Frequently Asked Questions

Opening a New Merchant Account

Applying for a merchant account with Fidelity Payment Services is easy. Simply fill out the “contact us” form and we’ll be in touch with you shortly to help get you set up.

Here’s what you need to apply for a United States merchant account:

  1. A U.S. business address
  2. A U.S. tax ID # (or Social Security number (SSN) if it’s a sole proprietorship)
  3. A valid business checking account
  4. An authorized business signer that is a U.S. citizen (with SSN) with a fair credit score
Simply fill out the “Contact us” form on the right side of this page and a knowledgeable Fidelity payment expert will be in touch with you shortly to answer all of your questions.

Usually within 2-3 business days. The process of setting up a new merchant account includes getting approved by underwriting, and setting up or reprogramming equipment or software.

When a merchant sells a product or service that they cannot or do not deliver, is delivered poorly, or that is defective in some way, and the business cannot fix the situation with their own financial resources, then the Merchant Account Provider has to bear all the chargebacks, penalties, and losses. Thus, the risks are thoroughly screened and monitored closely.

Businesses with poor credit or no credit are very difficult to set up as the risks are very high. However, we deal with a number of banks that specialize in accommodating these types of high-risk accounts, and each account is considered on an individual basis.

Fidelity Services

Fidelity provides an extensive array of payment processing solutions for merchants in a wide range of businesses. Our services include credit card processing, check services, payment websites, POS terminals and devices, and ATM machines. For a full list of the services and solutions Fidelity offers, click here.
Merchant Services, or better known as credit card processing, is the handling of electronic payment transactions for merchants. Merchant processing activities involve obtaining sales information from the merchant, receiving authorization for the transaction, collecting funds from the bank which issued the credit card, and sending payment to the merchant. Click here to read more.
Fidelity’s Gift Cards program is a great way to grow your business. You can set up your own electronic gift card program just like all the major retail chains, but at a fraction of the price. Our Loyalty program enables you to reward your customers when they reach a certain number of points, purchases, or visits. A loyalty program will not only help you retain your customers, but increase spending and frequency of visits as well. Click here for more information about Fidelity’s Gift and Loyalty programs.
ACH is the term for Automated Clearing House, a system that electronically transfers money from one bank or financial institution to another. Instead of sending a check, the customer authorizes the merchant to initiate a “debit” directly out of their checking account. An ACH transaction can also be used as a “credit” the customer sends to the merchant. Click here for more information about Fidelity’s ACH solution.
The term “check services” (sometimes called “e-checks”) is a broad term that can include ACH, Check21, and Check Guarantee transactions. Check services allow you to handle checks and get the funds without having to go to the bank, whether with a desktop check scanner, online, or over the phone. For a full explanation of features and benefits, click here.
You can find an ATM machine in many retail stores, clubs, restaurants, and business offices. This is because it is an easy, automated source of income for a business and has a number of additional benefits. An ATM machine from Fidelity Payment Services is a great way to generate additional revenue because YOU set the price and YOU make the money! Here’s how: There is a surcharge that you charge each card holder for making a withdrawal from your ATM. You decide how much to charge for each surcharged transaction (typically between $1-$4.). All you pay to Fidelity is a nominal transaction fee, and the rest of the surcharge is yours to keep! Click here to learn more.
Cash in advance is a program that gives merchants the ability to get actual cash by tapping into the funds of future credit card sales. Fidelity’s Cash in Advance program allows merchants the convenient option of having cash on hand to manage their business cycles. For more info, click here.
To find out about the recent Visa/MC settlement, please email In a nutshell, the Visa/ MC settlement is a result of a class action lawsuit against Visa and MasterCard for collaborating and establishing unfairly high interchange fees on merchants processing their cards. Visa/ MC agreed to reimburse over $5.54 billion to merchants who accepted Visa or MC any time since Jan .1, 2004.

Equipment and Technology Solutions

A POS, or point-of-sale system, is a computer with integrated credit card processing capabilities that takes the place of a regular cash register. It uses customizable functions with features tailored to a particular industry or retail environment. It is extremely useful for retail businesses such as grocery stores and supermarkets, and for restaurants and fast food establishments. For more information about Fidelity’s POS solutions, click here.
Absolutely! All new merchants are thoroughly trained during the setup process. Knowing how to properly use your processing equipment or software will directly affect your bottom line. The last thing we want is for you to lose money on downgraded transactions or chargebacks! If you ever have any questions, simply contact our customer service department at and we will ensure that you receive any assistance you need.
We hear that all the time! With so many options to choose from, it can be very tricky for merchants to know what they need. That’s where Fidelity steps in. Our favorite motto is: “You tell us what you do… we’ll tell you what you need!”
E-commerce is a term used to describe a company that does business online on a website. In e-commerce transactions, the payment process occurs electronically and automatically through online payment “gateways” that integrate directly into your shopping cart.

