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Maximize Your Business's Potential with a Credit Card Merchant Account

Credit Card Merchant Account

A credit card merchant account is an important business tool for any company. The day when credit cards were used for major purchases only is long past. If your business is unable to process cards, it could lose its customer base. A credit card merchant account gives your business that capacity.

What is a credit card merchant account?

Basically, a credit card merchant account is a specialized account with a bank that is a member of a credit association. This bank is certified with the association, and able to provide all of the services associated with the merchant account.

How does merchant account work?

Each transaction has six steps. An order is placed. The card processor receives the transaction and submits an authorization request to the issuing bank. The request is either approved or declined. On approval, the order is filled. A settlement request is sent to the credit card merchant account provider. The provider deposits money into your bank account.

Are there different types of credit card merchant accounts?

There are different accounts for different types of transactions, depending on the presence of a customer or card.

What if the customer is in my store?

Get a retail credit card merchant account. These accounts have a lower per transaction fee and discount rate than those of higher risk.

What type of account would I need to process phone orders?

You need a keyed credit card merchant account. Due to higher risk, this type costs a little more to maintain than “card-present” transaction accounts.

What if the customer is with me, but we're at a trade show or outdoor market?

A wireless credit card merchant account can fill your needs. This account charges comparable fees to the retail credit card merchant account.

My customers are online, is there an account for these types of transactions?

An internet credit card merchant account is designed to handle real time processing of “card-not-present” transactions. The fees charged should match closely those offered for a keyed credit card merchant account.

What can I expect to be charged for a credit card merchant account?

In addition to monthly fees for customer service, statements, and network access, you should also expect to pay a discount rate and a transaction fee.

What is a discount rate?

This is a rate figured as a percentage of the purchase on a credit card merchant account. It is deducted prior to transferring funds into your account. The credit card merchant account provider may charge a higher rate for transactions which don't conform to certain restrictions; like processing a competitor's card.

What is a transaction fee?

A flat amount paid by the holder of a credit card merchant account for each transaction. Usually from $.25 to $.50.

Understand the fees and capabilities inherent in the account you desire before applying for one. Used correctly, a credit card merchant account is a crucial tool for today's business.
Published: 2006-05-08
Author: PearlyWrites, LLC

About the author or the publisher
PearlyWrites, LLC offers services of copywriting, editing, research, and marketing to small and large businesses. Content is also provided for marketing companies focused on SEO, Web content, and print media. PW collaborates with over 100 freelancers to generate new, easy to read, strong copy. Genres include educational curriculum, real estate, finance, health, sports, credit, dogs, religion, and more! Visit us on the web at

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