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Merchant Account - Definition

A Merchant Account is a written, commercial bank account established by contractual agreement between a merchant/business and a bank and/or a payment gateway. The agreement contains the respective rights, warranties, and duties with respect to accepting bankcards like Visa, MasterCard, AMEX, Discover and eCheck. You must apply for this account directly from your bank, or from the Payment Processor. Merchant accounts are not free and a variety of charges are involved. Some fees are charged on a monthly basis but most are charged on a per-item or percentage basis. All of the monthly fees are at the discretion of the merchant account provider but the majority of the per-item and percentage fees are passed through the merchant account provider to the issuing bank according to a schedule of rates, which are set by the credit card companies.

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