Frequently Asked Questions


1) Do you provide accounts to businesses outside of San Diego?

- Yes! We are partnered with Charity Swipes, the merchant processing provider who handles our Orange County and LA clientele. You can contact us or contact them directly at

2) How do I apply for a merchant account?
- Please fill out the "Apply Today" form and you will be responded to promptly.

3) Are there any start up fees to get my service up and running?
- There are NO application or start-up fees. There is also no charge if you already have a machine, software, or gateway to accept transactions. If you are setting up a brand new account or need to replace your current equipment, there may be a charge for a new machine. 9 times out of 10, your equipment will be compatible with our service. Contact us to find out if your current credit card machine is compatible.

4) Can I use my equipment if I already have a terminal/gateway?
- In most cases, we will be able to reprogram your equipment. If the equipment is no longer PCI or EMV compliant, you will need to replace it.

5) What rate am I going to pay?
- There are over 200 different rates charged by Visa and Mastercard alone. The rate that the merchant pays varies depending on which type of card is accepted, how the transaction is performed, and what industry the merchant is in. Because each of our customers has unique needs, our processing services are customized according to the specifics of their business. To receive a personalized pricing quote from one of our representatives, please complete a sales inquiry form and you will be responded to promptly.

6) When do my transactions get funded?
-Funding will traditionally take 48 hours. If needed, we CAN guarantee next-day (24 hour) funding for a monthly service fee of $5.

7) Can I be approved as a new or low credit merchant?
- Yes, we have relationships with several high risk processors. We can approve just about anything that would be approved elsewhere.

8) Will I be trained to use my terminal/POS/gateway/software?
- Yes, we always give full training when we install service for a merchant. This training can be done over the phone or, if you are in the San Diego or Orange County/LA area, we can send a rep out as well.

9) How long does it take to set up a merchant account?
- There are many factors involved in setting up a merchant account but we can often get someone set up within 2-3 days of completing an application.

10) How can I view my account information?
- You will be able to view your account information online and through a monthly paper statement. You will have access to you online portal 24 hours a day to monitor you transactions and deposits anytime you'd like.

11) When should I inform my current processor that I am closing my account?
- You should wait until your account is approved and setup before closing your previous account. This is suggested so that you do not have any downtime while making your transition.

12) What are interchange fees?
- Interchange is what we call the hard costs that are set by Visa and Mastercard for the merchants to accept transactions. These rates are non-negotiable and must be paid by any merchant, no matter what the size, that chooses to accept credit cards.

13) What is the difference between online debit and offline debit?
- Online debit is another term for PIN debit. When a customer uses their debit card and enters their four digit PIN, it is considered an online debit transaction. The money is immediately withdrawn from the customer's bank account in this situation. Offline debit is when a customer uses a debit card but does not enter their four digit PIN (the card is swiped just like a credit transaction). The money is not withdrawn immediately in this scenario. Funds will be withdrawn in the normal time period in which the credit transactions are funded.

14) What is PCI Compliance?
- Payment Card Industry Compliance is a fee that must be paid by every merchant account owner to maintain proper security standards. EVERY merchant company charges for this is one way or another (even if they don't tell you they do). With Merchant Services of San Diego, you have the option of paying monthly ($7.50) or annually ($90).