How to Get Your First Merchant Account

How to Get Your First Merchant Account

If you’re like many first time business owners, besides obtaining the right web site shopping cart, one of the most difficult things to do is to set up a merchant account. Use the following tips to help you find the right merchant account that fits your particular business needs:

Two Ways to get a Merchant Account

There are two ways for a small business owner to set up a merchant account:

  • Draw up an agreement with a bank that works with Visa and Mastercard
  • Draw up an agreement with an authorized reseller of the bank who does business with the major credit card companies.

After choosing a cart eCommerce shopping product, decide if you’re going to accept all types of major credit cards or just a couple of them. Usually, Visa and Mastercard are the most popular and well known credit cards, but nearly every type of merchant account will allow business owners to accept American Express and Discover as well.

Compare Merchant Account Providers

The merchant account you choose will depend on how many transactions you process with your business shopping cart services every month. Merchant account providers will charge you different percentages for each transaction based on monthly revenue.

Besides transaction percentages, banks might charge a small amount per transaction and a monthly maintenance fee. Don’t be afraid to shop for providers outside of big banks, such as You’ll often find accounts custom tailored to your business, as opposed to a one-size-fits all approach the banks usually take.

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