Applying for a merchant account

A merchant account and payment gateway enable you to accept credit cards as payment for the purchase of goods and services. There are different types of merchant accounts. For example, if you have a traditional "brick and mortar" store, you can get a retail merchant account. If you want to accept credit cards on your Web site, however, you need a specialized type of merchant account known as an "Internet-ready" merchant account.

Internet-ready merchant accounts enable you to handle Internet transactions in "real time" without any human intervention. Because the risk of credit card fraud is greater when you are accepting credit cards over the Internet, these specialized merchant accounts also provide additional checks that can significantly reduce the chance of credit card fraud. Once the transactions are processed, the merchant account provider transfers the funds received from the credit card transactions from your merchant account to your bank account.

A payment gateway is a service that connects your online store with your merchant account provider. This service reads the information from the order forms and translates that information for the merchant account. The payment gateway also verifies that the customer's credit card account has the necessary credit available for the purchase. You can obtain a payment gateway separately from your merchant account, however you may find it simpler to choose a merchant account provider that also offers a payment gateway.

A number of companies offer Internet-ready merchant accounts. NetNation has selected Cardservice International as its preferred merchant account provider. When you sign up for an ecommerce plan with NetNation, you can sign up for an account with Cardservice at the same time. Of course, you are free to choose another merchant account provider, as long as they support one of the following payment methods:

- CyberSource

- AuthorizeNet (AuthorizeNet does not work with NetNation's Commerce Gold Plan)

- LinkPoint/Cardservice

- Verisign (PaymentNet)

If you already have a merchant account, you can use it with your NetNation ecommerce plan as long as it supports one of these payment methods. If you don't already have a merchant account and would like to order one, you apply for an account with Cardservice International directly from within AccountManager.

To order a merchant account:

  1. In AccountManager, click Ecommerce.
  2. In the Ecommerce Manager, click Apply for a Merchant Account. Detailed information about merchant accounts and any special offers appears.
  3. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click Apply. This link takes you to Cardservice International's online application page. Follow the instructions to complete the application process.