A merchant account typically refers to a specific bank account that enables businesses to accept credit and debit cards as payment for purchases. For many businesses, having this type of bank account is necessary. However, it is essential where the online merchant is concerned. With a merchant account, an agreement is established between the business and the following two entities:
• The bank holding the merchant account.
• The payment processor that handles the merchant’s credit and debit card transactions.
The fees that the merchant is charged by the bank and payment processor are classified into three different categories, namely the discount rate, monthly fees, and transaction fees.
Merchant processing or merchant card processing is a convenient way for taking credit and debit card payments in-person, over the Internet, or over the phone. It is used by those businesses and organizations who charge their clients or customers for products or services and in some cases, information. Merchant processing is considered the best of both worlds where businesses are concerned in that it is a good combination of convenience and security.
The convenience is derived from being able to use credit and debit cards for purchases and other transactions while the system that processes these is safe and secure. The individual’s credit or debit card information is recorded at the time of purchase and transmitted securely to the credit card company. It is then processed and the funds are deposited to the merchant’s bank account. Although the way in which the person’s card information is captured and transmitted will vary, the end result is the same.
Merchants that accept credit and debit cards for payment of products or services will establish an agreement or contract with a card processing service. That company will provide the merchant with an on-site credit/debit card machine or a service that is Internet-based. Either type of card processing system requires that the consumer’s information be transmitted safely and securely. This protects the consumer as well as the merchant.
By offering the consumer multiple payment options, including credit and debit card payment processing, they have a better chance of getting a client or customer’s payment immediately, no matter how large or small that business is. Additionally, the individual can purchase something today and not have to pay for it at the point of purchase. Since merchant credit and debit card processing offers a great deal of convenience for the consumer, this helps the merchant to increase their revenues.