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Merchant services: Necessary documentation to open a gateway account

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Also known as a third-party merchant, a payment gateway account is basically the same thing as a merchant account, except that the gateway is used as a proxy between the business customer or merchant and the acquiring bank, which manages the merchant account.

Unsurprisingly, payment gateway providers will require the prospective business customer to provide them with quite a lot of business data and personal information - high-street banks are not the only ones to be obsessed with forms and documentation!

Here’s a list of what might be asked to a business customer wishing to open an online payment gateway account.

Business details to be submitted to the gateway account provider

Account providers will need as many data about your business as a traditional bank would.

1) Administrative details

Gateway account providers typically will ask for:

• a certificate of incorporation,

• a sales tax registration certificate,

• an amenities bill

• shop and establishment registration certificate

• when eligible, a partnership agreement (mandatory, if partnership firm)

• a rent or lease agreement

• a VAT registration certificate

2) Financial details

Financial information will also need to be submitted:

• latest income tax return,

• latest bank statements,

• or even latest financial auditing report

Gateway account

Personal details

Persona details of the business manager and/or owner will also have to be transmitted to the gateway account provider for scrutiny.

1) Identity proof

Accepted identity proof may be in the form of:

• a valid driving license,

• a valid passport,

• an introduction letter from an existing banker

2) Address proof

The proof of address may be:

• an electricity bill,

• a telephone bill,

• a letter from the banker.

Then again, some gateway providers will also ask for a residence proof !

Once again, this is a “worst case” scenario, and fortunately, many account providers will not ask for so many documents. However, those who believe that online businesses do not require the same amount of paperwork that brick-and-mortar do, and think that they might do business nearly anonymously will be very disappointed.

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