Any e-commerce business that uses a merchant account to sell their products needs a VAR sheet. However, if you’re a new site owner or you’ve been using alternative payment methods so far, you might be unfamiliar with the term.

At Blue Payment Agency we’re here to make online payments easy, which is why we want to bring the term VAR to your attention, explain what it means, and why it’s important.

What does VAR stand for?

Before we start, we want to quickly clarify what VAR stands for, since VAR is an acronym for a  couple of popular terms. We’re not going to discuss the term that references a popular method of evaluating risk. Instead, we’re here to discuss the term “Value Added Reseller”. It’s important to clear up any misunderstanding about the VAR acronym before we get going.

What’s the purpose of VAR?

The vast majority of e-commerce site owners use a merchant account and payment gateway to process payments online. In order to integrate a merchant account with a payment gateway, you, or your processor needs to access the information found on your “VAR.”

A Value Added Reseller (VAR) sheet, also known as a tear sheet or parameter sheet, is a file that contains critical credit card processing information. It’s designed to make communication between a merchant account and any third-party software or payment gateway as efficient and clear as possible. This is why any VAR sheet should contain a range of business-critical information, such as:

  • Bank account information
  • Business details
  • Merchant Identification Number (MID)
  • Processor information
  • Descriptor (what shows on a customer’s credit card statement)
  • Industry code, also known as an MCC or SIC code

This information is critical to ensuring that credit card payments are routed to the correct place and processed properly.

When is it necessary?

If you’re new to the online payment processing world, you might be surprised to hear how often VAR becomes necessary. For example, you’ll need it in order to integrate any third-party e-commerce software, such as shopping carts, payment processors, and payment gateways.

Your VAR sheet needs can become more complicated over time, especially if you start diversifying your online sales with multiple websites or product lines. Different software and gateways demand specialized information.

When is having a VAR in your possession not necessary?

Sometimes website owners have gateways that are set-up by their merchant account provider. In this case, although there always is a VAR on file, the site owner may not ever see it.

In other words, consulting a payment processing specialist to make sure the details are properly set up might be a good investment.

Organized parameter sheets are even more vital for high-risk businesses

It’s especially important to ensure that you have an accurate, and easily accessible VAR/parameter sheet if you sell high-risk products. In order to accept online payments for a high-risk e-commerce site, you might need to integrate more than one third-party software. Often, you’ll find that you need to do this more frequently than a lower-risk site. The only way to really remedy this is to ensure that you’re very organized and strategic.

However, with the right high-risk merchant account and payment gateway setup, this process will be easier to manage and maintain. It can also be very useful to consult a high-risk payment expert that can help manage the process. This way you’ll also gain dynamic communication between your merchant account and your gateway or third-party software.

Can you accept online payments without a tear sheet?

It is possible for you to accept online credit card payments without a tear sheet (VAR). However, that’s only if you use a payment aggregator like PayPal, Stripe, or Square. The issue here is that payment aggregators aren’t well suited for high-risk businesses.

In other words, if you’re selling high-risk products you’ll need to have your VAR sheets in order.

What if you have different points of sale?

Regardless of the type of points of sale (POS) system you use, be it retail or online, a VAR sheet is always instrumental in making sure you’re able to accept payments.

If you’re selling products from a store, your processor integrates the VAR sheet data with the physical credit card terminal to make sure payments are accepted properly.

While the format or particulars might be a little different for your high-risk payment gateway compared to a physical card terminal, the premise is the same.

Get expert help with your VAR sheet for online payment processing

Blue Payment Agency can help you solve a variety of problems. Including helping you organize your VAR sheets within one easy-to-use gateway. We’ll be able to help you organize, and set you up with, one easily managed gateway for multiple VAR sheets, should you need them.

Contact us today if you’re just starting out and unsure how to make the first step. We can help you choose or change merchant service providers, or even help you set up your e-commerce site.

We can also help you set up a payment gateway and merchant account that will work for your business type. After all, our mission at Blue Payment Agency is to make it as easy as possible for high-risk businesses to accept credit and debit card payments online.

Call Blue Payment Agency INC today at 844-253-9769 for payment gateway setups and assistance, or contact us here if you have any questions.