What Is a Merchant Account and How do They Work?
What is a merchant account anyway?
And how is it different from a regular bank account?
Accepting card payments doesn’t have to be extremely complex. We’ve laid out the entire process of accepting credit cards in an easy infographic – so you can see what’s involved every step of the way.
And, even though your merchant account is a crucial step of the process – it’s just one part of accepting credit card payments.
With all that said, lets find out what a merchant account is.
Whether you’re setting up credit card processing for the first time or are a long-term business owner, credit card processing is a crucial part of business.
Data shows that 75% of consumers prefer buying with cash – so you have to accept cards, online and offline. But, it’s not as simple as just setting up a terminal and accepting funds.
Every time a customer swipes a card or taps a contactless payment, ‘gears’ start turning, and multiple parties jump into action, trading authentications, approving funds, and ensuring that you and the customer are who they say they are.
No matter what payment method you’re using, a lot has to happen before your customer will see some variation of “Payment Approved” on your card terminal screen or on your checkout page… even when those processes happen in mere milliseconds.
Processing funds means you’ll need a merchant account, payment gateway, acquiring bank, … the list goes on and on. But, what do all of these parties actually do?
With 4-10 business entities involved in every single transaction, it’s no wonder that setting up credit card processing can get confusing – especially if you work with multiple providers instead of just one. You’re also paying transaction costs to every party involved, which is one of the reasons why it’s important to understand the process and what you need set up credit card processing.