How to Press Pause on Your Processing – Seasonal Merchant Accounts

Summer camps, snow removal and vacation services are only active for a small portion of the year. They require the ability to accept payments during those few months, but most processors  will charge them a monthly fee or have the merchant reapply each year. Is there a better option?

Come the seasonal merchant account, which is custom-made for this purpose. There is no need to pay unnecessary fees or waste time on the application process each year. Credit checks, which potentially lower one’s credit score, do not have to performed each year. Additionally, if a merchant had credit problems during the year, it could prevent the merchant account from being opened entirely, or force them to get set up with a more expensive service. Unfortunately, past processing history does not entitle a merchant to the same service in the future. A seasonal account prevents these issues entirely.

The seasonal account allows a merchant to “press pause” on their account as opposed to a “hard stop”.  This way, the account is ready whenever the business needs it and all that needs to be done is send the processor a re-opening letter.

However, there are several things to keep in mind:

  1. Merchants must verify via fax or telephone when they plan to open or close their account at least 2 weeks in advance.
  2. The account must be open for at least one month every six months.
  3. Closing for a month or two per year is not worth the time, effort or expense. It’s important to note that for a merchant that only has a few months of inactivity per year, a typical account setup may be preferable. It might not be worth the time or money to open and close the account for such a small window.
  4. If a business processes for even one day in a given month, the account is considered open for that entire month.
  5. If the account is closed, it will be unable to process transactions. A re-opening letter must be submitted, and merchants should assume a two week wait before the account is re-opened.

Seasonal accounts are a unique case in the credit card processing industry, and most merchant account providers are wary of providing the service.  Fidelity Payments is proud to offer a simple and reliable seasonal account program.  We offer easy account setup and closure, credit card processing software, accounting software integration, and many other useful tools to grow and maintain a seasonal business. At the core of our service is transparent pricing and quality customer service.

Contact one of our experienced staff members for more information or to get started today.