Merchant Account FAQ

Thinking about Canada First for your payment processing needs?
We’ve compiled some of the most common questions that 
our customers ask before partnering with us.
Can’t find the answer you’re looking for?
Just Call: 888-616-6967

What name is displayed on my customers' credit card statements?

Only your business operating name will appear on their statement. This is known as your DBA (doing-business-as) or O/A (operating-as) name.

How long does it take for funds to appear in my bank account?

If you are banking with a major financial institution in Canada, your funds should appear in your account within 1 business day. Visit our Daily Bank Deposit Information Section for more details.

When are fees removed from my account?

We operate on a gross-billing cycle (unless a special request is made). Settled transactions will appear in your bank account in full and transactions fees for the processed funds are removed from the same bank account at the end of each month.

What is a chargeback?

A chargeback is a debit to a merchant’s account from a previous sales transaction. The reasons for chargebacks can be due to errors made by the merchant in the submission of their credit card transactions, non-authorized transactions and disputes from cardholders. When this occurs, First Data will send the merchant a “Dispute Notification” which asks for a copy of the receipt as proof that the cardholder authorized the sale. When you receive these notices, please respond to them within the timeframe indicated on the notice.

What can I do to avoid chargebacks?

Telephone/Mail order and e-commerce orders may have a higher risk for chargebacks if you don’t follow some of the guidelines for accepting Card Not Present transactions. The fact that you obtained an Authorization approval number does not mean that the transaction is a guarantee of payment. The authorization only tells you that the card is a valid credit card and that there are enough funds on the card for the amount of the transaction.

  • Authorize all transactions regardless of the dollar amount.
  • Establish an in-house system for tracking “problem credit card accounts” i.e. accounts that have experienced chargebacks in the past, for future cross-reference.
  • Only bill the customer for merchandise that has been shipped.
  • Obtain an authorization and once the product or service is provided, only then should you complete the sale.
  • Keep detailed records of all order forms, shipment slips, delivery receipts, and customer information such as address, telephone number, delivery signature, pertinent invoices, and e-mail address.
  • Be wary of “transient” shipping addresses for individuals, i.e. motels, PO Boxes etc.
  • Indicate clearly on the sales documents whether the transaction occurred over the phone, by mail or over the Internet.
  • Credit your customers’ account immediately if they have returned the merchandise or are disputing the charge.
  • Do address verification on suspicious orders, by calling the customer to confirm the order, and always send an email to notify the customer of the order.
  • Whenever possible, ship your products with a courier that can provide you with a signature for proof of delivery.

How long do refunds take to process?

Refunds are processed in real-time and settled with the rest of your transactions. The customer’s credit card bank can take up to 10-days to display the refund on the customer’s statement.

What is the process to accept other credit cards, such as American Express and Diners Cards?

First Data is able to provide you with the ability to accept American Express cards. To add other card plans you will need to deal directly with that company to obtain a merchant number for that card product, then inform First Data so that your web site can be activated for that card type. Your First Data Representative will assist you with setting up you American Express or Diners Club Account. (888-616-6967)

What are the fees associated with an Internet VISA/MasterCard Merchant Account?

There is a Merchant Discount Rate, which is based on your average monthly VISA/MasterCard dollar volumes and the dollar size of your average transaction.

Other fees such as set-up, per transaction and monthly fees are dependent on what type of Merchant Account you require and how the transactions will be transmitted to First data.
To get specific fees for your particular application, please contact your Canada First representative at 888-616-6967.

Do you offer seasonal merchant accounts? How do they work?

Yes. If your business operates seasonally, please indicate which months you are active and which months your business are dormant. You will not be charged any fees on your off-season.

Are there any prohibited merchants?

Where SEO services are specifically advertised

All of First Data’s merchants must operate according to each card brand’s policies and within Canadian and US laws and the laws of their operating regions. If you are unsure whether your business falls within our prohibited merchant list, please contact us.


Adult and Sexually-Oriented Products & Services


Bitcoin and Other Money Transfer Services

Business or Investment Opportunities

Buying Clubs

Collection Agencies, Credit Restoration Agencies, Bankruptcy Lawyers and Agencies Specializing in the Refinancing of Debt.

Credit Repair / Debt Consolidation Services

Dating/Escort/Companion Services

E-Cigarettes & Vaporizers

Non Registered Charities

Fantasy Sports Leagues / Games of Skill

Online Firearms / Weapons /Ammunition. Includes mail order / telephone order

Identity-theft protection services

Illegal Drugs and Psychoactive Products

Immigration Consultants

Internet Gambling

Investment Services

Mail Order Spouse and Match-Making Services

Marijuana, Marijuana Products, Marijuana Services

Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) and Pyramid Schemes

Nutraceuticals / Pseudo-Pharmaceuticals

Payday Loans

SEO Services and Packages

Telemarketing Firms


Online Tobacco and Nicotine Products, Internet/Mail Order/Telephone Order

Video / TV Streaming

Virtual Currency


Toys, books, videos, strip clubs, escort/dating services

Excludes wineries that follow age verification at the time of sale and delivery and business to business.

“Get rich quick” products, real estate investment with no money down, diamond/precious metals from non-registered suppliers, etc.

Merchants that offer their members discounts for purchasing products or services (e.g. home renovation buying clubs, auto parts buying clubs, vacation clubs, etc.)

Includes restoration or card protection services (including identity theft protection).

