cards you are approved to process.

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How do I process AMEX transactions?

In order to process American Express credit cards, you need to apply with American Express for an American Express Merchant account. Your Merchant Bank can assist you with this process. Once the account is approved, you must provide the information to your Merchant Bank that processes your MasterCard and VISA transactions. After this is confirmed, the final step is to login to Online Merchant Center, open the Acct Edit/Delete menu, and select the payment option AMEX.

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How do I process Discover transactions?

In order to process Discover credit cards, you need to apply with Discover for a Discover Merchant account. Once the account is approved, you must provide the information to your Merchant Bank that processes your MasterCard and VISA transactions. After this is confirmed, the final step is to login to Online Merchant Center, open the Acct Edit/Delete menu, and select the payment option Discover.

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Can I verify credit cards by telephone?

Yes. Merchant Partners IVR Pay By Phone service allows you to process credit card or electronic check payments via any cell phone or telephone. You simply call an 800 number and process the payments by following the instructions over the phone.

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What is the Recurring system?

The Recurring System in the Online Commerce Suite enables you to automatically rebill your customers' credit card or checking account on a scheduled basis (i.e. weekly, monthly, quarterly, etc.). Recurring billing can be configured via the Online Merchant Center Virtual Terminal, or one of the other integration methods. Refer to the Online Documentation for information on how to submit recurring transactions.

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What is the Membership system?

The Membership System in the Online Commerce Suite enables you to establish and manage a membership site to manage password-protected web sites and recurring billing. The Membership system requires no additional third-party software if your server runs on a UNIX-based platform. Merchant Partners Technical Support remotely installs and tests the software scripts on your Merchant e-Commerce server. During setup, Technical Support configures the user interface, checks paths, sets up templates and sends links to you for Sign Up pages. The membership system allows you to easily create unlimited subscription profiles for the different price and duration combinations you intend to offer, including free credit card signups. You can configure how many times to retry declined recurring transactions, download your member database to your PC and even generate retention reports. If your Web site is hosted on a Windows NT/2000 server running IIS Web Server, you will need additional third party software to interface with the Online Commerce Suite Membership System. For details, contact Customer Service.

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What do I need to do to cancel my account?

In order to cancel your account, Merchant Partners requires that a 30-day written notice be submitted via fax or US mail. On the cancellation notice please verify the purpose of the account cancellation, along with the company name, 5 digit Account ID, signature of the primary contact on record, and an email address to which a confirmation can be sent. Please do not assume your account is cancelled until you receive confirmation via email.

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My website will be down for a while. Do I still have to pay Merchant Partners a monthly service fee?

You have the choice to put your account on a temporary deactivation. During this time your account will be temporarily deactivated, you will not incur any fees. With the temporary deactivation you have 6 (six) months to reactivate the account for the fee of $50.00. If you choose to reactivate the account after 6 months, you would be required to pay whatever the current setup fee for new accounts is.

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What length of time can a consumer "charge back" an ACH transaction after it has been submitted?

In the ACH industry a "charge back" is called a "Return." ACH rules allow a consumer 60 calendar days (includes weekends and Holidays) to contest a transaction.

The 60 days start the day after the money is withdrawn from the consumer's account. This could be up to 4 business-banking days after the original transaction.

After the 60 days, it may take up to 4 business banking days for the return to be received by Merchant Partners. The merchant is informed of the return the same day Merchant Partners receives it. If the bank has trouble identifying the return, it may be a couple of weeks before Merchant Partners receives it and informs the merchant.

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How secure is my transaction information?

The Online Merchant Center system protects consumer payment information while in transit over the Internet. Security mechanisms use mathematical algorithms to encrypt data before it is sent and decrypt the data as it is received. The Online Commerce Suite uses RSA or Triple DES for secured network transactions. For more detailed information refer to the Online Commerce Suite Integration Guide documentation.

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Which Credit Card Processors is Merchant Partners compatible with?