A payment gateway is a virtual terminal that replaces the traditional countertop “credit card terminal” with a fully automated online portal. Cardknox is Fidelity’s proprietary flagship gateway. Give us a call for more information about processing with a gateway.

As Fidelity’s premier e-commerce portal, FideliPay provides a fast and reliable gateway for merchants to process secure credit card transactions. It is one of the most affordable on the market, is easily customizable, and includes credit card, check services, and recurring billing features. Unlike software, you do not need to upgrade to a newer version to get the new features, and you can access the gateway from anywhere—from work, home, on the road from your computer, or using our smart phone app. [ADD LINK]

Processing Credit Card Transactions

Fidelity proudly offers fast funding at no additional cost for most merchants and transaction types. Click here for more information.
There are a number of factors to keep in mind when setting up next-day funding, so please make sure to discuss it with your representative during the setup process. To receive your funds by the following morning, you will need to have your system set to batch out before a specified time each evening. Click here to read about Fidelity’s Next-Day Funding program.
Yes! With Fidelity’s Same-Day Funding program, daily settlement deposits are funded to your debit card account within 5 hours, 24/7 (including weekends and holidays). Click here to learn more about our Same-Day Funding program.

Voids and refunds are similar, but there are important differences.

A voided payment must be done on the same day as the original charge, before the batch is closed. The void does not show up on the cardholders’ credit card statement, although it appears as a temporary authorization hold on their account immediately after the transaction.

A refund can be issued any time after the original transaction, even if the batch was settled. A refund is displayed as a credit on the cardholder’s statement.

Most retail “brick-and-mortar” stores and businesses swipe credit cards when the card and cardholder are present. Other businesses, such as mail-order companies, key-in the credit card information without actually seeing the card or the cardholder. For online transactions the cardholder keys-in the transaction information. The difference between these swiped and keyed conditions are the associated risk factors per transaction.

The level of risk determines the merchant’s rates. Swiped transactions have the lowest rates because they are the lowest risk. This is because the customer and the card are present at the time of the charge and the merchant serves as a level of security. Keyed transactions have higher rates because the cardholder is not actually present when their information is entered and the card is charged, therefore there is a higher risk of fraud.

Billing Frequencies

Credit card merchant account statements are posted on the 2nd or 3rd day of each month for the previous month’s processing. Merchants should receive their processing statements in the mail by the 10th of the month. Those who opt for online reporting can view their statement by the 2nd or 3rd of the month.
Check services fees are debited on the 2nd week of each month for the previous month of processing.
Gateway fees are debited on the 2nd week of each month for the previous month of processing. An invoice is sent via email the same day.

PCI Compliance

PCI (Payment Card Industry) compliance is a security guideline mandated by the major credit card associations. It was created by the PCI Security Standards Council (PCI DSS) to reduce fraud in the credit card industry by requiring certain safety and security precautions in the handling of personal credit card information. Perhaps the most noted feature of PCI is that merchants are prohibited from storing payment card data in any shape or form—even on a spreadsheet on your desktop—unless it is encrypted in accordance with PCI rules. All merchants are required to submit an annual SAQ (Self Assessment Questionnaire) to verify compliance, and merchants who process over the Internet are usually required to pass a quarterly vulnerability scan. Click here for more information about PCI compliance.
Yes. All merchants are required by the major credit card associations to be PCI compliant. Being compliant ensures that your customers’ personal information is safe and that you run a secure operation. Non-compliant merchants who experience a data breach are most often faced with stiff fines and penalties, sometimes severe enough to shut a business down!
The username to access the PCI portal is your full merchant number. It can be found on your statement or on the sticker located on the side of your terminal.
Yes. Any merchant who accepts credit cards must be PCI compliant, no matter how often they process transactions.

Fraud and Chargeback Prevention

To help you prevent credit card fraud, Fidelity offers a wide array of fraud prevention tools, including customizable filters, advanced IP address tools, and automatic email notifications after suspicious transactions. It is important to note that the first step toward preventing credit card fraud is awareness of what you’re up against.

Although it’s not possible to prevent all chargebacks, the best method of preventing chargebacks due to fraud is to process transactions exactly as you were trained to do. For retail merchants, this means you should swipe, or perform card-present transactions with electronic authorizations and the cardholder’s signature. Additionally, there are several practices that merchants can adopt to reduce the likelihood of chargebacks. Some examples are: Having a clear refund and return policy, responding promptly to inquiry letters, and letting customers know what merchant name will appear on their credit card statements. For a full list of tips, click here.

Adjusting For Daylight Savings Time

No. Terminals need to be manually adjusted for Daylight Savings Time twice each year. For instructions on how to do so, click here.

Yes. Gateways and other online e-commerce options automatically adjust for daylight savings time.