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How to Start Accepting Payments Online Securely

In order to accept online payments securely from customers, a merchant would have to setup a merchant account, as well as a payment processing gateway.

Bringing customers to your online merchant business is just half the job. The other half is where you provide comfortable means for those customers to check out of your store – that is, make payments to complete their order. For today's customers, this part is where they decide whether to patronize your business or just close the tab.

Accepting Payments Online

Normally, they would check to see whether you accept the types of cards they use, what your payment procedure is, and how secure your store/site is? If satisfactory, they’d trust you with their card details and proceed with the transaction. But if they have any reason to doubt the integrity and fraud protection level of your store, you can bet that they would run out of your store without a second thought.

The question then is, “how can you accept payments securely from customers online?” The answer to that is what you’ll find in this guide.

The basics of accepting online payments

In order to accept online payments securely from customers, a merchant would have to setup a merchant account, as well as a payment processing gateway.

In order to accept online payments securely from customers, a merchant would have to setup a merchant account, as well as a payment processing gateway.

Payment gateway

You can think of the payment gateway as the technology that allows you to process credit, debit, or prepaid cards on your site. Here is how a typical payment gateway service works:

  • Once a shopper enters their card details on your store. The store’s system will send these details to the payment gateway.
  • Once it reaches the payment gateway, the supplied info is then forwarded to an acquirer for processing.
  • The acquirer then forwards the details to the appropriate card network (this could be Visa, MasterCard, or American Express).
  • The card network now routes the transaction to the bank that issued the card.
  • The issuing bank assesses the supplied info to see whether the cardholder has a sufficient balance or not. And also to confirm the authenticity of the transaction.
  • The issuing bank now returns a response (accept or decline) to the card network, which then passes this info through the acquirer to the payment gateway.
  • And finally, the response reaches the merchant's store.

Of course, we both know that all of these happen in split seconds.

Merchant Account

It is one thing to process a payment; it is another to accept the payments. While the job of a payment gateway is to help process payments, the acceptance of these processed payments actually lies with the merchant. Before a merchant can start accepting online payments, it needs something called a merchant account.

A merchant account, just like your regular bank savings or checking account, is where any money sent/paid to you goes. So, once a payment gateway service completes the processing of a payment, your merchant account is where the processed funds go.

But unlike your regular checking or savings account, a merchant account cannot hold payments. Instead, its primary function is to distribute processed funds into the business bank account.

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Accepting payments

From all we’ve said so far, it’s clearly evident that you need a payment gateway and a merchant account before you can start accepting payments from customers online. But it may interest you to know that not all payment gateways provide a merchant account.


This means that if the payment gateway you’re using doesn’t offer a merchant account service, you may have to look for a second company that does offer it.

Additional stress, if not additional expenses!

To make your life easier, look for a payment gateways service that sets up merchant accounts for its clients. Oh, wait, did I say you should look?

Forgive me; why look around for a payment service provider when you’ve got iPayTotal? As a reputable payment processing company, iPayTotal understands the stress of having to search for a merchant account provider. As such, they’ve created a system to cater to all your payment processing and acceptance needs.

All you have to do is reach out to them. What a breeze of air it will be if you can get your payment processing, as well as merchant account completed under one roof!

The best part?

iPayTotal has a special knack for high-risk merchant businesses. It doesn’t matter whether your merchant account request has been declined by a financial institution before. Or a payment processor has asked you to pay an exorbitant fee because your business is high-risk. iPayTotal is more than happy to take up the liability of your high-risk business without asking you to pay through your nose.

Do you run a casino site that needs an online gaming merchant account, a high-risk forex website in need of a payment processor, or an eCommerce store that is in need of a payment gateway service? Look no further beyond iPayTotal; they’ve got just about the right set of solutions for all your payment processing needs!