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Multiple Merchant Accounts

by: Corey Bryant - Aug 07, 2006

I have three web sites selling different items. I spoke with a merchant account agent and he told me I needed three separate merchant accounts. Why is this?

Well actually, one merchant account might do. It depends on what you are selling on all three web sites.

For example, if you are selling office supplies on one website and pet supplies on the other, make sure that your customers know your merchant name. Try to make it a little generic and not specific to one. Otherwise, you might experience a chargeback. You might also review Some Ways to Help Internet Merchants Reduce Fraud and Chargebacks.

Is the merchandise high risk?

Some Merchant Account Providers (MAPs) consider certain products as high risk. This varies per provider greatly. So if you were selling two products and one was high risk you would want a separate merchant account for this. This way, if something happens and you experience a lot of chargebacks and the account is terminated, your other merchant account should be fine.

Accounting reasons

Another reason to have two merchant accounts is to help your accounting department. Having two merchant accounts will help them know what money is what. If you are processing over $10,000 a month for each, there is really no reason not to have more merchant accounts. At $1,000 in the United States is usually the starting point for a merchant account. Any fee less than this, I would recommend an Internet Payment Service Provider (IPSP) like 2Checkout or Paypal.

$1,000 is usually the starting point to really consider getting a merchant account for your web site(s).

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