If you are in the market for a merchant account, you may be wondering what some of the technical terms mean. If you don’t know, you may find yourself scratching your head in confusion when you read agreements and speak with representatives. The following list includes common terms that your merchant account may use‚ providing you with the knowledge you need to make informed choices.

Real-time processing‚ when a customer visits your site and makes a transaction, the credit card purchase is completed during the visit‚ in “real time”

Merchant account‚ a bank account that receives the proceeds from credit card transactions. When a customer makes a purchase, the amount is debited from their credit card and deposited into the merchant account for the merchant to use

EFT – electronic funds transfer is moving money from one bank account to another using a computer with special software

Cardholder‚ the person to whom a bank issues a credit card, also includes authorized users of the card

Issuing bank‚ the bank that issues a credit card to an individual/business, this bank debits the cardholder’s card for a purchase and moves funds to a merchant’s account

Merchant‚ business that accepts credit cards for purchases

Merchant bank‚ the bank that provides the merchant (business) with a merchant account to receive credit card payments

SSL‚ secure socket layer, which is internet protocol that ensures the security of the customer’s information during credit card transactions

Merchant provider‚ a company that help merchants find and establish merchant accounts; these providers normally conduct business with more than one issuing bank

Payment processor‚ company that processes the credit card transactions

Debit card‚ a card used to withdraw funds from a checking or savings account for purchases

Authorization‚ the process of approval of a credit card transaction by the bank that issued the credit card to the cardholder

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