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Merchant Account

A merchant account is a bank account specifically for accepting credit card payments. When a payment is processed, the funds are dumped in to this special account. You cannot use a personal bank account as your merchant account. It must be set-up seperately.

Merchant accounts usually cost a set-up fee, per monthly fee, and per transaction fee. Plans and fees do vary. Merchant Accounts normally accept Visa and MasterCard only. If you want to accept Discover and American Express they you will likely need to pay extra.

Where can I get a merchant account?
A million places. Most banks offer merchant accounts or they partner with someone who does. If you know you will be doing real-time processing then you can check with the provider of your gateway processor to also check on MAs. You will probably drive yourself crazy with all the different plans, rates, and fees these companies have. The best place to start looking for a merchant account is with your your local bank or ask your Web developer for a recommendation.

Here at TConsult, we highly encourage our clients to use authorize.net for processing credit cards. While authorize.net is a gateway processor service, they usually bundle their processor with a merchant account at a fair price for new clients. There service and support has been outstanding to date.

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