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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. How do I apply for a merchant account?
  2. How do I request more information?
  3. When do my transactions get funded?
  4. Can I be approved if I have bad credit or no credit?
  5. What do I receive with an Internet merchant account?
  6. Do I need a shopping cart for my Internet merchant account?
  7. What if I need help with my account?
  8. What is your privacy policy?
  9. Will I be trained to use the credit card terminal?
  10. What types of merchants does Flagship Merchant Services approve?
  11. How long before I can start accepting credit cards?
  12. I'm not sure what terminal, equipment or software is best for my business?
  13. How does Authorize.Net® integrate with my Web site?
  14. How do I get my money?
  15. How do I sign up for Authorize.Net and a merchant account?
  16. What is your return policy?
  17. What is PCI DSS?
  18. I have never heard of PCI Compliance before, is this new?
  19. What am I required to do to certify my account is PCI compliant?
  20. I only process a few hundred dollars a month. Does my merchant account still need to be PCI Compliant?
  21. I'm a seasonal merchant that only processes three months out of the year. Does my merchant account still need to be PCI Compliant?
  22. I'm already using a "PCI compliant" terminal/gateway. Why do I have to have my account certified for PCI compliance?
  23. What is an approved scanning vendor?
  24. Is there a fee for becoming PCI compliant each year?
  25. Will I be provided with anything that I can display to my customers showing that I am a PCI compliant merchant?
  26. Can I choose not to certify for PCI Compliance?
  27. How long is the PCI compliance certification valid?
1. How do I apply for a merchant account?

Click Here To Apply For A Merchant Account.

2. How do I request more information?

Please fill out the rate quote box in the upper right hand corner.

3. When do my transactions get funded?

Usually within two business days after you close your batch.

4. Can I be approved if I have bad credit or no credit?

We maintain one of the highest approval rates in the industry. With our free application you have nothing to lose.

5. What do I receive with an Internet merchant account?

You get four things:

  • A Flagship Merchant Services merchant account to accept major credit cards.
  • An Authorize.Net Payment Gateway script to integrate into your Web site so your customers can make purchases directly off your site 24 hours a day without you having to run the transaction manually.
  • An Authorize.Net Virtual Terminal to run transactions manually through your computer.
  • 24/7 toll free customer and technical support along with a dedicated website where you can review all of your transactions, run reports and download your monthly statement.

6. Do I need a shopping cart for my Internet merchant account?

No, we provide you with code that passes your customer's information to our gateway. However, merchants that have a large number of products may find it easier to use a shopping cart. However, if you strictly process mail order and/or telephone order transactions, then you do not need a shopping cart.

7. What if I need help with my account?

Customer service representatives are available to serve you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

8. What is your privacy policy?

Click Here to review our privacy policy.

9. Will I be trained to use the credit card terminal?

Yes. Once you receive your credit card terminal a representative from Flagship will train you on how to use the terminal. In addition, we provide a toll-free customer service number you can call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so you can receive help at any time.

10. What types of merchants does Flagship Merchant Services approve?

Whether you are building an e-commerce Web site, a traditional retail business or a mail order/telephone order business, you will want to open a Flagship Merchant Services merchant account, which enables you to accept payments for customer purchases.

11. How long before I can start accepting credit cards?

Merchant accounts are generally approved within two business days and merchants can process the next business day.

12. I'm not sure what terminal, equipment or software is best for my business?

Please consult your Flagship representative regarding the various options available.

13. How does Authorize.Net® integrate with my Web site?

Authorize.Net® enables all types of merchants to accept secure and reliable credit card payments quickly and easily. They offer flexible application programming interfaces (API's) with no licensing or development fees, and have numerous certified third-party options that offer quick and secure integration methods.

14. How do I get my money?

There are four steps to receiving your money: 1. Initiating; 2. Authorizing; 3. Completing the transaction, and; 4. Receiving your funds

Step 1 - Initiating the transaction to verify that a card is active and within the approved spending limit:
  • Retail and/or restaurant merchants swipe the credit card through a point-of-sale terminal (i.e., card is physically present).
  • Mail order/telephone order merchants enter the card identifiers the customer has provided by mail, telephone or fax (i.e., the card is not present).
  • Internet environment-Customer provides your Web site with card identifiers (i.e., card is not present).
Step 2 - Real-time authorizing, which reduces chargebacks and catches card-entry errors:
  • Credit card number is entered.
  • Terminal or software transmits the credit card number and expiration date and sales total.
  • Data is transmitted to customer's credit card-issuing bank.
  • Customer's issuing bank approves or declines the transaction.
Step 3 - Completing the transaction:
  • Merchant's terminal or software transmits transaction details in a batch at the close of the business day.
  • The transactions are forwarded to each credit card company, which redirects the transactions to appropriate banks.
  • Bank debits credit cardholder's account.
Step 4 - Receiving your funds:
  • Your bank account is then credited with the appropriate dollar amount, usually within two business days.
15. How do I sign up for Authorize.Net® and a merchant account?

