Payment gateway is a part of an eCommerce merchant account. A merchant account is the service that enables you to accept card payments. Payment gateway is an online service that merchant account providers use for transferring payment details between the merchant website and the bank processing center. The payment gateway will be integrated directly with your shopping cart. The integration process varies by providers and will be handled by their technical staff. Generally the following documents will be required during a merchant account application process:
1. A merchant application - you will have to complete and sign this form. It includes general information about you and your business.
2. A copy of your organization's Articles of Incorporation, unless you are a sole proprietor.
3. A copy of a voided check for the account that you will want your money to be deposited into.
4. Business or personal financials. Your tax returns for the last two years may be requested if your business is new.
There are many things you need to know when selecting a payment processing provider. The most important issue is processing costs - you certainly don't want to be overcharged. The costs are comprised of various fees and charges and I have given you a breakdown below.
1. Discount rate - the amount a merchant is charged by his acquirer for processing the merchantís transactions. It consists of a percentage fee (e.g. 2.19%) and a fixed, per transaction, fee (e.g. $0.25). You should not agree to anything higher than 2.19% + $0.25.
2. Authorization fee - another "per-transaction" fee. You should not pay more than $0.12.
3. Application and set up fee - one-time fees to apply for and set up your account. You should NOT pay ANY set up or application fees!
4. Monthly maintenance fee - as the name suggests, it is charged monthly to keep your account on file. You should not be paying more than $10.
5. Support fee - another monthly charged for customer service. You should NOT pay ANY such fees.
6. Virtual terminal fee - a virtual terminal is the application that you will open in your browser and enter the payment information as you are taking it over the phone or getting it from a form you got in the mail. It should be provided for free.
7. Gateway fee - it should not cost you more than $15 per month.
Once your selection is made and all required paperwork is submitted, the set up of your merchant account should take no longer than two business days.