A merchant account is a type of bank account that allows businesses to accept payments by debit or credit cards. A merchant account also serves as an agreement between a retailer, a merchant bank and payment processor for the settlement of credit card and/or debit card transactions.
Usually merchants need to have a business checking account and a registered business in the US to qualify for a merchant account.
Merchant account industry is very competitive but it does take some time and documentation to get a merchant account.
You should be aware of the terms and fees that apply to your merchant account agreement. You will incur monthly fees that are usually quite low. You will also be paying a discount rate which is a percentage of the sales to the merchant bank. When shopping for merchant account you should compare these rates. Merchant accounts have different discount rates for different credit card types. They will advertise the lowest ones. You need to ask about all of their fees.