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13 October 2011

Merchant Account

A merchant account is a type of bank account that allows businesses to accept payments by debit or credit cards. So a merchant account is an agreement between a retailer, a merchant bank and payment processor for the settlement of credit card and/or debit card transactions.

If you are going to operate an ecommerce business and want to accept credit card payments online, you need at least one Internet merchant account (even if you already have a merchant account,
in many cases).

An Internet merchant account is a merchant account specifically designed to handle online payment processing of credit cards. If you already have a merchant account, you'll probably notice that another difference between the two is the fees; typically, the Internet merchant account fees are higher because of the assumed higher risks of online payment (as opposed to a face-to-face credit card or debit card transaction).

You may be able to get Internet merchant accounts from your bank (the same place you got your merchant accounts for your bricks-and-mortar retail business). Because you need separate Internet merchant accounts for each type of card you wish to accept as online payment, it may be easier to purchase your Internet merchant accounts through an online payment processing services company, such as Beanstream.

Either way, you'll want to shop around. Merchant account fees are usually broken down into three categories: a discount rate, transaction fees, and monthly fees, and fees can vary widely.
Common Misspellings: Merchent account, merchant acount.
Knowing that most people who shop online prefer a choice of online payment options, Lee set up the Internet merchant accounts he needed to accept online payment by credit card when he first started his ecommerce website.

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