A merchant account allows businesses to accept credit cards as a form of payment, and is set-up with a financial institution. Unlike other services, money collected through your merchant account is automatically deposited into your checking account within just 2-3 business days. In order to accept credit card payments using your company name, a merchant account is needed.

A Payment Gateway allows you to securely process transactions online. It is a third-party service that transmits transactions to your payment processor for authorization. A Payment Gateway allows you to offer your customers a safe and secure way of buying from you online. Authorize.Net is Merchant Focus's preferred payment gateway.

It typically takes 2 business days to receive an approval for your merchant account. Upon approval, we will establish your Authorize.Net Gateway and you will then receive the gateway activation email within 24hrs. The time it takes to be fully up and running also depends on your business model, and response time to any requirements requested by the Underwriting Department.

Certain conditions must be met for a transaction to Qualify for the discounted rate. If a transaction doesn't Qualify, it becomes a Mid-Qualified or Non-Qualified transaction and the discount rate will increase (please check your Schedule of Fees).

Qualified Transactions:

  • These are swiped transactions.
  • To receive the qualified discounted rate, the credit card must be present and swiped at the time of the sale.
  • Qualified Cards are typically standard everyday, VISA/MASTERCARD/DISCOVER, Credit/Debit Cards.


  • These are key-entered transactions.
  • To get the Mid-Qualified rate you are key-entering the transaction into your payment gateway or mobile device.


  • These are transactions that process at the higher discount rate.
  • Typically these are Corporate, Government, Foreign or High-End Rewards Cards.

A Chargeback occurs when the merchant's sale is disputed by the cardholder for any reason including:

  • the merchant won't issue a credit return (refund) for a product dispute
  • the customer claims they never received the product
  • the customer claims their card was used fraudulently

…then the customer can call their Card Issuing Bank directly and disputes charge.

The Card Issuing Bank notifies our Acquiring Bank that a cardholder is disputing the transaction and they notify us. We in turn mail the merchant a Chargeback notification and require the merchant to respond ASAP to their customer's dispute.

It is up to the Card Issuing Bank, based on their investigation, if we have to give cardholder their money back. In this case, the funds will be debited from the merchant's checking account and given back to the cardholder.

The chargeback fee is assessed regardless of the outcome.

NOTE: This is why is it so IMPORTANT to have excellent "return, warranty, cancellation policies" clearly accessible on your Web site.

The monthly minimum is the minimum amount you will be charged in relation to the discount fees for your monthly Visa/MasterCard sales. You will pay the Monthly Minimum or your Discount Fees, whichever is greater.

For example: In one month you processed $1000.00 is Visa/MC sales. $1000.00 x 2.19% = $21.90. This amount does not meet the monthly minimum of $25.00 so you will be charged an additional $3.10 to meet the monthly minimum of $25.00 ($21.90 + $3.10 = $25.00).

However, if in one month you process $1500.00 in Visa/MC sales then your fees = $32.85 ($1500.00 x 2.19% = $32.85). You will be charged $32.85 in Discount Fees so you have easily met the monthly minimum of $25.