Merchant Partners processes through the following credit card authorizing networks:

  • Vital
  • FDC-Nashville
  • Digital Courier
  • FDR-7
  • Mapp (GlobalPayments Central)
  • Paymentech-Tampa
  • Echo
  • Nova
  • Network1

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What information is required to configure my authorizing network?

  • Mapp (Globalpayments Central):
    • *Merchant Account Number: This may vary in the number of digits
    • *TID: Will always contain a two-digit prefix, usually EA. 13 digits
    • *Name of the merchant account provider and phone number
  • Network1:
    • *EFT Secure M_Key: 12 digits
    • *EFT Secure M_ID: 12 digits
    • *Merchant ID: 16 digits
    • *Terminal ID or V Number: 8 digits
  • Vital:
    • Merchant Name
    • Acquirer Bin: 6 digits
    • Phone Number: The merchant's customer service phone number
    • Merchant Number: 12 digits
    • Terminal Number: 4 digits
    • Merchant Location: Merchant's City
    • Merchant State: Merchant's State
    • Merchant Category Code: 4 digits
    • Merchant Location Number: 5 digits
    • Agent Number: 6 digits
    • Chain Number: 6 digits
    • Store Number: 4 digits
    • Terminal ID Number/V Number: 8 digits
    • City Code: Merchant's Zip Code
    • Name of the merchant account provider and phone number
  • Digital Courier:
    • VID: 6 digits
    • Password: 8 digits
    • Paymentech Tampa:
    • Client #: 4 digits
    • Mid: 12 digits
    • Tid: 3 digits
    • Merchant account provider (bank name) and phone number.
  • Nova:
    • *BIN: 6 digits
    • *Merchant ID: 16 digits
    • *Terminal ID: 16 digits
  • Echo:
    • Terminal ID: 10 digits
    • Name of the merchant account provider and its phone number.
  • FDR-7 (FirstData Omaha):
    • Merchant account number assigned by the issuing bank. The number varies between 14-16 digits.
  • FDC Nashville:
    • *Merchant ID: 16 digits
    • *Terminal ID: 16 digits

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How do I process a voice authorization?

Login to the Online Merchant Center and scroll down to the Virtual Terminal in the left-hand frame. Select the Process Online Charge screen. Enter the transaction information and select the Voice Auth Capture radio button. Enter the authorization code and submit the transaction.

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I don't have access any of the menus on the left-hand frame. It says I need to contact my administrator for access.

If you're using Internet Explorer, please do the following:

  • Select Tools
  • Click on Internet Options
  • Under Temporary Internet Files, select Delete Files.
  • Next box will prompt you to select, Delete all offline content, and select OK.
  • You will be taken back to the Internet Options box, select OK.
  • If you're using Netscape Navigator, please do the following:
  • Click on Edit
  • Select Preferences
  • Under Category files, select Advanced
  • Next select on Cache
  • Select Clear Memory Cache
  • After you have cleared the Memory Cache, select Clear Disk Cache
  • Now select OK.

After following these instructions you should be able to access all the Menus in Online Merchant Center.

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What is AVS?

Address Verification System (AVS) matches the known address information on file at the cardholders issuing bank’s AVS database against the billing address information provided by the consumer/merchant.

If the information does not match, the transaction is declined. Transactions declined due to non-match of AVS are still pre-authorized (reserved/hold amount that will decrease the consumers limit) by the credit card network, but the sale amount will not be charged to the credit card holder's account and will not be deposited to your bank account.

Merchants have the option of selecting the level of match required for an approved transaction. Refer to the FRISK™ section of the Online Documentation for more information regarding configuring AVS options.

The service only applies to credit card transactions.

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Do you provide a shopping cart?

Yes, a basic shopping cart is included in the Online Commerce Suite. A full-featured shopping cart is also available for merchants that require more advanced shopping cart capabilities. Contact Customer Service for details.

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How long does it take for a transaction to take place?

Transactions submitted to the Online Commerce Suite payment gateway engine are processed in real time, and take approximately 1-3 seconds to return a response.

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"Merchant Partners Payment Gateway Solutions have allowed us to integrate payment processing solutions directly into our applications simplifying credit card processing for our customers."

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