Payment processing technology provider SecureNet Payment Systems LLC has launched an instant merchant account boarding software that allows the merchant to begin accepting payments immediately, rather than endure a two-day wait.

"This product is all about creating an efficient way for a merchant to apply for a merchant account without waiting for the usual 24 to 48 hours," says Nish Modi, vice president of product at SecureNet.

Instant boarding, or receiving the merchant account and entering the processor database, complements SecureNet's e-commerce payment products and its point-of-sale virtual terminal software, the Rockville, Md.-based processor says.

After SecureNet establishes the merchant account that allows immediate payment acceptance, the company continues the backend underwriting and risk management assessment processes for the account.

"It is pretty rare that we would have problems after the account is in operation, but in some cases we may need something clarified or have a need to contact the merchant for some reason," Modi says. "But at least we are not holding up his business in the process."

SecureNet's instant boarding provides a merchant account ID that allows the merchant to choose between card acceptance through e-commerce or at a point of sale terminal.

"As providers are building infrastructure for those merchants in e-commerce, getting to market quickly is important," Modi says. "Providers try to develop click-and-start applications for the merchants without it being real technical."

The instant boarding represents another step in the "click-and-start" process for merchants, he adds.

The system has been in pilot testing with the company's main reseller, Bigcommerce Pty., Ltd., of Austin, Texas, Modi says. Bigcommerce sells shopping cart and e-commerce products to merchants and is a reseller of SecureNet's payments services.

U.S. merchants can obtain SecureNet products through the websites of the company's resellers. SecureNet is a direct payment processor of Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express in addition to online automated clearing house and other transaction types.

The instant boarding is not currently set up to establish a merchant account for those using card readers attached to mobile phones, but such a product "is on our future roadmap," Modi says.

Databases for risk management and transaction records in e-commerce have become so sophisticated, companies likely can determine much faster than in the past whether a merchant would qualify for a merchant account or if there were red flags, says Maria Arminio, president of Avenue B Consulting Inc., a Redondo Beach, Calif.-based payments management consulting firm.

"We need to take advantage of growth in the e-commerce space, and what SecureNet is offering speeds up that process," Arminio says. "I have heard of instances where the merchant is waiting on account approval for much longer than two days."

With "know your customer" databases available, organizations like SecureNet are likely far more comfortable with hedging their bets and providing pre-screening while the business is off the ground and running, she adds.

SecureNet recently expanded its business with an office in California and a technology development center in Austin.

 

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