FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONSHome / Services / FAQ's
How is Metro Merchant Services different from its competition?
At Metro Merchant Services, our primary focus is always our customer. When our customers are successful, we’re successful. As your one-stop shop for products and services, we want to surpass your expectations. We offer the best value in the business by combining our responsive customer service with reliable systems, competitive interchange rates, powerful products, comprehensive fraud and chargeback management systems, and flexible data delivery options. No matter what your industry, we have a solution that fits.
What is the difference between Metro Merchant Services and a bank?
It is no secret that banks handle billions of financial transactions for the world each and every day. However, what many merchants don’t realize is that the merchant services products and services that many banks offer are actually not their own. So, if the banks don’t control this then who does provide these financial services? The world’s largest payment processor, First Data, has partnered with millions of financial institutions and Independent Sales Offices (ISO’s) to provide these services to merchants across the globe. The difference is that a merchant account with an Independent Sales Office (ISO), such as Metro Merchant Services, offers a comprehensive list of benefits that generally cannot be found with a bank.
What are the benefits of choosing Metro Merchant Services over a Bank?
Banks are generally given a ‘cookie cutter” program that they offer their customers so it’s more like a “one size fits all” package. Whereas with Metro, we look at all the various factors involved with how each merchant processes transactions and types of clientele in order to make sure that you are qualifying for the lowest possible costs for those transactions. Metro Merchant Services is generally much more cost effective than bank merchant services programs. With Metro, there are no application fees or start up fees. In addition, Metro prides itself in its personalized payment processing solutions. When you call us toll free, you are immediately connected to a real live, friendly customer service representative at our corporate office. In contrast, banks generally send all calls directly to an off shore call center run by the payment processor, not the bank! Each bank may have a different contact number for merchant services, yet all these calls get directed to the processor’s “help desk”. Think you can stop in your local bank and have a talk about merchant services? Good luck! Since banks don’t generally control their merchant services, the branch representatives have no idea about the merchant services industry and if they do know some, it is certainly not their specialty. With Metro Merchant Services, you get a team of live, local, and experienced payment processing professionals. To be honest, we could go on and on about the downside of choosing a bank over Metro Merchant Services but we don’t have the space. If you’d like to learn more, please contact us at 800-771-3719 and have a chat with one of our specialists. We guarantee you’ll see the difference within the first few moments of keying in our number!
How do I establish a retail or traditional direct marketing merchant account?
There are several ways to open an account with Metro Merchant Services. For both retail and direct marketing accounts you can fill out our online request form and a sales representative will contact you. Our trained experts will listen to your needs and recommend solutions to help you surpass your business objectives. It’s as easy as that.
What are the costs for your processing and other services?
Because each of our customers has unique needs, our processing services are customized according to the specifics of their business. Pricing is based on factors such as type of industry, method in which payments are accepted, card types accepted and a number of other variables. To receive a personalized pricing quote from one of our helpful representatives, please contact us at 800-771-3719.
I want to begin accepting payments with credit cards. What kind of hardware do I need?
Many factors determine the kind of hardware you will need, including: type of merchant account you want to establish (e.g., ecommerce, retail or direct market), the type of industry you’re in, how many transactions you have a day, type of transactions you’ll be processing, how many locations your business has, etc. Once we have all of this information, we will be better able to advise you on the type of equipment you’ll need to be able to process credit cards. To get started, simply give us a call at 800-771-3719 and we’ll help you evaluate your options.
I already have a credit card terminal; can I just reprogram it to work with Metro?
In many cases, you may be able to use the equipment you already own. To find out, simply give us a call and we’ll work together toward a solution.
As a merchant, what types of credit cards can I accept?
Most merchant terminals support MasterCard, Visa, American Express, Discover, Diners Club/Carte Blanche and JCB cards. Although we can support all credit card types, we only have the ability to process settlement (payment to merchants) for MasterCard, Visa, DC/CB, Discover and JCB. When processing occurs, each transaction must be authorized, the data must be captured and settlement/payment made back to the merchant.
