Starting a Business

Starting a business today can be very difficult at times.  You might come across words or terms that you might not understand, especially if you are starting an online business (or e-commerce).

Merchant Account

One of the first things that you might want to do is accept credit cards at your place of business or online.  This is called a merchant account.  Basically, there are two types - swiped (for brick and mortar business) and keyed (for Internet businesses or telephone orders).  An Internet merchant account costs a bit more money in terms of a discount rate because the risks of chargebacks is higher than a brick and mortar business. A good place to start is Some Basic Merchant Account Fees - this post will help explain some of the terminology that you might run into.

A merchant account for brick and mortar businesses can differ from merchant account provider to another.

Electronic Payment Gateways

If you sign up for an Internet merchant account, you will need an electronic payment gateway to help process the transaction.  This can be compared to a terminal in a brick and mortar store.

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