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Best applications of a merchant account

A merchant account is a certain type of bank account which is designed to allow businesses to accept payments made by their clients with a debit or credit card. In other words, a merchant account is an agreement between three parties: a retailer, a merchant bank and a payment processor for the purpose of settling credit and debit card payments. When a customer pays for his or her purchase with a credit or debit card, the funds are initially deposited into the merchant account and eventually transferred further to the bank account of the business. The transfers to the bank account are usually organized on a daily or weekly basis.

Types of Merchant accounts

There are various types of merchant accounts that typically can be grouped into two categories and the description of each type gives a rather clear overview which of them would be the most suitable for your business. The main categories of a merchant account are swiped and keyed.

Swiped merchant account is usually used when a business meets its clients face-to-face and during this meeting a client is able to swipe his or her card to pay for the products and services. This type of merchant account is usually described further in respect to the application of the said account:

Keyed merchant accounts are used when the customer card's information is taken over the phone or internet (or sometimes even in person) and keyed in by the employee himself. While this application of a merchant account takes more time and is less convenient, it is also less expensive than the previously discussed merchant accounts.

Advantages and disadvantages of a merchant account

While it is crucial to choose the most appropriate type of merchant account depending on its intended application for the best experience, there are some general pros & cons to be discussed.