Merchant services is a catchall term for a range of front- and back-end business tools that enable businesses to accept payment from customers. It encompasses everything from point of sale (POS) systems to credit card readers, payment gateways and financial institutions that work with merchants. Depending on the provider, merchant services also include merchant processing, which processes payments and transfers funds from customers’ bank accounts to a business’s own account.
Which is merchant payment?
To make a purchase with a debit or credit card, a customer enters their account information at checkout. This data is sent to a merchant’s credit card processing fees, which verifies that the account has sufficient funds for the transaction. The payment processor then debits the customer’s account and deposits funds into your business’s bank account after deducting a small fee for its service.
A merchant account is a bank account that is designated specifically for accepting and processing payments from businesses. It’s not the same as your business bank account, which is why it requires a separate application and more rigorous checks and balances to be approved. If you don’t qualify for a merchant account, some merchant services providers offer alternatives like merchant cash advances, which are essentially pre-approved lines of credit that allow you to accept credit cards.
Some merchant services providers offer their own merchant accounts, while others partner with PSPs to provide merchant accounts that are shared among their various clients. These aggregate accounts, sometimes called “merchant services” accounts, are easier to set up and offer cheaper fees than a dedicated account.