What is AdvoCharge, exactly?
AdvoCharge is an independent merchant service provider. Essentially we are a broker, bringing you exceptional rates on card processing through our network and relationships with several different national credit card processors. We have worked very hard to negotiate the lowest rates possible, and we pass those rates on to you. Most agents within the merchant service industry align with just one processor, and thereby offer only the products and services of that one processor. AdvoCharge, on the other hand, works with several different national card processors. While we tend to favor some processors over others, we work to determine what is the best processor for your business based on your individual business needs.
We establish a direct relationship for you to the processor, but we are there as a 2nd tier line of support that you don’t get with other processing providers. You have full 24/7/365 access to the processors you are working with, but you also have AdvoCharge to contact if you are not getting the assistance you are expecting. Additionally, we can help you integrate third party solutions that benefit your business.
How does AdvoCharge offer such low rates?
AdvoCharge has worked tirelessly to negotiate lower and lower rates, which we pass on to our customers. We seek to develop long term relationships with our clients by offering the best rate that is locked for the life of the account, along with exemplary customer support through our processing providers. We take the approach that many, many happy, satisfied customers with outstanding rates are far better than a smaller number of clients that pay us through very high rates. As a result, we have very low attrition as few clients ever leave us once they see how much we save them!
We also work to keep our overhead lean and our team small and focused. You’ll notice we don’t promote our phone number as we want the majority of incoming contact to be by email. We’ve found that we can remain even more responsive by directing incoming information requests through email, as we are able to route these requests to the right party within our organization who can answer quickly.
How do I get a hold of you? I don’t see a phone number?
See the previous FAQ “How does AdvoCharge offer such low rates?” We are very quick to respond to questions or requests when you email us at email@example.com.
We understand that many of you want to talk to a “live person” right away, but remember you will have 800# support with your processor once your new account is established. We’re just the initial step to secure your outstanding rates which will save you thousands of dollars year after year. Hopefully using email for your initial contact is worth the savings we generate for you.
Will my current processor agree to match the AdvoCharge rate structure?
We have discovered that very few processors will agree to match our rate structure (or are even able to match) because our rates are below cost for the majority of processors and agents. And even if they would, wouldn’t you rather work with a processing provider that gives you a good, honest rate to begin with rather than one that when beaten down, decides to match our rates? We are sure that even if they match, they won’t beat us – no one ever has!
If I’m already with a processor you work with, can you still lower my rates?
We definitely can! It’s a common misunderstanding that the merchant service industry is equitable and that a given processor has just one rate that they offer to all merchants. Nothing could be further from the truth! In fact, there are dozens of processors and thousands of agents in the industry that all have the right to set the price for a given merchant as they see fit. Often times that means a wildly different rate structure for even very similar merchants.
The analogy of the airlines is a good comparison to the merchant service industry: we’ve all come to expect that when we take our seat on an airplane that the price we paid is different from the price paid by the person sitting next to us or across the aisle. Things like time booked before the flight, premier status, and airline promotion all influence that price.
The same is true in the merchant service industry. Replace United or Southwest with FirstData or Elavon and the same pattern arises. The processing rate you pay is largely dependent on the agent or provider you work with. Fortunately you’ve found AdvoCharge, and we have some of the very lowest rates in the entire nation, so even if you are with FirstData now, we can take you right back to FirstData, but with a major savings over what you were previously paying.
What does the AdvoCharge no risk guarantee mean?
We strive to not only meet, but to exceed customer expectations. If for any reason you are unhappy with our service, you are not bound by a contract and free to cancel at anytime. Unlike most processors, we have no cancellation or early termination fee, so you really have nothing to lose and a whole lot to save by working with AdvoCharge!
Do you have a contract term and cancellation fee?
AdvoCharge ensures there is no set-up, annual or cancellation fee. We want you to be happy with our rates, service, and support; not shackled because you have a high cancellation fee that you can’t get out of.
How do I apply for a merchant account?
Signing up is simple and easy and takes approximately just 5 minutes. You will not need to print any documents because we have developed an intuitive online application with a virtual signature option. Just click the Start Saving button below. Complete some info on your business, upload a voided check for your deposit account as well as your current processing statement, and we’ll have you approved shortly.
How long will it take me to fill out the online merchant account?
Signing up is simple and easy and takes approximately 5 minutes. Just click the link below.
Do I need to print the application and fax back?
You will not need to print any documents because we have developed an intuitive online application with a virtual signature option.
How long does the approval process take?
Generally, once an application is electronically signed, it takes a day to approve and then another 3-4 business days before the account is ready to accept payment. We offer some of the lowest rates in the industry, and as such the underwriting time can be a little longer than the large aggregators like Square, Stripe, and PayPal. But compare our rates to theirs and I’m sure you’ll see that the upfront wait will pay dividends many times over down the road. To be clear, please do not expect to have an approved and processing account within 24 hours. It will not work that fast.
Do you offer next day funding?
All merchant accounts are setup with next day funding at no additional charge. The next day funding cutoff is 7:30 PM EST. All funds settled after this time will be ready in your account after one additional day.
What credit cards will I be able to accept with a merchant account from AdvoCharge?
You will be able to accept all card types: Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express. We can even accept the Chinese card, Union Pay. Additionally, for most businesses your American Express sales will qualify for next day funding and will appear on the same monthly processing statement. However, business that accept in excess of $1,000,000 in annual American Express sales will continue to be funded directly through American Express.
What if I have less than perfect credit?
