Internet shoppers naturally favor business websites that accept all credit card payments, hence the increasing need for easy to operate, low-cost merchant accounts. On their part, merchant account providers are constantly re-inventing themselves to provide complete security for credit card processing.
A merchant account is essentially a contract or an arrangement between a bank and a merchant, or a merchant account provider and a merchant. The merchant wishes to accept payments for his services/merchandise through card transactions of a particular credit card brand. The acquiring bank extends credit to the merchant, processes the customer’s credit card information and approves the transaction. In addition to such direct dealing, merchant accounts may also operate through intermediaries, called service providers. In this instance, the intermediary, for example Paypal, provides payment services to its clients, who have merchant accounts with them. Paypal, in turn, has a merchant account with a bank.
The payment takes place through a payment gateway. A payment gateway is simply a place where you pay, like the cash counter in a retail unit. Only here it is virtual. The difference, though, is that each shop might have its own cash counter, but in this system, several virtual shops (e-commerce sites) use the same payment gateway whose sole purpose is to channel the details of the customer’s credit card. Merchant account providers log in and key in credit card numbers (which are encrypted). Alternatively, the payment gateway, may be linked to the shopping cart on the merchant account provider’s site. Either way, this part of the online payment processing hardly takes a minute.
The customer places an order along with credit card information, the information is forwarded to the payment gateway, which further sends it to the merchant’s acquiring bank. The bank sends the information to the card association, which in turn sends it to the issuing bank of the card, which checks that balance available with the customer. The issuing bank then approves or rejects the transaction, providing a reason for rejection.
Several merchant account providers offer free credit card terminals and internet payment gateways and free payment gateway software when you open merchant accounts with them. There are others that allow free merchant accounts with low transaction fees. The transaction fee and the discount rate (both together make up the total processing fee charged by the account service provider) are lower for credit card terminal swipes. Then there are discount merchant accounts that charge a very low fee for the bouquet of credit card options you provide to your customers.
For these reasons and more, choose Ace Merchant Processing for your merchant accounts. For one, our ISO/MSP certified merchant services are truly low cost – free set up and free terminals and a monthly service fee of only 1.64% +19 cents. Also, we are proud to offer a fraud -proof system and cheerful 24*365 service, to every kind of business. And, the reason why you simply must set up your account with us is that we you same day approval!