?The establishing a merchant account solution is a pretty straightforward process. The first step is requesting a pricing proposal. The pricing will be dependent on various factors, such us method of accepting payments, total processing volumes, average sales ticket, type of product or service, etc. Typically, direct marketing and web-based credit card processing services are more expensive than card-present solutions. It is always a good idea that you contact several payment processing companies and compare their offers. Prospects should reply with their credit card processing proposals within a day of receiving the request. When you select your merchant services provider, you will file an application and submit it, along with any other documents that may be required. Tax returns from the last two years, business license (if required for your business), voided check for the account that you want the money to be deposited into, are usually requested. Once your merchant services provider has the documents that they need, your merchant account service should be up and running within a couple of days. In the case of an internet merchant account, they might need an extra day to set up the payment gateway. The whole process of selecting a provider, submitting an application and setting up the service should not take more than a week. The key to speeding up the process is in promptly providing all required information and clearly communicating your needs with the prospective merchant services provider. If you are a merchant that has a brick-and-mortar type of business, then you require only manual credit card processing capabilities. If you accept payments over the web, then you need an eCommerce merchant account. If you need to have both solutions available, you might be wondering if one merchant account can accommodate them, or you need a separate card processing account. The answer is that one account is sufficient. If you already have a merchant account service, simply contact your processor and explain what you need. The only difference between card-present and virtual solutions is in the way cards are accepted. Physical stores utilize terminals which read the magnetic stripe of the cards after customers swipe them through a slot. Web-based solutions employ eCommerce gateways which transmit to the processing bank payment information that customers enter in a browser. Both solutions handle the full range of processing functions, including authorization, card capture, refunds, voids, etc. What your merchant services provider will have to do is add the service that you need to your existing account and add any additional fees and charges that might apply. Keep in mind that face-to-face transactions are processed at a significantly lower rate than online payments.