I want to start conducting transactions over the Internet. Do I need to set up a new account or can I just use my existing account?
If you already have a merchant account, a separate merchant outlet number will be provided for your online store. Please contact us to add your additional account. We can provide you with chain reporting so you can have both a separate and consolidated view of your company’s credit card processing activity.
How long does it take to set up a merchant account?
The time it takes to establish a merchant account depends on several factors including: completeness of the application submitted, accuracy of the information provided and any required additional paperwork. After your application has been approved, it usually takes just a few days to establish the actual account and to arrange for any required training.
Will my merchant account be approved with a processing limit?
Merchant accounts are approved based on actual or projected dollar volume. The processors monitors account activity and reserve the right to review accounts at any time should volume be significantly above or below the level represented on the merchant application.
Why does Metro’s Processor need to review my credit information?
When you apply for a merchant account, you are essentially applying for an unsecured line of credit. When a transaction takes place, the cardholder is debited and the merchant is credited for the amount of the transaction. The cardholder still has chargeback rights and can dispute the transaction for up to 90 days. When a cardholder initiates a chargeback with a valid reason code, the funds are automatically taken from the merchant’s account and credited back to the cardholder. The Processor wants to ensure that each potential merchant is financially sound, has a viable business and is operating in good faith and standing, so these disputes can be resolved with the merchant.
How do I receive payment for the transactions I submit to the Processor?
Using Automated Clearing House (ACH), the Processor will remit funds due for your MasterCard, Visa, Diners Card/Carte Blanche and JCB transactions to your business bank account. When/if you establish a service agreement with American Express and/or Discover, these issuers will obtain your banking information and pay funds to your bank account.
How can I view my account information?
Metro Merchant Services offers several online and offline tools to access information about your merchant account. With these tools you can view, download and import account information such as transaction activity, deposits, funding, chargebacks, retrievals and statement information.
When should I inform my current payment processor that I will be closing my account?
You should wait until your account is set up to process your transactions through Metro’s processor. Once you’re ready to process with us, you can inform your previous provider.
Can a merchant outside the U.S. apply for a merchant account with Metro?
No, only merchants with a legal presence in the US or Canada (direct response only) can be accepted for merchant services. However, if a US or Canadian merchant has international locations, we can provide international currency support for that merchant.
What kind of training do you provide?
We provide various training for our customers. We provide initial telephone training and continuing education for our merchants. You’ll also receive training guides and user manuals to help you become acquainted with Metro’s products and services. In addition to initial training, we’ll also provide you updates on industry-related rule and regulatory changes.
What is check verification? Do I need it?
Check verification is a service that provides merchants with varying degrees of insurance against bad check losses by verifying the authenticity of each check and/or its presenter. Checks are verified through a national database gathered from retailers who upload bad check information. While check verification service is not required, this service does help keep your business losses to a minimum.
What are interchange fees?
Interchange fees are transaction-related costs that the processor pays to the issuer of the card as compensation. These fees are established by MasterCard and Visa and are based upon how a transaction takes place and in what type of industry.
What are debit cards?
Debit cards at the point of sale are an alternative payment method. When goods or services are purchased with an ATM Debit Card, the funds are removed from the customer’s checking account. In addition to the standard ATM cards, many banks also issue the Visa Check Card and/or MasterCard’s Master Money Card – both of which can be used in either an online or offline debit arena.
What is the difference between online debit and offline debit?
The difference between these two debit choices is whether a PIN (personal identification number) is used at the point of sale. When a PIN is used the transaction becomes “online” and funds are immediately withdrawn from the cardholder’s available funds. When an offline debit transaction occurs, funds are not withdrawn until the transaction processes – usually 2-4 days after the sale. Debit card transactions are the fastest growing point-of-sale payment method today. The acceptance of this payment method continues to remain popular because customers and merchants both appreciate the convenience and ease of using debit cards to purchase merchandise and services.
What are commercial cards?
