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How to prepare and apply for a merchant account with Realisto

Step 1: Precheck

There are many factors considered by banks and payment providers when deciding whether a business should be classified as high-risk. The primary concern is the reputation of the industry in which the business is operating, and its trading/processing history. For example, the online gambling industry is automatically considered as high-risk by acquiring banks due to track record of unregulated schemes. When there is the potential for clients to end up feeling dissatisfied with the product or service, or when volumes are higher, there is a higher chance of disputes. Theft of credit card details or other data is also a risk. The providers are at risk and thus impose stricter terms, or decline the merchant account opening.

Step 2: Application & Underwriting

Based on the pre-approval as outlined in the previous step, we can proceed with the actual application process with the banking partner or selected payments provider. In this stage you’ll be asked to provide your company documentation to prove your company’s existence, ownership and financial information. This information allows us to understand your activities and business structure and gives insight into any prior processing history. This helps us to estimate the possible risk factors. A typical application package is structured as follows:


Please fill out the Merchant Application Form. While filling out the application form, If you need any assistance we’re glad to help


Along with the application form you’ll be asked to provide a documentation pack for KYC (Know Your Customer) purposes and the underwriting process performed by the acquiring bank or payments provider. Please see below for the typical documents checklist. These need to be scanned in, however some particular acquiring banks may require hardcopies to be sent by post to their branch.


Every merchant accepting card payments through their website (as well as MOTO-only merchants) needs to present a website that is fully compliant with the Visa/MasterCard compliance guidelines. Please see below for the complete list of website requirements. Note that these will have to be fully completed before you can begin taking live payments, however if your website is still under construction and does not include all necessary items, you can still proceed with the Pre-check and Application stages. This is done by providing an access to your beta website where the underwriter can review the available basic information on your products/services.

1. Contact Us

Fill out the application form and provide us with your business details and requirements. After a review, our team of experts will advise which are the most suitable banking partners from our network.

2. Account Setup

Your dedicated agent will initiate the merchant account setup with one of our trusted banks and gateway providers. We will assist you every step of the way, and will secure the best possible rates for you.

3. Lifetime 24/7 Support

Even after you are successfully set up and you have begun processing online payments, our agents will provide free 24/7 ongoing support, and offer any assistance you may require.


1. Certificate of Incorporation
2. Articles/Memorandum of Association
3. Appointment of Directors
4. Shareholder Registry

5. Bank Account Statement
Each bank account used for settlements must be no older than three months. They must be in the name of the contracting business. Bank Name, Beneficiary Name, Account #, IBAN, SWIFT, Routing # should be clearly visible. Online bank screenshots are accepted, if all mentioned requirements are met.

6. Passport/ID Copy
Scanned copy of a valid ID or passport of the client’s owner of the payments relationship with MerchantScout, and any authorized merchant account signer. This is required for any owners holding more than 10% ownership. In the case of sole proprietorship (sole traders), a passport/ID of the individual owner is required.

7. Credit Card Processing Statements
If you have previously been accepting card payments, please provide the weekly/monthly statements or summary via an official letter from your payments provider. Merchant name, period, count and volume sum of monthly sales, refunds and chargebacks should be clearly visible.

8. Conditional Documents
If required you may be asked to provide a business license (if regulated business type), financial statements (balance sheets and P&L) and supplier agreements.

9. Overlying Company Documents
If the applying company is owned by another parent company, a set of all of the above documents will be required for the parent company in order to identify the Ultimate Beneficial Owners.


1. Product/Service details
Your website should present all details about offered products and/or services, with full, detailed pricing information.
2. Contact Information
Legal name and registered address, contact email address and phone number should all be clearly visible, for example on your ‘Contact Us’ section, or on the footer of the website.
3. Terms & Conditions
4. Policies
Refund/Return Policy, Shipping Policy, and Privacy Policy are mandatory on every website. These should outline how you handle request for refunds, returns, shipping and client information.
5. Credit Card Logos
Visa and MasterCard logos should be visible before or during checkout.
6. Domain Ownership
Domain WHOIS must show the applying/parent company – or the owner – as the owner of the domain. If this is not the case, you’ll be asked to provide the proof of domain purchase in an invoice from the hosting company or screenshot from your registrar.
7. Billing Descriptor
If you are accepting cards on your website, the billing descriptor must clearly be displayed during the checkout process on the payment form. For example: “You will see this charge appear on your credit card statement as [DESCRIPTOR]”.

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