Underwriting makes determinations on a case by case basis. If you are not approved, AdvoCharge may have alternate options for account approval depending on your business type (see the FAQ titled “Are there any prohibited businesses to whom you cannot offer processing?”)
Can I use a smartphone, tablet or my computer to accept credit card payments?
Absolutely! All three come free of charge with every merchant account. If you need a plug in card swiper, we offer those at our wholesale rates direct from the processor.
Do I need a business checking account to obtain a merchant account?
A business checking account is required for all business entities. If your business is established as a sole proprietor, you personal checking account is sufficient.
My e-Commerce website isn’t ready; can I still qualify for an account?
Do I need to provide a business license to obtain a merchant account?
Underwriting requires a completed online application including federal tax ID and/or SS# plus a voided check, but not necessarily a business license. The voided check can simply be uploaded into our integrated application portal/center. Additionally, uploading a prior credit card processing statement is encouraged so that we can provide you with a post savings analysis after your first month of accepting credit card payments with AdvoCharge.
Do I need to have an American Express® or Discover® account before I apply?
We set you up for all card types, and there is no need to speak directly with American Express or Discover beforehand. Additionally, both card types qualify for next day funding.
Do you accept foreign businesses?
At this time we can only establish merchant accounts for those businesses based in either the US or Canada. However we can offer Currency Conversion that allows you to accept payments in any of dozens of different currency types from your customers. See the next FAQ (Do you offer currency conversion?)
Do you offer currency conversion?
Indeed we do! Currency conversion allows a US-based company, particularly eCommerce retailers, to accept the local currencies from their customers in international markets where they promote and sell their products. Here’s a list of currencies that you will be able to accept and convert back into US Dollars:
|AED||United Arab Emirates dirham|
|ANG||Netherlands Antillean guilder|
|BMD||Bermudian dollar (customarily known as Bermuda dollar)|
|CRC||Costa Rican colon|
|CVE||Cape Verde escudo|
|HKD||Hong Kong dollar|
|ILS||Israeli new shekel|
|KPW||North Korean won|
|KRW||South Korean won|
|KYD||Cayman Islands dollar|
|LKR||Sri Lankan rupee|
|NZD||New Zealand dollar|
|PEN||Peruvian nuevo sol|
|PGK||Papua New Guinean kina|
|RON||Romanian new leu|
|SLL||Sierra Leonean leone|
|STD||São Tomé and Príncipe dobra|
|TTD||Trinidad and Tobago dollar|
|TWD||New Taiwan dollar|
|USD||United States dollar|
|VEF||Venezuelan bolívar fuerte|
|XCD||East Caribbean dollar|
|ZAR||South African rand|
Do you offer Level 2 and 3 processing?
We sure do! Level 2 and 3 processing applies to those business that accept payment from other businesses. If you collect a little bit of additional information like invoice and tax rate, you can qualify for a special Interchange rate on those B2B transactions. Level 2 and 3 processing can save you significantly over what you had been paying to accept credit cards that were issued to other businesses. We can help ensure you are collecting the correct information to take advantage of these rates.
Is there a customer service number I can call if I need help?
Absolutely! You will have access to 24/7/365 technical and customer support through whichever processing partner we establish for you.
How will I receive the proceeds from my transactions?
The checking account you provide us with will be funded on a daily basis for all sales batched/settled the previous day. All weekend sales will fund on the following Monday. You may also choose to have one account that receives funds and another where the fees are removed. Some business like to separate deposits and withdrawals, and we are happy to accommodate.
Will I receive a monthly statement?
You will be able to access and download your monthly processing statement through our robust back office portal that comes free of charge with every merchant account. If you enjoy having a monthly statement mailed to your home or business, that service is also provided upon request.
Are there any extra features that I will have access to with my merchant account?
Every AdvoCharge merchant account includes free mobile processing, a virtual terminal that is accessible from any internet connection, and a comprehensive back office portal for monitoring all sales activity.
What kinds of businesses does AdvoCharge accept as clients?
AdvoCharge accepts merchant applications from all business types. A very small percentage of accounts may fall into a higher risk category. Should your specific business fall into this category, an AdvoCharge representative will reach out to you once we are notified by underwriting.
Do you accept medical or recreational marijuana businesses?
While we recognize that there are many, legally operating businesses in the marijuana industry that abide by the laws of their state (including our home state of Colorado), unfortunately the banking industry has not been so progressive and remains unwilling to underwrite and board these businesses. At this point in time, we are unable to find a home for your processing, but we are always looking for solutions for our future clients. As soon as we are able to provide processing we will be sure to let your industry know!
Are there any prohibited businesses to whom you cannot offer processing?
While there are exceptions to every rule, for the most part we are unable to board merchants in the following categories:
- Adoption Agencies – for profit
- Adult Entertainment
- Bankruptcy Attorney
- Cigarette Sales
- Collection Agencies, Refinancing of Debt
- Counseling Centers (non-licensed)
- Credit Restoration
- Direct marketing – Travel related arrangement services
- Drug Paraphernalia
- Fortune tellers
- Gun Sales on the Internet
- Investor services/ Investment clubs
- Sale of Stocks, Securities, Options and Other Investments
- Investment Clubs or Investment Advice
- Protection Services
- Sexual Encounter Firms
- Internet Gambling
- Marijuana-related Business (see previous FAQ)
If you feel you have a legitimate business that could be misconstrued for one of the above listed business types, feel free to shoot us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to explain your business and tell us your projected processing volume and average sale amount.