Merchant Account for Startups: Simplifying Payment Processing

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Libby James
Merchant Services Expert

Libby James is co-founder, director and an expert in all things merchant services. Libby is the go-to specialist for business with more complex requirements or businesses that are struggling to find a provider that will accept them. Libby is regularly cited in trade, national and international media.

Choosing the right merchant account for a start-up business

Are you a startup owner looking to establish a reliable and efficient payment processing system for your business? At Merchant Advice Service (MAS), we understand the importance of finding the best merchant account tailored to your startup’s unique needs. In this article, we will guide you through the essentials of a merchant account, its benefits for startups, and how MAS can assist you in simplifying your payment processes.

What is a Merchant Account?

A merchant account serves as a dedicated bank account that enables businesses to accept and process payments made by credit or debit cards. It acts as an intermediary between your business, the customer, and the payment processor, facilitating seamless and secure transactions. By having a dedicated merchant account, startups can expand their payment options beyond cash, offering convenience to customers and boosting sales.

Benefits of a Merchant Account for Startups

Having a merchant account offers several advantages to startups. Let’s explore some key benefits:

Enhanced Credibility: Accepting card payments through a merchant account elevates your startup’s professionalism, establishing credibility and trust among customers. 

Increased Sales: By accepting card payments, you open up a broader customer base, including those who prefer cashless transactions. This can result in increased sales and revenue for your startup. 

Convenience and Security: With a merchant account, your customers can enjoy the convenience of making secure payments using their preferred payment methods. This ensures a seamless and reliable payment experience, enhancing customer satisfaction. 

Streamlined Accounting: Integrating a merchant account with your accounting systems simplifies the reconciliation process, as all payment transactions are automatically recorded, reducing manual efforts and minimising errors. 

How to Get Your Startup Merchant Account Approved

To provide further clarity, here are some commonly asked questions about merchant accounts for startups:

What documents are required to open a merchant account for my startup? 

Answer: To open a merchant account for your startup, you will typically need to provide proof of identity (e.g., passport or driver’s licence), proof of address (e.g., utility bill or bank statement), business registration documents (e.g., Certificate of Incorporation), bank statements for the past three to six months, and processing history if applicable.

Can I accept payments online with a merchant account? 

Answer: Yes, with a merchant account, you can easily accept payments online through various channels, including your website, mobile apps, or e-commerce platforms. Our experts can guide you in integrating the right online payment solution for your startup. 

How long does it take to set up a merchant account? 

Answer: The time required to set up a merchant account may vary depending on various factors, such as the complexity of your business, the acquiring bank’s procedures, and the completeness of your application. On average, the setup process can take anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks. 

What fees are associated with a merchant account? 

Answer: Merchant account fees can vary depending on the provider and the specific services you require. Common fees include transaction fees, monthly fees, chargeback fees, and setup fees. Our team can help you navigate these fees and find a cost-effective solution for your startup. 

How Can MAS Help?

At Merchant Advice Service, we specialise in assisting startups like yours in finding the right merchant account solution. Our dedicated team of experts will guide you through the entire process, ensuring you make an informed decision that aligns with your business goals and requirements. We work closely with a wide range of acquiring banks and payment service providers, enabling us to offer impartial advice and access to competitive rates. By partnering with MAS, you can streamline your payment processing system, saving time, effort, and costs while providing a seamless payment experience to your customers.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

