F.A.Q’s

What is a merchant account and why do I need one?
What’s a processing gateway?
Do I need to buy any equipment?
I already have a terminal. Can I still use it?
How do I accept credit cards online?
How long does it take to get a merchant account?
What are my monthly fees?
What are your rates?
Why do different types of transactions have different rates?
Is there a fee to apply?
How do I apply? What will I need to apply?
Do you charge for setup or activation?
When will I know if I’m approved?
Once I’m approved, how do I actually start accepting credit cards?
Who do I call if I have a question or problem?
Can I use my existing bank account?
How do I set up for Discover and American Express?
Are there toll-free numbers available for authorizations and settlements?
What are those hours?
What is a chargeback?
How can I avoid chargeback fees?
Do I have to wait for my monthly statement to see my transactions?
What’s the difference between online and offline debit?
Is it better to run debit as an online or offline transaction?
What is PCI Compliance?
What happens if I am not PCI Compliant?

What is a merchant account and why do I need one?
If you have a retail, restaurant, mail-order/telephone-order or e-commerce business that wishes to accept credit cards directly as a form of payment, you need a merchant account. A merchant account allows a business to accept credit cards, debit cards, gift cards and other forms of payment cards. The merchant account provider handles the transfer of funds between the customer making a purchase and the merchant providing goods or services. This is also widely known as payment processing or credit card processing. Back to top.

What’s a processing gateway?
A payment gateway is a web-based service that authorizes payments for e-businesses and online retailers as well as brick and mortar businesses.Back to top.

Do I need to buy any equipment?
This depends upon your business type. Many Cocard customers process payments through a virtual terminal, using only a computer and internet connection. If you do need to purchase a Point of Sale system, credit card machines or other equipment, Cocard’s dedicated account managers will work with you to determine your business needs and recommend the best solutions. Back to top.

I already have a terminal. Can I still use it?
If you have existing equipment, we can often reprogram your current terminals so that they can be used with your new processing account. Back to top.

How do I accept credit cards online?
To accept credit cards online, you can process through an online gateway or directly from your website using a shopping cart. Back to top.

How long does it take to get a merchant account?
Most submitted applications are set up within 24 to 72 hours. Back to top.

What are my monthly fees?
CoCard prides itself on honest, straightforward pricing and competitive rates. We assess a Statement Fee and a low monthly minimum; we do not charge our merchants batch fees or annual fees. Back to top.

What are your rates?
CoCard charges extremely competitive rates. If you are currently processing credit cards and would like a complete complimentary rate analysis, we’ll ask you for three months of your current processing statements. Back to top.

Why do different types of transactions have different rates? 
Processing fees vary based on the type of industry, the type of card used and the type of sales transaction – for example, sales conducted over the phone present a higher risk of fraud than in-person transaction, so the rates imposed by the credit card associations are higher. Back to top.

Is there a fee to apply? 
No, CoCard does not charge an application fee. Back to top.

How do I apply? What will I need to apply?
The application process is simple and takes just a few minutes. When you call 800.317.1819, one of our dedicated account managers will ask you for information about your business, including its legal name, tax ID, physical business mailing address; legal owner/principal information; and estimated card transaction information. You’ll then fax in a few pieces of supporting documentation to verify the information you have provided, and in a few days you will be ready to process! Back to top.

Do you charge for setup or activation?
No, CoCard does not charge setup or activation fees. Back to top.

When will I know if I’m approved?
CoCard Merchant Services has a 98% approval rate on merchant accounts, and our goal is to get you accepting credit and debit cards as quickly as possible. Usually, approvals take place within 24-48 hours, but delays can occur if our underwriting department needs more information about a business. Your dedicated account manager will stay in touch with you throughout the application and setup process and will work with you to resolve any issues with your application. Back to top.

Once I’m approved, how do I actually start accepting credit cards?
Getting started is easy! A member of the CoCard support team will walk you through set up and run a test transaction. Back to top.

Who do I call if I have a question or problem?
Call 800.317.1819 at any time to speak to your dedicated account manager. If necessary, we’ll connect you to a member of our expert technical support team. Back to top.

Can I use my existing bank account?
Absolutely. Your funds will be deposited directly into your local business account, allowing you to maintain your current banking relationship. Back to top.

How do I get set up for Discover and American Express?
When you submit your merchant application, let your CoCard account manager know that you’d like to accept American Express and Discover, and we will apply for a merchant ID on your behalf. Back to top.

Are there toll-free numbers available for authorizations and settlements?
What are those hours? 

Yes, toll-free numbers for authorizations and settlements are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Back to top.

What is a chargeback?
Chargebacks occur when a customer disputes a charge on their credit card statement. These are commonly due to unauthorized purchases or dissatisfaction with a product or service. Merchant banks issue chargeback fees to cover the retrieval of information in the dispute; if it is determined that the customer has a valid claim, the customer will be refunded and the merchant’s account will be debited. Back to top.

How can I avoid chargeback fees?
Along with accruing fees, excessive chargebacks may lead to the closure of a merchant account. The best strategy is to avoid them altogether! To prevent chargebacks due to unauthorized purchases, take steps to prevent the use of stolen credit cards. Back to top.

Do I have to wait for my monthly statement to see my transactions?
No, CoCard can access robust reporting features online for real-time transaction histories and other account information. Back to top.

What’s the difference between online and offline debit?
With online debit transactions, customers enter a 4 digit PIN number into a PIN pad at the point of sale. The transaction is routed through the debit network rather than the Visa/MasterCard network, and the funds are immediately debited from the cardholder’s checking account. Merchants who do not have PIN Pads can still process debit cards as off-line debit transactions. Off-line debit does not use a PIN number. Transactions are processed through the Visa/MasterCard network and the funds are debited from the cardholder’s checking account. Back to top.

Is it better to run debit as an online or offline transaction? 
Whether it is more beneficial to run a debit card transaction as an online or an offline debit varies depending on the type of merchant account and on the amount of the ticket. Generally, online debit is more cost-effective with higher ticket amounts; however, the more that ticket amounts climb, the more likely customers are to pay for purchases with their credit cards rather than their debit cards! Also, if merchants have PIN pads out on their counter, more customers will run their cards through using their PINs on low-ticket, higher-cost transactions, negating the benefits of the lower prices on the bigger ticket items. For these reasons, CoCard cautions merchants to think carefully before offering PIN-based debit services. Back to top.

What is PCI Compliance?
PCI Compliance refers to the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standards (DSS) imposed by Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover. This is a mandatory security program from the credit card associations put in place to protect your customers’ account data – and to protect your business from serious security breaches and damages. Back to top.

What happens if I am not PCI Compliant?
PCI compliance is mandatory for every merchant accepting Visa and MasterCard. If you are not PCI-compliant, you will be assessed monthly non-compliance fees. If you happen to experience a data security breach while not complying with the PCI-DSS standards, you would also be subject to additional fines from Visa and MasterCard above and beyond the expenses resulting from the security breach. As a service to our merchants, CoCard partners with a Qualified Security Assessor/Approved Scanning Vendor who will provide quality security assessments at a low cost. Back to top.