Washington State University

Merchant Account Basics

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Merchant Account Basics 
 
Do you need help navigating the e-commerce environment at WSU? Then you have come to the right place. Merchant Account Basics will help you through the process of setting up and maintaining a merchant account. Before you get started, please click here to determine if your service or activity qualifies for a merchant account. 
 
You probably already know that having a merchant account is essential if your department intends to participate in e-Commerce. But what is a merchant account and how do you get one? 
 
A merchant account:
·         Is a type of bank account that allows a business to accept payments by debit or credit cards;
·         Is established under an agreement between a merchant and a merchant acquiring bank for the settlement of credit card and/or debit card transactions;
·         By way of the merchant agreement, binds the merchant to obey the operating regulations established by the card brands;
·         Is generally obtained by WSU’s Treasury & eCommerce Services unit through Bank of America and is subject to the Master Agreement between the University and Bank of America Merchant Services.
 
You get a merchant account by reading through the information contained in Merchant Account Basics:
·         Step 1 - Familiarize yourself with the rules of the credit card operating environment;
·         Step 2 – Learn about card processing mechanics and the fee structure;
·         Step 3 - Determine which merchant type you are and the resources you will need;
·         Step 4 – Understand the application process;
·         Step 5 – Comply with Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI-DSS) and WSU's PCI Compliance program.
E-Commerce, PO Box 641025, Pullman, WA 99164-1025, Contact Us