Merchant Account

Maybe you’re a brick-and-mortar store looking to expand your customer base to people who can’t reach your physical location, or maybe you’re a unique small business that only sells products online. Whatever your situation, having an online business presence is just good sense. Still, whether you’re just getting up and running as a business or are trying to expand your brick-and-mortar sales by offering products online, there are a lot of things to keep track of. There are strategic and operational things to consider when you’re launching a new eCommerce business, and one of the most important considerations is your payments operation.

What is an Ecommerce Merchant Account?

So what exactly is a merchant account? Essentially, it’s what allows you to accept payments online. A merchant account is a special type of business bank account that lets your business accept different types of payment—typically debit and credit card payments — necessary for online purchases. Every time someone pays for something with a credit card, funds are transferred to a merchant account that a merchant holds with a bank. The merchant is responsible for all the transactions on their account, and every bank has its own terms of service.

Once you decided on an account, you’ll send a cover letter that answers any potential questions or concerns. Elaborate on any steps that you’ve taken to mitigate risk, be straightforward and honest about potential issues, and spotlight any important experience or qualities that make you stand out from your competitors.

Finally, a word of warning: do your homework before applying for an ecommerce merchant account and choose a reputable provider. Be wary of “free” ecommerce merchant accounts or those that offer cash back if you find another deal. Make sure you protect your financial information, read all the fine print, and research everything carefully.