Merchant Account Services

Merchant Account Blog

Three Websites, One Merchant Account?

So you have three, or more, websites that you wish to accept credit card payments through. You want one merchant account for all of them to share. It seems easier to manage and surely cheaper. But can you do it?

No serious merchant account provider is going to establish one merchant account for multiple websites. The chargeback potential is too enormous to do so. The fact that only one website will have the proper name shown on the other two statements means that the two that don’t have their name on the customer’s statement will experience a high rate of chargebacks just from customers not recognizing the DBA on their statement. This doesn’t even take into consideration the high rate of chargebacks internet-based businesses experience anyway.

And, if you want to try to avoid that by putting the corporate name on the statement you make the problem even worse. Now all the website’s customers will not recognize the DBA on the statement. You might think you can put the corporate name prominently on each website or saying on the checkout page, “Your statement will say XYZ Corporation” will mitigate that problem. Not true. Customers associate the DBA with their purchase and having the wrong name on the statement is a proven way to get lots of chargebacks.

The bank, and the merchant, will want to have three accounts as if one experiences a high rate of chargebacks (> 1%) that account will be closed but the other two are unaffected. If the three accounts are rolled up into one, if the chargebacks from one get too high and bring the collective total over 1% they all are shut down. Obviously bad business for the merchant.

Also, that $1,000 mark that is commonly used to decide when to consider getting a true merchant vs a third party processor is a myth. Paypal is actually always lower then the average merchant account at any volume. (You can verify that by using the calculator included in the article). Their tiered pricing based on monthly volume is structured in such a way that only a better-then-average merchant account rate structure will beat it outright. The real reason why someone doing more then $1,000 per month or more would want a true merchant account is the other benefits of a true merchant offers like your own business name on your customers’ statements and a transparent checkout.

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