Includes all types of services in this industry, even if not sexually-oriented.

Regardless of chip & pin, Mail Order / Telephone Order, or Internet

Those charities not registered with the Canada Revenue Agency. If registered must provide Canadian Charities # with application.

Where participants receive cash or cash equivalents or prizes with/of material value (e.g. electronics, travel, gift cards, etc.)

Includes firearm/weapon parts but does not accessories.

Excludes established businesses owned/operated by lawyers.

Merchants who buy, sell and broker securities and stocks

Includes medical dispensaries, excludes hemp.

Includes title loans and any loan/lines originating from non-CDIC insured banks.

Includes all types of transactions related to timeshares (e.g. timeshare sales, maintenance & booking fees, etc.)

Retail is allowed

Includes all types of merchants that offer video or television streaming equipment and/or services, whether a one-time payment or recurring fees.

That can be monetized, resold, converted, traded into physical / digital goods & services outside the virtual world.

The above list is for informational purposes only and does not represent a guaranteed approval for businesses outside of these industries. All new applicants are subject to conditions and approval of the application by First Data and its partnering banks.

E-Commerce FAQ

Are E-Commerce Transactions Secure?

At First Data we are committed to ensuring the integrity of payment information, and the prevention of credit card fraud. We work with the card associations to ensure that our e-commerce payment processing solutions are secure and in complete compliance with their rules and regulations.

What is SSL?

Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) protocol was developed by Netscape Communications Corporation to provide a high level of security for Internet communications. SSL provides an encrypted communications session between your web browser and a Web server. When sensitive information is being sent over the Internet between your browser and a web server SSL verifies that the information has not been altered in any way on-route. All major browsers released in recent years support SSL.

What is SET?

SET (Secure Electronic Transaction) protocol is an open industry standard promoted by MasterCard and Visa International and developed to facilitate secure and authenticated electronic commerce over open networks, most notably the Internet. SET combines SSL technology with the added security of digital certificates to assist in authenticating parties involved in financial transactions. The SET protocol will provide a universal accepted standard for ensuring secure electronic credit card payments.

What is Verified by VISA? Can I Include It On My Web Site?

Through the simple Verified by Visa password verification process, cardholders’ identities are confirmed in real-time during checkout by the cardholder’s financial institution. It has been designed to replicate “card present” environment, and can reduce the risk of fraud and Chargeback costs, with minimum impact to your current transaction processing.

Merchants may only display the Verified by Visa Service logo on their web sites if they are participating in the program. It can enhance your reputation as a safe shopping site and turn the “e-browser” into a loyal, repeat purchaser.

For more information, go to

Can I Accept INTERAC Direct Payment (debit cards) On My Web Site?

Yes, the INTERAC Online payment option is available through First Data’s E-commerce solution.

If I Receive An Authorization Number On The Transaction From My Web Site, Is This A Guaranteed Sale For My Business?

If funds are available and a card has not been reported lost or stolen, the transaction will most likely be approved by the issuing bank. For merchants, it is important to remember that an authorization is not proof that the true card holder is making a purchase or that a legitimate card is involved. An authorization only means that credit is available and that the card is not currently blocked. To detect fraud, authorizations must be augmented with the right combination of tools and controls.

I'm A Web Developer And Would Like To Provide An E-Commerce Solution For My Clients. What Solutions Does First Data Have For Me?

First Data Solutions, along with our industry partners, has several “hosted” versions of payment servers which can enable your clients’ web site for e-commerce. Please contact your First Data representative at 1-866-616-6967.

I Operate A Business Outside Of Canada And Would Like To Accept Credit Cards On My Web Site. Can First Data Help Me?

Yes First Data can help. Please call 1-866-616-6967 for more information. First Data has US operations as well. If you have a business operating out of the United States we can set up your US Merchant Account as well. Contact us at 1-866-616-6967.

Why do I need another VISA/MasterCard Merchant number for my Internet "virtual" store if I already have one for my "physical" store location?

Accepting transactions on the Internet requires that you apply for a separate Internet Merchant number, which is authorized by First Data for Card Not Present transactions.

Application FAQ

How long does it take to apply?

New applications are approved on average within 24 to 48 hours. Your equipment is shipped via FedEx.

What documents do I need to apply?

You need a void cheque for the bank account that will be receiving the funds and a copy of your business license or business registration.

What factors are taken into account for my application to be approved?

The main factors that will affect your application approval are your estimated monthly credit card processing volume, the average size of your transactions and your industry.

Is there a personal credit check?

A basic credit check is performed on new applicants. We do this because we offer a financial service. If you have an established business (corporation) or a non-profit, the credit check can be circumvented by providing financial statements for the business or organization. We are also one of the few processors that allow for co-signers.

Do I need to open a separate merchant account with my bank?

No. We provide the complete processing solution that includes a Visa and Mastercard merchant account registration.

Products and Services Providing You With The Solutions You Need

Our Merchant Advisers are here to help you figure out the right mix of devices and services to best serve your business and customer needs.

Payment Terminals

Equip your store, restaurant, or office with the latest in wired, wireless and bluetooth payment technology.

Mobile Pay

Mobile Payment Solutions

Our Mobile Pay app and card reader for smartphones and iPad, let you to quickly take secure credit card payments anywhere.

Online Shopping Card


E-commerce technology makes it easy for your business to get online and sell to a wider audience.

Want More Information?

Call us at 888-616-6967 or Click the button to send your request.