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What is an Internet Merchant Account? How do Internet Merchant Accounts work?

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What is an Internet Merchant Account?

A regular Merchant Account is an account set up between a retail company and a merchant bank which allows the retailer to accept a credit card order from a customer, and in turn receive the monies through the bank.

If you wish to accept credit cards online in your own company name you will need your own Internet merchant account.

Obtaining an Internet merchant account to accept credit cards on the Internet is more difficult than obtaining a 'regular' merchant account because the card is not present nor is a signature obtained.

Internet merchant account's are now part of the "Mail order - Telephone order" (MOTO) processing accounts because the cardholder isn't present, and a signature isn't taken. Nowadays, the three-digit number from the back of the credit card is used during an Internet purchase in place of a signature. Some banks have a futher password-checking system. However, Internet merchant accounts still receive more fraudulent transactions that offline retail based merchant accounts, and for that reason, the processing fees are usually higher.

This site compares the services of Internet-based credit card processing companies that will perform the credit card billing under their company name using their merchant account (for a percentage of the total sale amount) and forward the monies to your bank account or send you a check.

This article by Neil Shearing, executive author, 3rd Party Processors.

neil shearing, 3rd party processors author

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You don't need a Merchant Account to Accept Credit Cards on the Internet!

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