How do I apply for a merchant account with a bank and what is the procedure ?
In order to use the Total Web Solutions Payment Gateway you will need to have or be able to obtain a Merchant Account. If you do not already have one we will be able to forward your application to one of the acquiring banks we work with so that they can contact you to provide a quote. Please complete our online application form by click the "Apply Now" link which is located in the menu bar.
Do I need a bank account to use the EcomMerchant service with Total Web Solutions ?
It will be necessary for you to have a bank account for us to pay your transaction payments into. Without an account the funds would not be able to be credited to you. In most cases this will need to be a UK Business bank account.
If I want to take online card payments on my web site in one currency but have it paid into an account of another currency would this be possible?
Yes, this is possible for currency transactions. You may have a Pound Sterling Bank account yet your customer base wants to pay in Japanese Yen. This is possible by setting up a Sterling to Yen Merchant number with the Bank. Total Web Solutions supports some many currencies with the option for more through agreed testing with the banks. We will always investigate currency requests by our customers.
I already have a merchant account for processing cards in my shop, so why do I need another merchant account ?
Your account will be for retail or a customer present merchant account. There are different types of merchant account depending on how you take your payments. In this case you require an Internet Merchant Account (for Internet transactions) or a MOTO Account (for Mail Order/Telephone Order transactions) which will allow you to process cards through a registered and PCI compliant Payment Gateway like Total Web Solutions.
How long will it take to set-up an Merchant account with the bank?
This depends on which bank you have decided to set-up a merchant account with. Typically this should take two to four weeks however this could take longer depending on how quickly you can provide any necessary documentation so please take this into consideration in your project time scales. Typically, the quicker you respond to the banks quotation the quicker the account can be activated.
Once I have a merchant account where do I go from here ?
Once Total Web Solutions is in receipt of your merchant number (if you receive your merchant number direct from the bank it is wise to forward this to Total Web Solutions as soon as possible) they can setup your EcomMerchant account. A test EcomMerchant account will be setup to enable you to test your account prior to enabling your account on the live system. A test script is provided to each customer and once Total Web Solutions is satisfied that you are processing credit cards correctly it will switch you over to the live system. Documentation is provided to facilitate the testing and integration of the service with your web site. For MOTO accounts no testing is necessary as all transactions are carried out through a virtual terminal in your provided EcomMerchant control panel.
How will I know how many credit cards and what amounts my site has processed during a trading day ?
The EcomMerchant account comes with an extensive control panel that allows you to produce End Of Day Reports for all transactions and should allow you to perform other functions also including card refunds. Many features are available through the control panel including Anti-fraud, statistics, Pay Page look and Feel, account security and many many more.
How long does it take to pay funds into my account after a credit card payment has been processed ?
This largely depends on the terms agreed with your acquiring bank for the Merchant Account. Typically it takes one to three working days. In the unlikely event of any problem, missed transactions get batched in the following day so you will always get your funds deposited to your account. All transactions are reconciled daily for each EcomMerchant account.
What happens if your system is not working and is unable to process cards for whatever reason. Do you have any form of backup system or mechanism to ensure my site can still process card transactions ?
We have various mechanisms in place to protect us from such an event. We have an identical backup system in place that can be activated within seconds of a major server failure. Our Card Processing System comprises of multiple servers and network devices and we have at least two of everything running at all times to ensure reliable and available service. Often the customer who is making the purchase will not be aware there has been a problem.
How secure is your network and servers as I have heard that credit card databases have been hacked on the Internet and I would not want my customers card details being exposed by purchasing products through my site ?
We take security very seriously. So much so that we are now externally audited by VISA and MASTERCARD to ensure our security meets their requirements plus some of Total Web Solutions own. We currently have redundantly deployed firewall and intrusion detection systems in place along with the secure storage of credit card data by storing in an encrypted format. Total Web Solutions is a PCI Level 1 Certified payment service provider and was one of the first accredited Companies in the world for this standard. We have worked with a number of security consultants to ensure our systems are as secure as possible and endeavour to introduce new features where practical to maintain the high levels of security our customers expect.
