Merchant Account Introduction

A Free Guide To
Merchant Account

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merchant account explained

A written, commercial bank account established by contractual agreement between a merchant/business and a bank and/or a payment gateway. The agreement contains the respective rights, warranties, and duties with respect to accepting bankcards like Visa or MasterCard. You must apply for this account directly from your bank, or from the Payment Processor.

e commerce merchant account article

Merchant Accounts and Shopping Systems
By Tom Antion

Congratulations! You created an impulse in a customer to buy your product, but there's one small catch--without some way to process their credit card information, your sale is gone.

One of the best ways to capture and use customer credit card information is with a merchant account (Visa, MasterCard, American Express) that is tied to your electronic shopping system. It used to be hard to get such a merchant account but no longer. It seems like every company out there is ready to give (well, not give but sell) you a merchant account, but beware.

You will run into all kinds of deals from people trying to lease you credit card swiping equipment, too. But unless you do a ton of face-to-face business, you will never see a real credit card and that credit card swiping machine will serve you better as a doorstop. I can safely say that nearly all of my sales are done via the Internet or telephone. Every once in a while, I'll get the odd fax order, but far and wide I have no use for a physical swiping machine. Even when I do sell products at the back of the room during my speaking engagements, I just fill out a form by hand to used later, and when possible, I bring my portable computer and capture customer information electronically to be used online later. And these days it seems I am finding more and more places have wireless networks to use so I can enter all the customer, account, and order information on the spot and submit the whole transaction online instantly. It's as if the customer was logging into my shopping cart system from somewhere else.


shopping for a merchant account, it is important to get firm numbers on up-front fees, monthly fees, credit card percentages, and costs per transaction, so be sure to get the merchant's definition for a "transaction," such as whether obtaining authorization only constitutes a transaction or whether processing a return does. All of these fees can add up, but still will seem like mere pennies when the orders start flowing in.

Another piece of advice to heed--don't try to save a few bucks by signing up for a merchant account, even if it is free, before you choose a shopping system. The shopping system is much more important. Make sure that any merchant account you consider works well with you shopping system.

One final bit of information is that you must sign up directly with American Express to take their credit cards. You can do this online at

For more information on shopping systems and merchant accounts, go to

Tom Antion is a success story in Internet marketing. He can show you how he makes a fortune promoting products and services online. For more information and a list of great resources, go to

We strive to provide only quality articles, so if there is a specific topic related to merchant account that you would like us to cover, please contact us at any time.

We want to thank those writers who are contributing at least weekly to our e commerce merchant account website.


Additional Related Resources      
Choosing An Internet Merchant Account
By Andy Quick
Surf to Google and perform a search on "Internet Merchant Account". The results are staggering (472,000 results!) If you have created a web based business and need to accept credit card payments, Read more...
Business Merchant Account - Get One
By Joshua Feinberg
Business merchant accounts are critical to have if you want to accept credit cards. Business merchant accounts are not limited to those computer consultants reselling products either. They are a Read more...
Choosing An Internet Merchant Account
By Andy Quick
Surf to Google and perform a search on "Internet Merchant Account". The results are staggering (472,000 results!) If you have created a web based business and need to accept credit card payments, Read more...
Boosting Your Business with a Merchant Account
By Jakob Jelling
The great majority of business conducted online is processed with a credit card. Also, credit card sales tend to be four times larger than a sale completed any other way. Knowing that most people Read more...

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