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Getting an Internet Merchant Bank Account

In order to be able to accept credit cards over the internet, you must apply to your bank for an Internet Merchant Bank Account. This can be reletively easy or somewhat difficult, depending on which country you live in and what bank you are with.


In the US, this is a fairly simple procedure. Many banks offer Internet Merchant Accounts, and most Online Transaction Providers will support them. See your bank for details.


Since the vast majority of Online Transaction Providers are located in the US and are restricted in their ability to interact with banks outside their own country, international merchants have very little choice. An international merchant has to find a way to get a US merchant account, embark on the equally difficult task of finding a local Online Transaction Provider, or utilise one of the few companies that services the international market. Also, many banks outside the US have very restrictive policies regarding internet accounts. Luckily, the situation is improving, and most Online Transaction Providers will help you with this if you get in touch with them.

In the ratings section, I have included information on which providers give international service.

  • Here are some additional issues to keep in mind when you apply for a Merchant Bank Account:

  • A US merchant account can take up to a month to come through.

  • If you already have a merchant bank account, you will probably also need to upgrade it to an Internet account.

  • Ensure that your bank accepts Internet merchant accounts and has credit card processors that can connect to FDC, Paymentech or CyberCash.

  • Your account must be able to handle Card Not Present transactions


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