A merchant account is a system, contract or gateway under which an acquiring bank extends a line of credit to a merchant, who wants to accept payment card transactions of a particular card association brand. A credit card terminal is a stand-alone piece of electronic equipment that allows a merchant to swipe or key-enter a credit card`s information as well as additional information required to process a credit card transaction. It’s a good way to increase business and growth sales.
A payment gateway is an e-commerce service that authorizes payments for e-businesses and online retailers. It is the equivalent of a physical POS (point-of-sale) terminal located in most retail outlets. The gateway usually has 2 components: a) the virtual terminal that can allow for a merchant to securely login and key in credit card numbers or b) have the website`s shopping-cart connect to the gateway via an API to allow for real time processing from the merchant`s website.
A credit card terminal typically must be plugged in to a power supply and connected to a telephone line. However, some terminals may be powered by batteries, communicate over the Internet or through the cellular phone networks. The most popular credit card terminals consist of a modem, keypad, printer, magnetic stripe reader, power supply and memory card. They have had the same basic design since the 1980s. As with computers, there is a wide range of memory capacities and other features like built-in printers and debit card pinpads that affect the manufacturing cost of a credit card terminal.