Best Merchant Accounts

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For anyone planning to engage in ecommerce, or selling products or services online, you will need to establish a merchant account with a bank or merchant service provider to be able to accept credit cards online. Through a merchant account, your website can be setup to capture a customer's credit card information and process it online through your merchant account provider's processing system. 

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What is a merchant account?
A merchant account is an account set up by a bank or other provider which allows a business to accept credit cards as payment for the goods or services they sell.  Merchant accounts are a necessary part of any business being able to accept credit card payments. When a credit card transaction occurs, the merchant account provider processes the credit card transaction and deposits the collected funds into your business checking account. The merchant account provider accepts the risk that the credit card is going to be valid and that the purchase is going to be honored.

How do merchant accounts work?
After a credit card is swiped or entered into the required system for payment, there is a process that the transaction goes through that is invisible to you, the merchant, and the customer or cardholder. First, an electronic request is sent to the network associated with the credit card, which will handle the request for funds. The processing network then sends the request to the issuing bank for approval. After receiving the request from the network, the issuing bank will make a decision on whether to authorize the funds or not. If the cardholder's account is current and in good standing with the issuing bank, then the issuing bank sends approval and agrees to fund the transaction. If the cardholder's account is not in good standing, then the transaction will be declined.

Assuming that the transaction is approved, the merchant receives an authorization code that the purchase was approved. The authorization code assures the merchant that they will receive payment for this transaction. Once the issuing back authorizes a transaction, they assume all responsibility for collecting payment from the cardholder. In exchange for assuming this risk, the issuing  will charge a fee, which is passed on to the merchant and is included in the rate quoted by your merchant account provider. Merchant account fees vary from company to company and are partly determined by the services you choose. 

Where can I get more information about merchant accounts?
You can easily compare merchant accounts and read reviews and ratings of many providers. This website makes it easy to find the right plan for your business., one of the more popular merchant accounts accepts all kinds of businesses, charges no application fee, and has a 98% approval rate. You can accept major credit cards for your sales within 24 hours upon completion of the online application and approval. In addition to accepting credit cards on your web site in real-time, you will also receive a web-based credit card processing terminal so you can process transactions manually.

To find out more about how merchant accounts work, check out the tutorials at

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