Commerce Glossary

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What is a Merchant Account?

mer - chant a - ccount
noun
An account issued by an acquiring bank that allows a business to accept credit and debit cards.
How Does a Merchant Account Work?

A merchant account is an account number issued by an acquiring bank for a specific merchant. This account number is similar to other unique account numbers issued by a bank (like a bank account number), but is specifically used by the merchant to identify itself as the owner of the transaction information it sends to the bank, and the recipient of the funds from the transactions. As part of the application to receive a merchant account, merchants are required to agree to follow the regulations set by card associations, such as Visa or MasterCard.

Merchant accounts are subject to varying fees. These fees can either be implemented through monthly billing, as a percentage of each transaction or both.

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