Nowadays thousands of people whose business is somehow related to the global web have clear
understanding of what a notion online merchant account means. However, not everyone realizes how
exactly the process of financial data processing is being implemented. To begin with, any online merchant
account employs the technology to process an online payment from the account to the acquiring bank
and is commonly referred to as a payment gateway. A merchant account and a payment gateway can
function separately, being provided by independent services or providers. It should be mentioned that
online payment processing can be carried out with credit cards, mainly certified by MasterCard or Visa,
electronic wallets and other payment platforms. Authorize.net and PayPal are good examples of payment
gateway providers that transfer online payments to the acquiring parties and compatible merchant
As it has been already mentioned, an online merchant account and a payment gateway rarely belong to
a single service, since it isnt cost-effective and reasonable enough. Nevertheless, when a billing company
specializes in both services provided under one roof, the price of services can vary from that offered by a
payment gateway and merchant account provider separately. In most cases, integrated payment services
require purchasing or renting of special equipment.
Theres also a common disbelief that most shopping cart can operate as sophisticated payment gateways.
In fact, they do. But in most cases shopping carts serve solely as an application that facilitates choosing a
product item for the final checkout. During online payment processing the relevant financial information
is transferred between a shopping cart and a merchant account with the help of an online payment
gateway, not a shopping cart itself. Similarly, an online merchant account store funds for a certain
period of time unless theyre transacted by an internet merchant.
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