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Merchant Account Terminology
  • Merchant Account
    This is an account set up with a bank to process credit card orders from customers.
  • Setup Fee
    An initial fee paid to the Merchant Service Provider for establishment of an account and for processing and reporting tools.
  • Discount Rate
    A percentage of each transaction that the merchant is charged by the Merchant Service Provider for facilitating a credit card transaction.
  • Transaction Fee
    A small charge paid to the processing network (e.g., Visa/MasterCard) for use of their system, for each transaction processed.
  • Monthly Minimum Fee
    A minimum amount the merchant must pay the Merchant Service Provider every month. It does not apply if the combination of Transaction Fees and Discount Fees exceeds the minimum amount.
  • Statement Fee
    This is a fee charged to the merchant by the bank or Merchant Service Provider for preparing and sending out monthly statements and reports.
  • Payment Gateway
    An online system for real-time charging of credit cards when a customer places an order. Normally requires a merchant account.
  • Real-Time Processing
    This method of credit card processing authorizes and charges the customer's credit card at the time of purchase.
  • Shopping Cart
    A piece of software installed on an online vendor's web space used to produce a shopping system. This generally means product pages, some sort of an online "basket" and a way for the customer to add, remove and modify product selections and to check out when they are done shopping.
  • SSL
    Stands for Secure Socket Layer. It's a protocol for transferring data between a web site user and a web site. When a web site uses SSL (by using a Secure Server) data sent to and from the web space is encrypted to prevent it being read in transit over the Internet.
  • Secure Server
    A Secure Server uses an SSL certificate. It is generally a piece of web space that can only be dealt with by using SSL ensuring that data transferred between the web space and the browser is encrypted.
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