Merchant Agreements: Terms That Bind

One of the most important and most overlooked pieces of the merchant account puzzle is the merchant agreement. In order to get a merchant account, a merchant must agree to the terms of and sign a merchant agreement. (These terms are usually found on the backs of the pages of the merchant account application in very small gray or black print.) This is a legally binding contract between the merchant and the bank issuing the merchant account. The contract also addresses the merchant’s obligation to agree to the rules and regulations of credit card issuers. One issue here is that merchant agreements are legally binding contracts, so it is essential for you, as a merchant, to know the terms and conditions of your merchant agreement. And if you don’t know the terms and conditions, it may be difficult for you to find someone who can answer your questions. So many companies out there providing merchant accounts are more interested in making a buck than in knowing the business. The problem comes when a merchant deals with a company that does not know the business and can’t answer the merchant’s questions. These companies turn a deaf ear when merchants have problems, because they don’t know how to help them.

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