What is a Merchant Account?
A merchant account is provided by a company that allows you to process payment from credit cards and other forms of payment directly from your website. Working in conjunction with a payment gateway and frequently requiring an SSL for your domain to allow the secure transfer of credit card information, a merchant account processes payments for a transaction fee.
Depending on the company you acquire your account from, you'll be able to accept payments from cards such as MasterCard, Visa, Discover Network, American Express, Diners Club International and JCB.
Using payment gateway software of your choice, many merchant accounts may be integrated directly into your website allowing you to process transactions without your customers ever leaving your domain. Other merchant services, such as PayPal, offer external payment gateways with fewer software and service requirements, allowing you to send your customers to a third party website to complete their transaction.
For more information on how to accept credit card payments for your online store or business, please read our article dedicated to this topic: