6 things everybody should know about merchant accounts

If you were thinking about accepting credit card payments off and online, then chances are you’ll have to start looking for a merchant account. If you haven’t shopped for one before, you may have some questions about what they are exactly and how they work.

Choosing the right merchant account will be critical for your business. In this article, we’re going to give you some basic information about merchant accounts and how to get one.

What is a merchant account exactly?

A merchant account is simply an account that will allow you to process debit and credit card payments. Payments will be deposited in your merchant account until they can be released to your business account.

It’s also very important that you understand the distinction between your merchant and business account. Your business account is where all of your business funds will be deposited. A merchant account is arranged between a merchant and a credit-acquiring banking institution. This means you’ll have to go through a similar process to getting a credit card. The issuer will carry out a credit risk assessment on you. This is why your business’s credit will play an important part in whether you’ll be able to get a merchant account or not.

How do they work?

Your merchant account will be processed for every credit card and debit card payment that you accept. Everything that’s left after the fees are processed will be released into your business’s regular bank account. All of this is done automatically, so you don’t have to do anything.

The majority of payment processing companies will allow you to go online to check the transactions that have been made. This will let you check for irregularities and track sales as well. This is a great feature if you know how to use it properly.

Are there limitations to who can apply for one?

Depending on your credit history or the nature of your business, you might struggle to find a merchant account. One example is the adult industry. While it’s possible that you’ll be able to find a merchant account that will allow you to process payments, some will refuse any business that is in any way, shape or form associated with the adult industry.

However, there are services you can use to search through multiple merchant account providers that process adult website card payments. They will allow you to compare multiple banks and check which ones offer the better deal for you.

Can I accept payments in multiple ways?

Yes, you can. merchant accounts let you accept payments through a variety of means. If you operate a brick and mortar shop or have both an online shop and a regular one, you’ll need a merchant account to work with your point of sale terminal. You also will be able to accept contactless, Apple Pay, and Android Pay with the proper terminal.

You’ll also be able to use your merchant account to accept payments made through mobile or portable machines. Portable machines can be used up to 100 meters from the base and are often used in restaurants and cafes to allow patrons to pay from their seat. Mobile terminals allow you to accept payments if you’re on the road.

Will I be able to accept payments through the phone or online?

Yes, you can. A payment gateway will allow you to seamlessly accept payments online. It will be connected to your merchant account, so you can process orders instantly. A payment gateway and merchant account are the perfect solutions if you happen to be running an e-commerce site.

You can also accept payments over the phone through a virtual terminal. This is basically an online version of a regular card machine that is connected directly with the merchant account.

How much can I expect to pay?

A merchant account shouldn’t cost an arm and a leg and there are plenty of merchant accounts out there that are budget-friendly. By comparing different merchants, you should be able to find one that won’t eat too much into your profits.

You will usually have to pay two sets of fees for your merchant account. You’ll first have to pay a monthly fee to rent the terminals from your chosen machine provider. You will then have to pay either a set fee or a percentage on each transaction that is made. While in some cases, you’ll have to pay to open the account, most merchant accounts are free to open.


Understanding merchant accounts are essential if you want to be able to accept multiple forms of payments in your business. Make sure that you know everything there is to know about them and take the time to shop for a solution that will work for you.