What is a merchant account?
Merchant accounts are usually required for accepting customer credit card and electronic payments through an electronic commerce Web site.
A merchant account is a special kind of bank account that exists for the purpose of holding funds captured from credit and debit card sales. When a client uses a credit card to make a payment, the funds from the card go to a merchant account. From there they are transferred out to a normal business bank account, usually on a daily or weekly basis.
If you want to accept credit card payments online, you need either a merchant account provider that issues merchant accounts to businesses. Or, you can use the services of an aggregator (Example: PayPal) a company that processes transactions through their own merchant account on behalf of other companies.