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What is a Merchant Account?

If you run a business and do not already have a merchant account, then this is something that you should get. That is because it will make it possible to accept a greater variety of payment methods. Before you decide to use a merchant account, you might have to discuss this with your financial advisor as well to learn about the positives and negatives of such transactions. If not, you can also hire a start up business accountant (if you have a new business) who can help you in managing business accounts and finances more effectively and efficiently. It is important that you tap into the resources out there that are available as they can help you run your business in a smoother way, case in point, utilizing things like middleware integration software, and other analytical services, will help you take control of your business and pinpoint areas you need to focus on, e.g. picking a certified and tailored merchant account.

If you already have a PayPal account, then you might not be really into the idea of using a merchant account because PayPal can not only work as a merchant account but can also offer much more functionality–business loans and lines of credit can also be available through PayPal. However, not many know that PayPal might work differently in different nations. For instance, in terms of prices, the PayPal transaction fees in South Africa can be around 5% to 8% per transaction. Though it might sound expensive, the good part is that PayPal can allow receiving foreign currencies like Euros, which most local South African payment solutions may not. (Note: The method to set up a PayPal account might be the same in South Africa as it is in other countries)

However, those who do not have a PayPal account, will definitely need a merchant account–it is the need of the hour!

Anyway, this article will further explore merchant accounts and will also look at the credit card processing machines attached to them.

For more information on one credit card facility available for businesses, then somewhere like could be worth checking out.

It is useful for a business to have a scheme in mind to process their card payments.

Defining Merchant Accounts

A merchant account is a bank account that will allow businesses, large or small, to accept payments in a variety of ways. Typically, this will relate to accepting credit or debit cards. With a merchant account, there will be an agreement set up between the acceptor and the merchant acquiring bank for the payments from the card transactions to be settled.

How Merchant Accounts Work

The whole purpose of a merchant account is to process card transactions automatically. There will be a small processing fee, then the remainder of the transaction will be deposited into a business’s bank account. In exchange for the fee, a business has another way it can take payments, potentially gaining customers, and also an efficient method of banking where no cash is lying around to present a security risk.

Merchant accounts have security protection in that the credit card processors will be looking for potential fraud. To help detect it, there are checking processes in place before payment is authorized. To avail enhanced security and reliable support in the payment process, online and eCommerce businesses tend to opt for bundled payment gateway and payment processing services. This in turn can help them streamline merchant services and payment processing efficiently by preventing fraud and getting faster payment settlements.

Though there can be a brief settlement time, but many credit card processing companies can handle instant settlement.

Credit Card Processing Machines

The beauty of the credit card processing machines is that they can be mobile now and so allow a trader to take payments anywhere. An example of a scheme offering this kind of machine is Easy Pay Direct.

The Easy Pay Direct Gateway is considered an easy and secure system with log-in from any computer possible. It is just a case of entering a client’s card details and clicking “Process”. It is an easy way of getting paid. More customers these days are expecting to pay this way and those businesses without the facility will likely be left behind with regards to their competitors.

Because processing companies and businesses using Easy Pay Direct will both need to be PCI compliant under these schemes or agreements, this makes for a secure payment system for all.

A business will invest in East Pay Direct by paying a setup fee, monthly fees, and then small transaction fees. The rewards are great in terms of expanding customer bases. It may be a reason why one retailer is chosen over another, as it is a competitive world out there.

To Be Approved

There are some rules on being approved for Easy Pay Direct. For instance, a business will need to earn $750 per month and also have a bank account of good standing. This account will need to have been open and active for a minimum of 90 days so that it is clear this is the case. Other than that, it is a scheme specially designed for businesses and one that many will be able to engage with.

So, some useful things to know about merchant accounts in terms of what they are, how they work, the schemes with machines available, and what the requirements for approval are. It is an option for most businesses and something customers and traders alike will appreciate the convenience of.

The Easy Pay Direct scheme, for instance, will make accounting far easier and improve cash flow. No longer is a business having to offer credit to its customers because the companies issuing the credit cards are. Then, there is the credit card processing company to take care of the funds and make sure that they are efficiently directed from and to the right bank accounts. Lots of transactions now take place like this daily and so the whole process has become extremely efficient and robust enough to cope with the risky transactions that are made using a whole manner of payment cards.