November 16, 2021

How Instant is Instant Merchant Onboarding with Tilled?

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Some payments partners spout their “instant” or “frictionless” onboarding experience, but in our opinion they rarely accomplish it. With Tilled, when we say “instant merchant onboarding experience,” we mean it.

If you’ve been in the payments space for long, or if you’re still stuck working with a Legacy Payment Processor, you may remember the not-so-good old days of manual merchant onboarding. It often started by emailing a PDF application to a potential new merchant, which they would then need to print out in order to complete. Even if you were advanced enough to have an electronic editor so they could fill it out and sign it online, it still required information many merchants didn’t have easily on-hand — things like a photo of their driver’s license, a voided check, or even previous processing statements. 

All of this information had to be manually written or keyed in by the merchant, and then sent off to the processor. The processor would again have to manually key that information into their systems before starting the underwriting and onboarding processes and approving the merchant to start processing payments. For most processors, the fastest this could happen was a few days, but usually more like a week. And that was only if the merchant filled out the application immediately after opening it. For some merchants who drug their feet or needed time to gather information, the entire process from starting their application to actually processing a payment could end up taking several weeks or even a month.

Now let’s compare that timeline to the merchant onboarding timeline with Tilled:

Tilled Merchant Onboarding Timeline

4:00 pm: Merchant receives a link in their inbox to our digital application through our online onboarding portal.

4:08 pm: Merchant completes their application.

4:09 pm: Merchant is approved.

4:10 pm: Merchant processes their first payment through Tilled.

10 minutes —or less — and it’s done. In the time it takes to listen to a live rendition of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s ‘Free Bird’, your merchants can apply, get approved, and start processing payments through Tilled. If you don’t believe us, we’d be happy to demonstrate it to you

How Can We Onboard Merchants So Quickly?

More than 80% of our merchant applications are approved instantly. How do we do this? Well, part of our ability to complete the process so quickly lies at the heart of the PayFac model, and the master merchant vs. sub-merchant relationship. However, we also take advantage of an onboarding process that doesn’t require supporting documentation or scanning PDFs. Instead, it’s an entirely digital process. Merchants are guided through a handful of screens that ask for simple information they already know. Should they have a question, our process explains the reasoning behind each question, eliminating confusion that used to cause merchants to give up entirely.

The Value of Instant Merchant Onboarding 

Giving merchants a positive, instant onboarding experience will lessen the chance of them dropping off at the very bottom of your funnel. More importantly though, is that an instant onboarding enables your merchants to begin processing payments right away. If your merchants are waiting around for a week or more before they can begin processing payments, that’s a week or more of payments being processed that you, as the ISV, won’t benefit from. With Tilled, it’s possible that every payment your merchants process once they’ve agreed to use your payments services will add to your bottom line. 

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