Merchant Accounts : What is a merchant account or payment gateway?
Do you want to collect payments online automatically and have the funds deposited automatically in your bank account?
For that you need a merchant account and payment gateway.
Still in use today are the methods of embossing your credit card details via an imprint on a mechanical swipe machine that you then have to sign the paper and it goes off for conciliation. This method has become less and less common by the use of electronic swipe machines or Point-of-Sale Terminals (POS) machines where you run your card through the machine and it reads the magnetic strip on your card to get the cards details. Both of these types of credit card information capture have been around since the early 80's. But now with the invention of the website a new method has arrived the payment gateway.
The payment gateway is the webs version of collecting a credit cards information and processing it. It is done automatically through your website by using special code that communicates with other servers requesting authorization of a purchase, or manually, through the use of a virtual-terminal where the card and transaction details are entered and real-time authorization is requested.
The payment gateway is generally provided by the merchant account provider.
A merchant account is an account that can accept credit card or other electronic deposits before they get cleared and sent on to be deposited into your bank account.
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