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Elavon (formerly Nova) Merchant Account Frequently Asked Questions

Questions:

1.  
Why do we need to switch over to Elavon?  What's wrong with using Beanstream?
2.   What's do customers need to provide to get an Elavon merchant account?
3.   Why does the application request SIN numbers and other personal information for the signing officers?
4.   What if we refuse to give out personal information and SIN numbers for the signing officers?
5.   Tell me more about the income statement and balance sheet. What are they needed for?
6.   How long does it take to get approved?
7.   What are the fees involved with Elavon merchant accounts?
8.   We have an existing merchant account through our bank that we'd like to use for online registration instead of Elavon.
      Can we do this?
9.   The Elavon Merchant Agreement mentions a term.  What's the term for the agreement?
10. How do I pay Elavon for my discount and other fees?
11. What is the potential for credit card rate increases with Elavon?

Answers:

1. Why do we need to switch over to Elavon?  What's wrong with using Beanstream?
Your Beanstream account is actually a sub account under ITSportsNet's master merchant account.  All online registration funds flow through ITSportsNet's account and is dispersed to the appropriate sub accounts.  Multiple reconciliations ensure that the dispersals are 100% accurate.  In order to improve service, we teamed up with Elavon to provide our customers with their own merchant accounts.  Elavon offers a lower rate, faster deposits, improved fraud protection measures, and the ability to do credit card returns....all for a much lower fee than if a customer were to get one on their own through their bank.

2. What do ITSportsNet customers need to provide to get an Elavon merchant account?
The first step is to complete a worksheet.  We'll then send the application for your signing officers to date and sign.  If you are a non-profit organization, we'll request you submit incorporation documents or some other proof of non-profit status.  Also required, are an income statement and financial balance sheet.  Once we have everything, we'll submit the application to Elavon on your behalf and inform you when approval has been granted.  We'll set up your merchant ID in the system and you can begin processing credit cards through your Elavon account immediately.

3. Why does the Elavon application request personal information and SIN numbers for the signing officers?
The personal information and SIN numbers are requested to verify identities and to ensure that the signing officers are not personally bankrupt.  Soft credit checks will be performed (these do not affect credit ratings), however, the signing officers are not held personally liable for the merchant account.  These measures are all part of the initiatives to reduce fraud, which typically plague these types of transactions.

4. What if we refuse to disclose personal information and SIN numbers for the signing officers?
If you do not provide the information necessary to verify identities, then your application cannot be submitted.  Refusing to provide SIN numbers will slow down the approval process, however if proper non-profit documentation is provided then approval can still be granted.  Personal information of applicants is held in confidence and will not be disclosed to anyone who isn't involved with the approval process.

5. Tell me more about the income statement and balance sheet.  What are they needed for?
Elavon requests the income statement to assess how much money goes in and out of the organization in order to ensure that the merchant will not be operating at a large deficit.  A balance sheet is used to assess the financial health of the organization and, in some sense, determine the 'net worth'.  These documents are both crucial in the risk assessment processes followed by Elavon's underwriting department.

6. How long does it take to get approved?
If all required documentation and completed applications are submitted then approval should be granted within 5-7 business days.  Missing information or documentation will delay approvals until they are provided.

7. What are the fees involved with Elavon merchant accounts?
  • The discount rate is 2.75% of the transaction totals and is deducted as a lump sum at the end of every month of transactions.  There are no additional or hidden fees with Elavon accounts with regards to processing, however, the following fees do apply:
  • Application Fee of $150.00 – This is a one time fee that is deducted directly from the merchant account after the first month the account has been setup.

  • Statement Fee of $5.00 – This fee is applicable every month the merchant account is “activated”.  Statements are sent to you each month regarding transactions and a $5.00 fee is assessed for each month. This fee is extracted at the end of every completed month where the account was activated. When the account is not being used, this fee can be avoided by contacting Elavon with a request to deactivate your account. Reopening the account is done using the same method and takes 5-7 business days to be re-activated.

  • Chargeback Fee of $10.00 – This fee is a per occurrence fee that is assessed when a challenge to a transaction is initiated by the card issuer or cardholder that is returned to the merchant/club for resolution. A customer has 120 days from the last date that they spoke to the merchant/club or from the date that the credit card was charged to initiate this dispute. Chargeback fees are non-refundable.  Even if the merchant/club proves that the transaction was valid, they will still have to pay the chargeback fee in order to cover costs.