What cards will my EcomMerchant account accept when I go live with the service and is it possible to accept other cards ?
The EcomMerchant account supports VISA, VISA DEBIT, MASTERCARD, MASTERCARD DEBIT, JCB, MAESTRO by default. We can also support both American Express and Diners Club but these have to be applied for separately either via the acquiring bank or directly. Adding further card types is subject to acceptance and testing with the acquiring bank.
I am concerned that I may be subject to fraud on the Internet as I have heard that security is not very good on the Internet. What protections are in place to prevent fraud and stop us from getting charge backs
from the acquiring bank ?
At Total Web Solutions we specialise in providing services that work and work well for our customers. Part of the service we provide to our customers using the EcomMerchant facility is the provision of an Anti-fraud feature in your control panel. This Anti-fraud allows you to perform up to 15 unique checks against possible fraud with some of those checks configurable by the customer. Features such as which countries to accept card transactions from, what level of security you would like purchasers to experience when making a payment to you. These features are all explained within the control panel to facilitate its use. This feature is also provided free of charge to EcomMerchant customers.
I know that as a Payment Gateway you will charge a transaction fee for each transaction I put through but are there any other charges I should be aware of ?
Firstly, when you use Total Web Solutions we aim to provide a cost effective payment processing solution to you the merchant. With this in mind we charge No Setup Fee and provide 500 transactions free of charge for a low monthly fee. Total Web Solutions are confident that we provide one of the most cost effective payment services in the UK with no compromise on service or security. With EcomMerchant accounts each transaction above the initial threshold is chargeable and Total Web Solutions will bill for these transactions monthly in arrears. As well as this transaction charge the aquiring bank will also charge you for processing cards and their transaction charges will be quoted directly at the Merchant Account application stage. The majority of our customers are charged less than 2% for Credit Cards and less than 1% for Debit Cards (subject to approval - Business card rates may be higher). Please take both the Total Web Solutions charges and the bank charges into consideration when determining your products/services prices on your web site as these cannot be passed on separately to the end customer by law.
Is there any set-up charges with Total Web Solutions or the bank when applying for a merchant account ?
There are no setup charges from Total Web Solutions but we do require the first 12 months of service in advance as detailed in our terms. The acquiring banks do typically charge a setup fee if you approach them directly. However, when you apply via ourselves we will generally be able to get this waivered for you due to our partnerships and buying power. Full rates and terms would be quoted directly by the acquiring bank once you have started an application with us
Are there any other charges I should be aware of when setting up a Merchant Account ?
Please see the link to Services and Price
to understand all charges. For low volume customers an EcomMerchant account can cost as little as £25+VAT per month which I am sure you will agree is very reasonable indeed, especially when you get so many services included in the price.
Why do I need to use Total Web Solutions, can I not just go direct to a bank ?
We have agreements in place with several UK banks to provide payment services to our customers. These services are based on the bank providing us with favourable rates so that we can pass those onto our customers. Customers would not be able to realise those rates if they had gone directly to the bank.
What is PCI accreditation and do I need to be PCI Accredited ?
PCI stands for Payment Card Industry and is a standard born out of the card schemes (such as Visa) requirement to make payment services more secure. Total Web Solutions is a level 1 PCI accredited company which is the highest level accreditation. We have become accredited so you do not have to and by using our Pay Page mechanism card details are seamlessly taken on our secure system which has been rigorously tested to the highest standards in security.
There are scenarios where accreditation is required for a customer but this is usually at a much lower level (Level 4) whereby basic security principles must be upheld. Your bank will usually contact you about this to ensure your compliance in this regards.
Does Total Web Solutions benefit financially from providing acquiring services for
certain acquirers ?
Total Web Solutions are remunerated by Acquiring banks such as BarclayCard for successful introductions that result in the Acquirer providing merchant acquiring or gateway solutions to a merchant.