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Learn more about Merchant Accounts and Payment Processing to help your business sell more.

Payment Processing FAQs

What is a Merchant Account?

A merchant account is an account opened through a bank or a credit processing company that allows a business to accept and process credit cards from purchasers. The funds collected are then transferred to the merchant's bank account.

What is a Payment Processor?

A payment processor is a company that offers merchants the service of accepting credit cards, allowing for credit card purchase transactions. The payment processor is separate from the bank, which only receives the payment. A processor is considered an agent of a bank in the case that they are reselling the services of their sponsoring bank.

What is a Payment Gateway?

A payment gateway is an online system that allows for the secure authorization and processing of credit cards electronically. It provides an interface between the merchant and financial institutions. The gateway's online interface allows for e-commerce management, direct reporting, security feature setup, rebilling, and recurring billing. See our section on payment gateways.

Which credit cards can my business accept?

Your business will be able to accept all of the major card brands. This includes: Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, Diners Club, plus all major Charge/Debit Cards. For more information, a Crescent Payment Processing account representative will gladly be able to walk you through everything. Simply call .

How long does it take for the money to reach my bank account?

You will be able to automatically "batch out" at the end of every business day. Batching out means that your payment gateway will communicate with your bank as to how much money you are owed. It takes 1-3 business days (depending on your bank) for the funds to reach your bank account. You may also change how often you would like to batch out.

How do I prevent Chargebacks from occurring?

A chargeback occurs when a credit cardholder disputes a charge on their statement. There are various reasons why this may happen. See our guide on: How to Avoid Chargebacks. See our guide on: Chargeback Reason Codes.

What is an Interchange Fee?

This is the fee that the acquiring bank pays to the issuing bank during a transaction when using the MasterCard or Visa network. These fees are decided by the financial institutions who are stakeholders in Visa and MasterCard.

What is the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard (DSS)?

The PCI Data Security Standard is a set of guidelines used to help payment processing organizations prevent credit card fraud, hacking and various other security vulnerabilities and threats.

It has become an industry standard that every that any company processing, storing, or transmitting payment card must comply to. Non-compliant companies risk losing their ability to process credit card payments and being audited and/or fined. Furthermore, companies are required to validate their compliance each year.

The founders of the PCI Security Standards Council are American Express, Discover Network, JCB, MasterCard Worldwide, and Visa International.