Commercial cards – corporate, business, purchasing – are issued to businesses as an alternative way of financing expenses such as supplies, T&E, etc. (often replacing purchase orders). These cards also provide users with specific reporting advantages. By using a commercial card, cardholders get itemized records of all their purchases, which simplify reimbursement procedures and helps track expenses. This specialized reporting is possible because specific data is captured at the point of sale. MasterCard and Visa each provide issuers with the ability to issue commercial card products.
What is a private label card?
A private label card is a credit card issued under the name of a particular merchant organization. Merchants offer it as an incentive for cardholders to spend money at their businesses. Cardholders receive benefits (special discounts, deferred payment schedules, frequency points, etc.) for using the private label card instead of Visa, MasterCard or American Express. Private label cards carry the insignia of the merchant issuing the card.
What is a stored value program?
A stored value program allows you to offer your customers a proprietary card pre-loaded with value for future purchases. Although there are many different applications for stored value cards (Gift Card, Merchandise Return, Pre-pay), they all share some common components:
Magnetic Stripe Cards – The merchant gives a consumer an electronic stored value card in exchange for some kind of pre-payment. Typically, the card includes a magnetic stripe, the merchant’s name or logo and an account number.
Transaction Processing – The merchant can process stored value transactions from the point of sale. These transactions are delivered to the processor’s authorization system for processing in real-time, which is where account balances are maintained for all cards.
Merchant Reporting – You will receive reporting that provides information about the transactions processed during a period of time and the outstanding balances of your customers.
What is Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT)?
EBT is the automation of cash or cash-like benefits through electronic authorization, data capture and settlement processes. This is accomplished with the use of plastic magnetic-striped cards at the point-of-sale terminal. The end result is the elimination of coupon benefits distribution. The electronic process results in increased security, thereby reducing fraud and benefit misuse.
The US Government has mandated that all federal financial support services and entitlements be distributed through direct electronic deposit by the year 2002.
What is Electronic Check Processing (ECP)?
ECP is a transaction via ACH (Automated Clearing House) or facsimile draft sent by a merchant to directly debit or credit a customer’s checking or savings account. ECP processing is often used for recurring payments, such as monthly membership fees and are available in the United States and Canada.
What products and services does Metro Merchant Services offer me?
We provide comprehensive electronic payment solutions that meet virtually any business need, no matter what payment type you wish to accept or in which business environment you operate (e-commerce, lodging, restaurant, retail, direct response or petroleum). Our global processing network and breadth of processing services are the most comprehensive in the industry.
Providing dependable customer service is always our first priority. This means developing products and services that you tell us will help you – conquer new markets, provide faster customer service and give more options to your customer. From our powerful internet payment gateway to our flexible POS terminal options, our goal is to help you grow your business. When it comes to choosing a partner to power your payments, let Metro deliver it all.
Our broad range of solutions includes:
- Turn-key Internet payment access and virtual terminal tools
- Full-service stored value card program, including gift cards and electronic gift certificates
- Comprehensive fraud detection service
- Web-based reporting and data management
- Recurring payment programs
- Processing of a wide variety of payment types including international currencies and electronic checks
- Experienced chargeback management to keep your losses to a minimum
- Customer service and account management
- 24-hour technical support, terminal deployment, training, replacement and repair
At Metro Merchant Services, we operate our business with the shared belief that the better the service we provide you, the better the service you’ll be able to provide your customers. Our service philosophy not only shapes our customer relationships, but it also guides our product and service development. Using our state-of-the-art technology, our electronic payment solutions and credit card processing can help your business grow. We want to work closely with you to ensure we do the best job we can to streamline your operations. Metro Merchant Services is a resource on which you can rely. So whether you need to improve your back-office efficiency or maximize your customer base, we can help. And because we know quality people are at the heart of any successful partnership, we’ve assembled a great customer service team that’s dedicated to helping you achieve your business objectives with your merchant account.
If you didn’t see the answer to your question here, feel free to contact us.