Click Here To Apply Online.

16. What is your return policy?

Due to Flagship Merchant Services offering our merchants very low and competitive pricing, we have a strict policy of only selling products and services to merchants who use our credit card processing services. We reserve the right to refuse sales to merchants who do not have a merchant account with our company and to any resellers.

  • Flagship Merchant Services will handle replacement and warranty service for the first thirty days after purchase. All equipment purchased through Flagship Merchant Services comes under manufacturer warranty.
  • After thirty days, we help our merchant contact the manufacturer for service on all warranties.
  • New/Unopened equipment may be returned, at the merchant's expense, within the first thirty (30) days of purchase. (A restocking fee of 15% to 25% of the purchase price will be applied to the return.)
  • Any equipment not returned in the original packaging with all cords, parts and manuals will be refused and returned to sender without a refund.
  • Software, all Internet gateway license fees, and any set-up fees sold through Flagship Merchant Services, cannot be returned for a refund.

17. What is PCI DSS?

The Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standards (DSS) is a set of requirements for enhancing payment account data security. These standards were developed by the PCI Security Standards Council, which was founded by American Express, Discover Financial Services, JCB International, MasterCard Worldwide and Visa, Inc., to facilitate industry-wide adoption of consistent data security measures on a global basis.

18. I have never heard of PCI Compliance before, is this new?

No. Merchants have been advised to take the PCI self-assessment and be compliant for the past few years. The framework of the PCI data security standards has existed in different forms for some time now and continues to evolve. You may be more familiar with the payment brands' programs that promote the implementation of the PCI DSS.

  • MasterCard®: Site Data Protection (SDP) program
    • Mastercard.com/sdp
  • Visa®: Cardholder Information Security Program (CISP)
    • Visa.com/cisp
  • Discover® Network: Discover Information Security & Compliance (DISC)
    • Discovernetwork.com/fraudsecurity/disc.html
  • American Express®: Data Security Operating Policy
    • AmericanExpress.com/datasecurity

19. What am I required to do to certify my account is PCI compliant?

The minimum requirement is that you complete a PCI DSS self-assessment questionnaire on an annual basis. If you electronically store cardholder information or if your processing systems have any internet connectivity, a quarterly scan by an approved scanning vendor is also required.

20. I only process a few hundred dollars a month. Does my merchant account still need to be PCI Compliant?

Yes, all merchants, whether small or large, need to be PCI compliant. The payment brands have collectively adopted PCI DSS as the requirement for organizations that process, store or transmit payment cardholder data. Inherent in having a merchant account is the ability to handle cardholder data.

21. I'm a seasonal merchant that only processes three months out of the year. Does my merchant account still need to be PCI Compliant?

Yes, all merchants, whether small or large, need to be PCI compliant. The payment brands have collectively adopted PCI DSS as the requirement for organizations that process, store or transmit payment cardholder data. Inherent in having a merchant account is the ability to handle cardholder data.

22. I'm already using a "PCI compliant" terminal/gateway. Why do I have to have my account certified for PCI compliance?

The PCI Security Standards Council has various requirements programs. The Payment Application Data Security Standards (PA-DSS) is a set of requirement to help software vendors and others develop secure payment applications that do not store prohibited data such as full magnetic stripe, CVV2 or PIN data, and ensure their payment applications support compliance with the PCI DSS.

Use of a terminal/gateway that runs PA-DSS certified software is one of many components that are evaluated in the assessment of an account's PCI DSS compliance.

23. What is an approved scanning vendor?

An approved scanning vendor is an organization that validates adherence to certain DSS requirements by performing vulnerability scans of a merchant's internet-facing systems.

24. Is there a fee for becoming PCI compliant each year?

Yes, but if you have already become PCI compliant, then you will not have to pay any additional fees for the calendar year.

25. Will I be provided with anything that I can display to my customers showing that I am a PCI compliant merchant?

Yes. Upon completion of your PCI certification, you will receive a certificate of compliance, and if requested, a logo to display on your website.

26. Can I choose not to certify for PCI Compliance?

MasterCard and Visa require all acquirers to report on the PCI Compliance of their merchants. If you choose not to complete the self-assessment questionnaire you may overlook certain data security practices that minimize your risk of a security breach. In the event that your business is compromised, you may be subject to fines of up to $500,000 per payment brand. These fines would be in addition to the expenses and fraudulent transactions resulting from the breach.

27. How long is the PCI compliance certification valid?

The PCI compliance certificate is valid for one year from the date the certificate is issued. You are required to complete the PCI DSS self-assessment questionnaire on an annual basis.

*Important* Your merchant account is bound by the terms and conditions of the merchant agreement and is not subject to the return policy.

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