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A merchant account is a type of bank account that allows businesses to accept payments in multiple ways, typically debit or credit cards. A merchant account is established under an agreement between an acceptor and a merchant acquiring bank for the settlement of payment card transactions.

A merchant account is an agreement made between the business/seller, the bank where the merchant account is held and the payment processor to settle all transactions made by debit and credit cards. The fees associated with these accounts are usually in the following categories: monthly, discount rate and transaction. The rate that a business is charged for debit and credit card services provided by its merchant account is called a merchant discount rate.