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Home > Frequently Asked Questions

Who is Innovative Merchant Solutions?

How do I apply for an Innovative merchant account?

What type of businesses do you accept?

What if my application is denied?

What if I have questionable credit?

My business is located outside the United States. Can I still sign up for an Innovative merchant account?

How much does the service cost?

What will I need to apply?

How do I find out the status of my application?

Do I need to open a new bank account for my merchant account?

Which credit cards will I be able to accept?

I have a merchant service account through another bank. Should I cancel my account before I apply?

Will I need to purchase any additional equipment or a terminal?

How do I reprogram my terminal?

Will I be trained on the software or hardware I use to process transactions?

Will I receive a statement?

What is a discount rate?

Is the discount rate the same for all businesses?

Is there a transaction fee?

What is the Address Verification System?


Who is Innovative Merchant Solutions?

Founded in 1999, Innovative Merchant Solutions (IMS), is a provider of credit card and debit card processing services for small businesses. In 2003, IMS joined forces with Intuit Inc., the industry leader in helping small businesses better manage their finances.

How do I apply for an Innovative merchant account?

Just click here and fill out the one page application. The process takes about 5 minutes. If you'd like to apply via phone, call (866) 927-7180 Monday through Friday 8am-5pm Pacific Time.

We will contact you within 24 hours (not including weekends and holidays) to let you know which program you have qualified for, answer any questions you have, and complete your application.

What type of businesses do you accept?

We accept retail, professionals, trade shows, mail order, telephone order, Internet-based, and home-based businesses.

What if my application is denied?

Very few applications are denied. In fact, we approve 98% of all applicants who apply for merchant accounts.3 In addition, there is no application fee. If your application were declined, it would be at no expense to you.

What if I have questionable credit?

Credit is not always the determining factor in our approval process. If your credit is questionable, we have some options available to you so your account can be approved.

My business is located outside the United States. Can I still sign up for an Innovative merchant account?

Unfortunately, no. Only US-based companies with a U.S. bank account can use Innovative Merchant Solutions.

How much does the service cost?

For pricing comparisons, click here.

What will I need to apply?

You will need the following information about your business:

  1. Business information (Tax ID, physical mailing address)

  2. Owner/principal information (contact and identifying information)

  3. Account information (bank account, funding information)

  4. Estimated credit card sales and existing credit card processing information (if applicable)

  5. Current terminal model number

How do I find out the status of my application?

If you've already applied and have questions about the status of your application, please call (866) 927-7180.

Do I need to open a new bank account for my merchant account?

No. The funds you collect from credit card transactions are deposited directly into the bank account of your choice. Funds are usually available within 2 business days.

Which credit cards will I be able to accept?

We set up you so that you can accept MasterCard, Visa and bank ATM debit cards. You can apply for American Express and Discover at the same time. If you would like to accept Discover Card and American Express there is $50 set up charge.

I have a merchant service account through another bank. Should I cancel my account before I apply?

In order to assure uninterrupted processing, DO NOT cancel your existing merchant service until you've been approved and ready to process with Innovative Merchant Solutions. At that point, you can choose to cancel your existing service.

Will I need to purchase any additional equipment or a terminal?

Terminal Service: It depends. You can use your existing terminaland reprogramming is FREE.1 Just call (866) 927-7180 for assistance. Don't have a terminal, get one for a great price. Learn more about our terminals.

PC Service: No we provide you with FREE virtual terminal software, which lets you use your PC to manually key-enter card information, plus also lets you process sales anywhere there's an internet connection. You can also select the QuickBooks Merchant Service, which lets you manually key-enter card information right in your QuickBooks software.4

Internet Service: No we provide you with FREE gateway software, which lets you take sales over the Internet plus lets you manually key-enter card sales anywhere there's an internet connection.

How do I reprogram my terminal?

One of our Activation team members can assist you with reprogramming. Call (866) 927-7180 for help.

Will I be trained on the software or hardware I use to process transactions?

We provide full technical support and our experienced customer service representatives and tech support are available 24/7/365. Just call toll free (800) 397-0707.

Will I receive a statement?

Yes. A statement is mailed out monthly. It contains information on all deposits into your account, your total sales volume, and the charges for the month. There is a $12.95 monthly statement/customer service fee.

What is a discount rate?

Every bank charges a discount rate. The discount rate is the percentage of each transaction that the processing company charges to handle the transaction for you. Our discount rates are exceptionally low for retail (swiped), mail/telephone order, and Internet merchants.

Is the discount rate the same for all businesses?

No. Credit card transactions that are keyed-in are considered higher risk since the card is not present at the time of the sale. Merchants who do a lot of keyed-in sales (for example, mail/telephone order and Internet-based businesses) experience a higher discount rate than retailers where cards are physically presented and swiped.

Is there a transaction fee?

Yes. Credit card processing includes both a discount rate and a transaction fee.

What is the Address Verification System?

If you sell via mail/telephone order, or through the Internet, you don't want to send a product to a false address and risk a chargeback. The Address Verification System (AVS) lets you enter the customer's home address and compares it to the address on file with their credit card company. If someone uses a stolen card, and wants products shipped to a false address, AVS will detect this for you.

1 Not all existing terminals can be reprogrammed. A new purchase may be necessary. Terminals are available separately to lease or buy. Please call (866) 927-7180 for details.

2 Three months of transaction statements required. We will review your rates from your current provider and try our best to meet or beat your current rates. Call (866) 927-7180 for details.

3 Based on 2005 application approval rates.

4 QuickBooks Merchant Service requires at least QuickBooks Financial Software 2003 (for the PC), QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions 2.0, or QuickBooks Simple Start Edition 1.5. Please speak with our merchant experts for service and pricing details.

Application approval is required. Fees apply. Terms, conditions, features, pricing, support and service options are subject to change without notice. Innovative Merchant Solutions is a registered agent of Westamerica Bank, Santa Clara, CA, and JP Morgan Bank, Columbus, OH. FDIC Insured.

Transactions are subject to Association guidelines. Additional fees apply when accepting American Express, and Discover cards.

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National EFT is an agent of Innovative Merchant Solutions of LKC which is a sales agent for Innovative Merchant Solutions, LLC, an Intuit company, registered ISO of JP Morgan Chase and WestAmerica bank.