There are two main ways to accept credit cards through your website: using a bank merchant and payment gateway combination, or using a third party system like Paypal.
If you are using a merchant and payment gateway service combination, the payments process works like this:
- You set up a business bank account and a merchant account at your bank. This is to collect the money from transactions that are processed.
- You set up a payment gateway account with a payment gateway provider. Your bank may provide merchant accounts and payment gateways in which case you would get this account from your bank. But you don't have to have the payment gateway and merchant account services at the same place. You can shop around and may get a better deal.
- When a transaction goes through, the shopping cart redirects customers to the payment gateway service where the transaction is processed. At the end of each business day, the payment gateway service transfers the money collected into the merchant bank account of the seller.
This section deals with providers of merchant bank accounts. You can use these with the bank's own payment gateway services or a third party. Our advice: shop around to get the best deal for your online business.