About Merchant Accounts

What is a Merchant Account?
A merchant account is a special account that is setup for a business to take credit-card orders. After processing, the transaction goes through a series of stages. The money is then transferred from the merchant account into the business's checking account within 2 to 7 days.
Who is Eligible for a Merchant Account?
To get started you usually need to be the principle owner of the business and have the following information (this varies between providers):

  • Business located within the Country provided by the Merchant Account provider.
  • Federal Tax ID# (for corporations only).
  • A Social Security Number.
  • Checking Account.

What Do you pay for?
Merchant account fees and charges vary from the different providers but can include features like the following. Some will be free and some may have a setup fee or a transaction / monthly fee.:

  • Merchant account for Immediate Transaction Processing
  • A Secure, Encrypted, SSL (Secure Socket Layer) Payment Gateway that will allow you to take and process credit-cards in real-time over the internet.
  • A Virtual Terminal for processing off-line orders.
  • Set up with all Major Credit-Cards
  • All funds wired into the checking account of your choice
  • Online reporting and management of your transactions
  • Application Fee.
  • Paperwork.
  • Setup Fees.
  • Annual Fee.
  • Fraud Screening and Protection.
  • Automatic Daily Batching.
  • American Express Setup.
  • Technical Support.

Where do I get a Merchant Account?
There are many providers available, here are only a few (there are probably hundreds):

  • Verisign
  • Linkpoint
  • Authorize.net
  • Miva Payment
  • CyberSource
  • Paradata
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