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  1. #1

    * One merchant account / multiple websites

    For those of you with a merchant account. How do you use it for multiple websites/online services?

    I have a merchant account for one site but would now like to use it for additional websites/online services. My bank is telling me that I have two choices:

    (1) Use the same merchant account for all websites. The problem is that *one* company name will be used accross all sites and will appear on the cardholder's statement instead of mybiz1.com and mybiz2.com and mybiz3.com.

    (2) Get a new merchant account for each online business. Each site can have their own name on the cardholder's statement, but this option is very, very expensive.

    This doesn not sound right. I thought one could use a merchant account, but change the "company" name depending on the site.

    Any hints or ideas?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2001
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    California
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    I think the best way to do it is to register your merchant account under your company name not your domain. That way you can use it for multiple website as long as those websites belong to that particular company.


    Cheers,
    Roy K.
    Pixie Internet Services - http://www.pixiehost.com
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  3. #3
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    Look at MY paymant page if you like https://www.stargate.hm

    Get the point?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
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    North America
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    shasta, if this is your situation, you may want to think of creating an umbrella company which openly "owns" all of your other ventures. That way, that name would appear on the invoices and client statements - and that always points back to you.

    Then, go back to your bank and ask to change the merchant account information.

  5. #5

    Unhappy

    What I did not want to hear...

    I have worked hard to set up each service to operate independently.

    I guess I will chalk this up to, "what they do not tell you about merchant accounts, before they take your many hundreds of dollars in signup fees."

    shasta

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
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    Shasta,
    Unfortunately, I think NocSol and living_media are correct. You can only have one name on an account, much like your business checking account. You can't have a bank account under the name of three different businesses. Merchant accounts are bank accounts.

    I think your options are to get separate merchant accounts or change the name to one umbrella company. You may want to talk with your sales rep for your merchant account to see if they will offer a discount on set up fees for the other accounts.
    Brad @ Xiolink
    XIOLINK. Your data...always within reach.
    http://www.xiolink.com
    1-877-4-XIOLINK [+01 314 621 5500]

  7. #7
    Thank you everyone for the replies.

    With a regular business bank account, you can indeed receive in one account, checks made out to your different business names (DBAs). And your customer get a seamless transaction and never has to write a check to some third party or unknown "holding" company.

    This is been part of brick & mortar commerce for some time and I mistakenly thought the same thing was possible as an internet merchant. What troubles me about this is that there are no technical or legal reasons preventing a company with multiple businesses "re-using" the same merchant account *and* preserving website/dba identity on the cardholder's statment. As long as the transactions are "similar".

    The alternative is customer confusion and possible chargeback. Merchant bank reluctance probably has to do with them wanting to increase revenue. Banks sure charge a lot for merchant accounts and it seems that they have been getting away with this practice, because us internet merchants do not demand they become more flexible.

    Shasta

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
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    St. Louis
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    Shasta,
    You can accept money under different dba, BUT your account is still listed under 1 name. If your company is XYZ Company, you can accept checks made out to just about anyone and deposit them into your account.

    But, if you have 2 retail stores... one called Fred's Store and the other called Bob's Store. You will need 2 merchant accounts to have one come up Fred's Store and the other Bob's Store. That doesn't mean you can't take checks made out to Bob's and deposit them into Fred's account but that isn't what you are trying to do here...

    A merchant account must be tied to a business name whether you are Internet or Brick-and-Mortar. You can use a holding or parent company and have both be under that name, but you said you don't want that. Looks like you are going to need 2 accounts.
    Brad @ Xiolink
    XIOLINK. Your data...always within reach.
    http://www.xiolink.com
    1-877-4-XIOLINK [+01 314 621 5500]

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    Shasta, you said:

    "Banks sure charge a lot for merchant accounts and it seems that they have been getting away with this practice, because us internet merchants do not demand they become more flexible."

