Frequently asked questions (FAQ) 

...and links to informational pages

Please keep in mind that these questions were gathered from new business owners, and are meant to answer very basic questions. If you do need to ask highly technical questions please contact us at the numbers at the bottom of this page.

Questions about: Links for:

Questions about Arvic's Services.

What is meant by the term 'Real Time' processing?

Simply stated, this means that the entire process of authorizing credit cards and depositing funds to your bank account is shortened. Within 5 - 15 seconds your customers purchase is authorized and the funds are ready to be deposited. You bypass the time and money needed for

  • the added security measures to your site

  • the manual time to process the card

  • the time taken to invoice

  • the time to send a receipt.

These are only a few of the benefits of Real Time processing. Please go to Real Time for a more detailed description.

How quickly does the merchant receive his funds?

We settle all transactions for all merchants at the close of each business day. The card companies post your funds to your bank within about 2 hours of settlement. Therefore, in almost every case, the funds are in your bank account the next business day.

What is Arvic's hold back rate? 

Arvic does not hold back any funds. Your money is never sent to us. Your funds are deposited directly to your bank account from the card company.

Who are the other companies presently on your system?

We have been asked this question a lot since the start of ArvicSecure. You would like assurance that the system works, and to see if there are others that use it. Well we use it, the banks list is as suppliers and you will find our logos out there. Unfortunately, for security reasons, we can not give you either a client list or any details about other merchants. Soon it will be apparent who is on our system when our merchants begin displaying the ArvicSecure logo as a sign of web site security.

What is Arvic's job?

We are here act as your "Internet Point of Sales Terminal". To do this we provide you a secure way to contact your credit card companies in order to insure a credit card is valid. We provide you the SSL security layer, among other processes, in order for the small business community, that does business in the physical world, to venture online without the outrageous transaction fees.

Many of the large businesses in Canada that authorize around a thousand transactions a day or even an hour had to spend added time and money on a system such as ours. Elaborate systems in order to automate credit card transactions could cost from mere thousands up to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Plus, there is the fact that this had not been successfully accomplished in Canada for the small business community, let alone multinational corporations. You can have the ability to be one of the first in our country!

What Arvic does is save you trouble and expense when you will only be processing a hundred transactions a month.

Mainly, Arvic is giving small businesses the ability to compete globally by lowering your costs, and increasing your productivity. Instead of having people manually process your credit cards, make an invoice, and send a receipt, ArvicSecure automates it for you and you just need to provide your product or service.

How are the credit cards never saved, stored or seen?

Arvic is under agreement with the banks that we can never save the credit card numbers, and since the credit card numbers are only entered onto our site, you don't have the chance to save them either. The act of storing credit card information happens when the business has to have a record of the number at least until the transaction is authorized. With our process the card number is simply 'passed' to your credit card company through secure passageways. The card company, in turn, simply returns our transaction ID number and an authorization code. We send this information back to the merchant. This is the only time our customer's credit card number is ever seen and the only company that can see it, is the credit card company.

Questions about Merchant accounts.

What is a merchant account?

A merchant account is contract that you have with your bank that allows you to accept credit card transactions. In Canada no bank is allowed to issue more than one credit card merchant account. Therefore, if you want to be a merchant for both Visa and Master Card then you will need two separate merchant accounts with two different banks. However, a couple of new companies have started offering merchant services in Canada as joint ventures with banks. Through are service you can complete one form that sends your application for merchant accounts to two banks. To learn how to apply click Before completing this form make certain that you have read, understand and agree to the Banks TERMS.

Do I need to have a merchant account?

Yes! In order for you to process credit card sales from your web site, and use the ArvicSecure processor, you will first need to have your merchant accounts set-up. Your merchant numbers enable your daily transactions to be automatically deposited into your own bank accounts. Arvic assists businesses that presently have credit to conduct business on the Internet. To learn how to apply click New Merchant Accounts. Before completing this form make certain that you have read, understand and agree to the Banks TERMS.

How do I get a merchant account?

You have two options to secure a merchant account. 

  • Option 1: Go to your Bank. This option has become much simpler in the last year than it previously was. You can contact your bank's Merchant Services department and let them know you would like a Merchant Account. You will need to explain that you will be conducting business over the Internet with the AsssurePay/ Emgeris system supplied by Arvic Search Services Inc.

You will negotiate your discount rates, as well as the fees applicable to your Merchant Accounts directly with your bank because those fees will be payable directly to your bank. You will discuss which credit cards, and in what Currencies you will accept with your new Merchant Accounts.

Then, after you have received your Merchant Account Number from your bank, you can Apply for the Arvic Secure credit card services. 
Apply for Arvic Secure credit card Service

  • Option 2: Go through us. As a second resort, you can also apply for your Merchant Accounts through our arrangement with FirstData Merchant Services for both your VISA and Mastercard. FirstData will personally contact you in order to negotiate over your Discount Rates and the set-up fee they will require. Please be aware that this option is not to be soley used because you were turned down fromyour bank. 

Before completing this form make certain that you have read, understand and agree to the Banks TERMS
Apply to First Data 

What needs to be done before I apply for credit card processing?

Contacting us for credit card processing is definitely not the first step in setting up your online venture.

  • First thing you need to do is register or incorporate your company.

  • Next you will need to get your bank accounts, GST number, Merchant Account Number, etc.

  • Next is to contact an Internet Service Provider to host your web site. If you do not know one then let us know. We have a list of preferred ISP's across Canada and would be happy to refer one to you.

  • Next. Produce or find a shopping cart program to manage the accounting functions of your web site sales. We have one if you need it.

  • Now it is time to complete our online Application Form.

  • While your application is being processed you should visit our DEMO area to learn more about how the service works.

