Merchant Account Types: Which One is Right for Your Business?

 In Credit Card Processing Basics

If you are a business owner, you have probably noticed that there are multiple merchant account types to choose from when looking to accept credit cards. You may be wondering how to choose the best option for your organization, especially if you are selling products through multiple platforms. Running CBD through an e-commerce? Check. Have the hottest dishes this side of the Mississippi? We have your restaurant covered. Read on to find out more about the most common types of merchant accounts!


In this day and age, having an online platform is a must for most merchants. The breadth and width of online audience reach has no parallel. Utilizing an e-commerce based account goes hand-in-hand with card not present transactions. If you have an online store either with or without a physical location, this type of account is for you. Generally speaking, e-commerce accounts are at higher risk for fraud as compared to an in-person, or card present transaction. This often results in slightly higher fees issued by the bank as compared to retail accounts that are assigned to brick and mortar locations. During an e-commerce transaction, the customer enters his or her credit card information onto an encrypted page. Most credit card processors, such as 365 Glacier Payments, integrate seamlessly with various online shopping carts, such as Shopify or WooCommerce.

Retail Merchant Accounts

If you have a brick and mortar store, a retail merchant account is just what the doctor ordered. These types of accounts usually have the lowest fees, as the bank takes on less risk. When Mr. Smith saunters into your restaurant to buy a burger, there is less likelihood that the transaction will be fraudulent. The physical card is present, and you can always ask the consumer to show their ID. Most retail merchant accounts are paired with a point-of-sale (POS) system. These systems can be as simple or as complex as your organization needs them to be. You may need to load your retail store’s inventory into the back end, or simply punch in the transaction amount and have the customer insert their chip. If you run a store that has both a physical location and is doing e-commerce through a website, you may want to consider two accounts to qualify for lower rates on the swiped transactions.

Mobile Merchant Accounts

Let’s say that you sell the tastiest crepes at the local farmer’s market each Saturday. You were previously taking only cash, but the sales have ramped up so much, that it is imperative for your business to start accepting credit cards. Have no fear, as there are multiple options for taking cards on the go. 365 Glacier Payments offers various lightweight terminal options with 5G and Wi-Fi capabilities for anything from delivery services to food trucks. If you prefer a simple card reader on your mobile phone, we have you covered.  The application and rates are similar to a retail merchant account.

MOTO Accounts:

As a merchant, you may wonder what in the world MOTO stands for. It is not as scary as it sounds. MOTO stands for mail order/telephone order. That’s right. The old standby methods for sales transactions still exist. Remember those old infomercials that you stayed up all night watching when you couldn’t sleep? These companies took all of their orders through MOTO. If you are still utilizing catalog sales, a MOTO account is for you. Generally, with both telephone and mail orders, the customer either prints or reads off their card information to the merchant, who then types the information into the company’s software system. Because no physical equipment is required, merchants taking this form of payment save money on fancy POS systems. They can simply log in to a virtual terminal from anywhere they have internet access. Because the method for gathering and entering card information for telephone and mail orders is similar, this type of account is lumped into one category.

Bottom Line:

Reputable processers, such as 365 Glacier Payments, have efficient ways for merchants to apply for multiple types of accounts at once. A savings analysis or quote will lay out the rate for each type of transaction to get you started. Let’s face it, these days, businesses need multiple avenues of product access to be competitive in the marketplace.

If your business is in need of any of the types of accounts listed above, 365 Glacier Payments is here to help. We have over two decades of experience in approving both low and high-risk merchants. In addition, we provide personalized knowledge that enables our clients’ businesses to thrive. If you have additional questions or need help setting up a high-risk merchant account, please schedule an appointment here. If you prefer, you can reach us at 866.857.8766 or email We look forward to hearing from you!

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