What is a Merchant?

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A person or company that sells goods or services. An e-commerce merchant refers to a party that sells goods or services exclusively through the internet.
For more information, read "The Payments System Simplified"
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How Does a Merchant Work?

A merchant works with an Acquiring Bank to apply for and receive a Merchant Account (an account that allows the Merchant to accept Credit and debit cards). Whenever a customer purchases an item with a Credit or debit card, the Merchant submits the purchase Transaction information to its Acquiring Bank, which will then submit it through the card association network to the cardholder’s Issuing Bank. The Issuing Bank will approve or decline the charge, and bill the cardholder the amount due to the Merchant.