To provide further clarity, here are some commonly asked questions about merchant accounts for startups:
Is there a minimum transaction amount required to use a merchant account for my startup?
No, there is typically no minimum transaction amount required to use a merchant account. You can process transactions of any value, allowing flexibility for your startup’s sales.
What are the typical contract terms for a merchant account?
Contract terms can vary depending on the provider. It’s important to review the terms and conditions, including contract length, termination fees, and any other relevant clauses before entering into an agreement.
Are there any hidden fees associated with a merchant account?
Transparent providers will clearly outline all applicable fees, including transaction fees, monthly fees, chargeback fees, and any other additional charges. It’s crucial to thoroughly understand the fee structure of your chosen merchant account provider.
Can I use a merchant account if my startup operates in an e-commerce or online business model?
Yes, merchant accounts are well-suited for e-commerce and online businesses. You can integrate your merchant account with your website or online store, allowing you to accept secure online payments.
Do I need a separate merchant account for each type of payment method I want to accept?
Generally, a single merchant account can support multiple payment methods. However, it’s important to confirm with your provider which payment methods are supported and whether any additional setup is required.
What happens if my startup experiences a sudden increase in sales volume?
If your sales volume experiences a sudden surge, it’s important to notify your merchant account provider. They can assess the situation and help ensure that your account can accommodate the increased transaction volume without disruption.
Can I access transaction data and reports for my startup’s sales and payments?
Yes, most merchant account providers offer online portals or reporting tools that allow you to access transaction data, generate reports, and track your startup’s sales activity. This data can be invaluable for accounting and business analysis purposes.
What customer support options are available if I encounter any issues with my merchant account?
Reputable merchant account providers offer customer support options such as phone, email, or live chat support. They are available to assist you with any technical or account-related issues that may arise.

How MAS Can Help Your Startup

At MAS, we are dedicated to helping startups simplify their payment processing and enhance their overall business operations. By leveraging our industry expertise and extensive network of acquiring banks and payment service providers, we can guide you in choosing the right merchant account that suits your startup’s specific needs. Streamline your payment processes, boost sales, and provide a seamless payment experience to your customers by partnering with MAS. For more advice and insights, visit our blog page!



Securing a robust merchant account is a pivotal step for startups aspiring to scale and offer unrivalled payment convenience to their customers. The Merchant Advice Service (MAS) stands as a beacon of support, simplifying the journey towards acquiring a merchant account that resonates with your business objectives. 


Whether it’s facilitating international payments, providing mobile payments solutions, or assisting with integration to the apt accounting software, MAS is here to guide. With the right merchant service, not only can your startup enjoy reduced processing fees, but also seamlessly handle recurring payments, and expand its customer base through a reliable payment gateway. 


A business bank account dedicated to managing transactions paves the way for streamlined accounting, whilst card readers further enrich the payment landscape, making every sale a straightforward and secure process. Partner with MAS, and take a stride towards uncomplicated payment processing, nurturing a flourishing environment for your small business to thrive in.

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Libby James

Libby James Co-founded Merchant Advice Service alongside David Bird in 2016. Her finance background, coupled with retail and customer service experience, gave Libby the drive to bring transparency and non-biased advice to the world of merchant services. Having come from the heavily regulated mortgage and insurance industry, Libby found it puzzling that other financial sectors lacked regulation and transparency leaving customers confused and unable to make informed decisions when it came to accepting card payments. This was soon to become Libby’s obsession!

With the help of some of the industry’s best, Libby began to research acquiring banks, complex terminology/regulation, and the problems customers experience within merchant services and payment gateway markets. She spent years on sourcing solutions for complex clients, which previously others were unable to assist with. Libby established relationships with brokers and banks which would soon form the cornerstone of Merchant Advice Service. As a result Libby has been featured in high-profile publications across the web.

Libby is proud to be the entrepreneur’s champion, supporting start-up businesses regularly. Her industry insights can often be found on LinkedIn where she provides free of charge advice and money saving pointers. It’s safe to say she has her finger on the pulse of everything card payments related.

Libby speaks of her experience in founding and running Merchant Advice Service…

‘Merchant Advice Service is one of my greatest achievements to date. We help business owners to overcome card processing issues which can become detrimental to their business. We assist SME’s in finding suitable card payments solutions, helping them create their vision. Each and every day is different, exciting and fore filling. As technology advances I can’t wait to see the way in which the merchant services market advances, and I’m pleased that our business will play a part in educating company owners along the way.’

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