    We don't pay a lot for our merchant account. I think the monthly fee is $15. The cost is in the set up. Again, check with your sales agent to see if they can offer you a break on the set up. We all know set up isn't free money. It costs money (time) to set up an account. In addition the banks have to run credit checks, etc which all costs money.

    Banks get an unbelieveable amount of fraud chargebacks where they lose money, especially from small Internet companies. Since the invention of the Internet, anyone can start a business with a few bucks (not many). What has happened is a business starts, takes orders, collects money and then goes out of business w/o providing the product. The consumer charges back and the bank is left holding the bag. This is why they are so cautious.
    Brad @ Xiolink
    XIOLINK. Your data...always within reach.
    http://www.xiolink.com
    1-877-4-XIOLINK [+01 314 621 5500]

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Originally posted by [email protected]
    Shasta,
    Unfortunately, I think NocSol and living_media are correct. You can only have one name on an account, much like your business checking account. You can't have a bank account under the name of three different businesses. Merchant accounts are bank accounts.
    Yep exactly. But to tell you the truth, in my case, having 6 (and soon 8) Merchant accounts (for each venture) would be very intense on my organotical skills

    I mean you are ONE business anyway (legally) or one person BUT you can have multiple VENTURES (that's my word for that) and there is nothing wrong with it. You can f.e. own different kinds of stores in your town or so... and still when one looks f.e.on the receipts from each store it says Store X - Company Z, Store Y - Conmpany Z ... nothin gwrong with that.

    Bottom line: You DON'T want multiple Merchant Accounts, even if they were with no setup fee, trust me

  11. #11
    Originally posted by NocSol
    Look at MY paymant page if you like https://www.stargate.hm

    Get the point?

    Any more examples of you guys who successfully use a umbrella company for credit card payment like NocSol?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    St. Louis
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    379
    Originally posted by NocSol:
    Bottom line: You DON'T want multiple Merchant Accounts, even if they were with no setup fee, trust me
    _______________________________________________________________________________________

    I disagree. If you truly want to keep your businesses separate, you must have separate accounts. We used to have a completely unrelated business where we had a separate merchant account.

    All of the books were kept separate... different bank accounts, different customers, different vendors, etc. Having 2 merchant accounts is not any different than having a credit card for business A and a different credit card for business B.

    If they must be separate and you don't want to go the umbrella way, then 2 merchant accounts is your best option.
    Brad @ Xiolink
    XIOLINK. Your data...always within reach.
    http://www.xiolink.com
    1-877-4-XIOLINK [+01 314 621 5500]

  13. #13
    Join Date
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    Originally posted by Rain Maker
    Any more examples of you guys who successfully use a umbrella company for credit card payment like NocSol?
    I'm still using a 3rd party for processing orders - I've not yet reached the point where I'm doing enough business to cover the monthly gateway fees - but I tell clients up front that the company is a subsidiary of The Living Media.

  14. #14
    Good comments. Thanks for the info.

    I do not want to setup an umbrella company.

    Having separate online identities for each venture is more important to me right now than shelling out the big bucks to setup another merchant account at this time.

    So I am looking into third-party solutions for each new venture. Not what I expected, but whatever...

    I still think that a merchant account should allow multiple DBAs. Oh well!

    Thanks again,
    Shasta
    just browsing...

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
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    18

    DBA for merchant account

    I have an umbrella company for my biz banking account and merchant account which handles sales for subsidiaries. When setting up my merchant account I indicated that dba on the application which works fine as long as the services are all related (i.e., web hosting/designs vs. web hosting/food services). I also have statement on invoice/receipt that indicates that credit card statements will reflect charges to my billing company "ABC Services".

    You may want to ask if your merchant account can be changed to the umbrella company and openly state to customers that this is your billing company.

    The expense of opening separate merchant accounts can become an enormous expense as your business grows.

    Hope this helps.

  16. #16
    You can keep separate online identities for each venture and still have an umbrella company as the parent company for those ventures.

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