Basically, make sure that you can provide us with all the answers from our Application Form. From this point your system should be well established so that the link between ArvicSecure and your site can be made, and processing can start. 

Can Arvic help me get my merchant account?

Yes we can. If you DO NOT currently have a merchant account then, by special arrangement with the First Data Financial Services we can provide almost every business with new merchant accounts for Visa & MasterCard. To learn how to apply click New Merchant Accounts. Before completing this form make certain that you have read, understand and agree to the Banks TERMS.

Questions about fees.

What are the Costs for Credit Card Processing?

We have three sets of fees. First: the initial set-up fee of $150.00. Second: a fee to process your transactions. We charge you either $30.00 per month or $0.30 (30 cents) per transaction which ever is the greater. In other words the first 100 transactions, or any part thereof, will cost you $30.00. Each additional transaction will cost you $.30 (30 cents). Third: GST on everything. Our fees are separate from your discount rates negotiated directly with your bank.

When are the transaction rates negotiable?

Unfortunately, the only time that the transaction rates are negotiable is when there is a high volume of traffic on your site. When you are producing thousands of credit card transactions a month you will be eligible.

Is there a minimum number of transactions I need to process in a month, week, or day?

You can process 1 transaction a month or a thousand an hour. There is no minimum or maximum on what your business can process. However, you are charged a monthly minimum fee of $30.00 for our services if your transaction volume is less than 100 transactions per month.

If my company's transactions per month grow, will I need to change from Arvic to another Credit Card Processing Provider?

No matter how much your system grows, or improves, you will always be able to use ArvicSecure. We have the means to grow with all of our merchants. We don't have any minimum OR maximum transaction requirements.

Questions about Credit Cards.

What credit cards can I accept?

We process transactions for every major merchant card used in Canada. If they will give you a merchant account then we will process the transactions. 

Can I accept US and Canadian dollars, or can I only use Canadian?

Yes. Currently Canadian Visa merchants can have a merchant account in US dollars. It is expected that Master Card will offer the same service in the Spring of 2003. Visit our DEMO area to learn more about how the service works.

How do we handle charge backs, voids, and returns?

The best way to deal with charge backs is to keep good records of your sales. In general the Canadian consumer is honest. In the vast majority of cases a charge back is initiated when the consumer does not recognize your firms name on his monthly statement. Once he is made aware of who you are the charge back is reversed. 

Voids and returns can be dealt with through the merchants administration area of our web site. When your invoice comes back to you it will have two very important numbers on it; the authorization number and the transaction number. From the merchant admin area of our web site you can issue credits, voids or refunds based on these two numbers.

Questions about Set-up

How long will it take for my business to start accept credit cards?

If you have an existing merchant account then it normally takes us around 5 business days to verify your merchant account information. If you are applying for  new merchant accounts then you should allow 5 additional days. After that, it should only be another day or two for you and your webmaster to install, activate and test the application.

What will I need to supply to Arvic?

Look over our Apply Now page for all the required application information for those who have merchant accounts or review our New Merchant Application if you do not have merchant accounts. You should also visit our DEMO area to learn more about how the service works.

What Credit Cards can I accept?

You can accept any credit card as long as you have a merchant account. With this number we have the means to get in contact with your bank and process the transaction. Therefore the possibilities are endless. Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Diners Club, Discover, etc. Prior to completing this form you need to contact your banks merchant services department and let them know you want to use our services.

Can I accept US and Canadian dollars, or can I only use Canadian?

Accept either or both Canadian and US dollars. If it is worthwhile for your business to accept both US and Canadian dollars, then Arvic has the means for you to do that. However, you will need a merchant account for each currency. Prior to completing our form you need to contact your banks merchant services department and let them know you want to use our services. Then visit our DEMO area to learn more about how the service works.

Does my company have to be Canadian?

We accept small businesses. It does not matter if your company is American, Japanese, Spanish, or Chinese. As long as you have a Canadian Presence we can process your transactions. To secure a Canadian Presence read the Requirements

How does Arvic connect to all the different credit card companies?

We connect to all the credit card companies through the world wide ATM network. In Canada the network is operated by Bell Canada. Within the banking industry our type of service is known as "SNS/Assure"

Can I apply as an individual?

In most cases you can not. However, If you banker is prepared to issue you a merchant account then we will certainly provide you with processing services.

Questions about Shopping Cart software

Does Arvic offer a shopping cart Program?

Yes we do. We have, what we feel is an excellent chopping cart. To view a demo  click FREE Shopping Cart.

Will I be required to use the Arvic Shopping cart?

No. We invite you to use any third party shopping cart program on the market. However, in order to use this software you will need to have access to the source code as well as a programmer who can make modifications to pass your transactions to our processor. You should also visit our DEMO area to learn more about how the service works.

What if we do not have a shopping cart?

We do have a small list of free shopping carts that we have taken off the Internet, but this is not our suggested course of action. Great care should be taken in order to have a shopping cart program that works best for your business. Your Shopping Cart has to perform the way you want it to, collect the information you need, and handle your order volume. Therefore, we do suggest that you find or build your own. This way you will be assured that your system works exactly how you need it to. Using ArvicSecure will be useless to you if you have chosen the wrong shopping cart. You should also visit our DEMO area to learn more about how the service works.

Can I use my own shopping cart program?

Yes. We will even help you configure it for you and, if you want, once it is finished, we will tell our customers how to contact you so you can sell them copies of it. You should also visit our DEMO area to learn more about how the service works.

Don't hesitate to call us
for any other answers you may need.

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Arvic Search Services Inc.
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Phone: 403-234-0844  Toll Free: 1-888-227-8421  Fax: 403-294-0944     or
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