You just had Authorize.net as your payment gateway. So what do you need next in order for your website to accept credit card payments? To complete the process, you need to get an internet merchant account for the following reasons:
It provides fast and secure transfer of information within the interchange
Utilizing the services of authorize.net gateway only is not enough to complete the credit card transaction on your website. In the interchange or the entire online credit card transaction processing, you need an internet merchant account to relay the credit card information transmitted by your payment gateway to the card issuer through credit card networks and reversely, in a fast and secure manner. This process is done during the authorization of online credit card transactions.
It serves as an account where your credit card proceeds are forwarded
A merchant account is also defined as a special type of account where your credit card transaction sales are being forwarded before being finally transferred to your regular bank account. Merchant account provider charges that are agreed upon application are being deducted from your merchant account before reaching your regular bank account.
It serves as an intermediary between different parties in the interchange
The role of the merchant account does not just end there. It also serves as an intermediary between different parties in the interchange. First, it serves as the bridge between your Authorize.net gateway and the card issuer during the authorization process or when approval is sought while a purchase is being processed in your website. Second, when a chargeback occurs or when a dispute has been made, it is your merchant account provider who initially provides the refund to the card issuer to be credited to the client. Your provider will then debit from your merchant account the refund amount and the applicable chargeback fee. When you refute the chargeback, the merchant account provider forwards your refuting document to the card issuer. If your reason is found valid, the transaction amount is again charged to the client and sent back to your merchant account.
Both your internet merchant account and your payment gateway play an important role in enhancing your business as they attract more sales resulting from credit card acceptance in your website. Just make sure you choose reliable providers and pick the right services you need from these providers. Do not spend for services that only add up to your costs, but does you no good at all. Then with your efficient e-commerce website, your reliable payment gateway, and your trusted merchant account provider, your online business will surely be on its way to success.