 

    • Common Examples of a chargeback:
      • The cardholder does not recognize the name of the merchant on their statement.
      • The cardholder claims that they never authorized the purchase.
      • The cardholder recognizes the name of the merchant but disputes it for their own reasons.
      • Fraud.
      • Identity theft.

 

For more information on Chargeback Fees, see the downloadable file “Preventing Chargebacks 6-13-06.pdf” available below.

 

  • Membership Fee of $100.00 – This is an annual fee to pay for the account membership and is extracted from the merchant account at the end of every year the account is used.

  • Minimum Discount Fee of $10.00 – This fee is an avoidable fee that is charged whenever the merchant account is “activated” for a month where the total discount fees, of 2.75% per transaction, are less than $10.00 by month’s end. This would mean that in any month where your club has less than $364.00 in transactions a charge would occur for the difference between $364.00 x 2.75% and the $10.00 minimum fee. To avoid this fee, simply deactivate your account when you are not going to perform transactions for a month. Remember to allow 5-7 business days for Elavon to re-open the account.

  • Other DDA or DBA Change fee of $25.00 – This fee is charged when the club requests to change their “Doing Business As” name.

  • Return Item Fee/NSF of $25.00 – This fee is a per occurrence fee that is charged when Elavon attempts to extract a due fee (such as your year end membership fee, or Statement fee at months end) and there is an insufficient amount available in the account. This fee is avoidable by maintaining a balance in your account larger than any potential fees your merchant account could face.

8. We have an existing merchant account through our bank that we'd like to use for online registration.  Can we do this?
While we have the capability to plug in other merchant accounts (Moneris, Bell, Paypal, TD Canada Trust) into our online registration system, this option has proven to be too cost prohibitive.   These other types of merchant accounts seem like a better deal at first glance, however, the reality is that the banks have so many 'hidden' fees with their online merchant accounts that they end up being quite a bit more expensive that what we are offering through Elavon.  In fact, we just had a customer look into getting their own online merchant account through their bank and after seeing what it could actually cost them, they promptly decided to pursue the Elavon option.  In addition to more setup fees,  monthly fees,  and fees for refunds, you will have to purchase access to your bank's payment gateway services, driving the costs up further.  In comparison to online merchant accounts offered through banks, Elavon is by far the best deal.

9.  The Elavon Merchant Agreement mentions a term.  What is the term for the agreement?
3 years and there is a fee of $195 to terminate before the end of the 3 years, however, there won't be a need to do this.  If you're no longer using the system, simply call Elavon to deactivate it.

10.  How do I pay Elavon for my discount and other fees?
Elavon deposits the full (gross) amount of your registration fees into your bank account within 2 - 3 days of the transaction occurring. At the end of each month Elavon will automatically debit your account for the fees on these transactions and any other fees that apply, in one lump sum. You will receive a statement after each month-end that itemizes the deposits to your account, the discount fees taken for VISA and Mastercard and any other fees that apply for that month. The statement will be sent to the address you provided on your Elavon application.

11. What is the potential for credit card rate increases with Elavon?
Twice each year Mastercard and VISA reassess their credit card rates and determine if an increase is necessary. The effective dates of such increases are: April 1st and October 1st. These rate increases affect all credit card providers in Canada and as such, Elavon and all other credit card providers in Canada must pass any increases along to their customers. If Elavon does affect an increase you will be notified 60 days in advance of this on your monthly statement. Elavon’s goal is to remain very competitive in the market and thus rate increases will be as minimal as possible. Typically increases are not more than 1 to 5 basis points and a 5 basis points increase would be unusual (one basis point is equal to .01%). You may want to consider this information for budgeting purposes.



For more information about Elavon and their processes, please follow the links below:

For General Information Regarding Elavon:
http://www.elavon.com/acquiring/

Regarding Security Issues:
The Elavon Network has been validated PCI, CISP and SDP compliant, assuring your clients and your institution we maintain the highest information security standards to protect your data.
http://www.elavon.com/acquiring/channels/financial-merchant.aspx

Regarding Elavon’s Privacy Statement:
http://www.elavon.com/acquiring/privacy/index.aspx

Regarding Merchant Connect:
https://www.merchantconnect.com/CWRWeb/displayMemberLogin.do

Preventing Chargebacks:
http://www.itsportsnet.com/leagues/100/documents/PreventingChargebacks.pdf



Created by: ITSportsNet -- Last updated:Jun 05, 2008
 
 

 
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