How To Close a Merchant Account
If you have a merchant account associated with your business, at some point it is likely that you will need to cancel or close your merchant account. This may be due to a sale of the business, or finding a different merchant account provider that offers better rates or service than your current provider. Whatever the reason for closing your current merchant services account it is important to understand your rights and obligations to ensure a successful cancellation. This article helps explain how to close a merchant account, but be sure to follow the cancellation and closing procedures outlined by your merchant account services company.
What steps should you take prior to the close of your merchant account?
Review— Your contract could have some hidden penalties and fees that must be paid if an early termination is requested. By reviewing your contract you will be aware of any fees for early cancellation along with equipment fees for leasing, restocking, or buyouts.
Call your account representative— Calling your account representative is a critical step when closing your merchant account. Answer any questions your representative may have in relation to your reasons for closing the account. Be sure to provide all the information surrounding your business so the closing can be completed accurately. During this phone call the representative will detail any specific guidelines for you to follow such as submitting a cancellation statement via fax or mail.
Discuss— If there are early termination fees, discuss with your representative the options for waving the fees. If the fee for cancellation is too large, it may be worth it to hold off on closing the account until your contract has been fulfilled.
Confirm procedures for returning equipment— If you have leased your credit card terminal and POS system from your current merchant account provider, you will will need to return all equipment to avoid incurring a large fee. This may be arranged by having a technician come to your business location to remove and uninstall any software programs, or simply returning all the equipment by mail.
Frequently check your bank statements— Once all equipment has been returned and any early termination fees have been paid, double check your bank statement to avoid any recurring charges from your old payment processing provider. Often times merchant service providers will charge for undisclosed or waived fees. In addition, review your final merchant service account statement to rule out any discrepancies.
Of course the best way to avoid having to close a merchant account, is by choosing a merchant services account provider that delivers quality service.
Look for a merchant services provider that offers premium customer services, competitive rates with no hidden fees, technologically advanced software and equipment, along with the ability to customize and tailor payment solutions to fit the specific needs of your business.