A merchant account is a financial institution or bank account that is used by a merchant specifically for the purpose of collecting proceeds from the consumer bank account or credit card payment transactions. You must have a merchant account to use a payment gateway. With Authorize.net, we offer a payment plan that includes a merchant account--or you can use your own provider of choice.
A payment gateway facilitates the secure transfer of transactions from a merchant to a third-party payment processor, associated with the merchant's acquiring bank. Gateways often offer additional services like reporting, and perform checks on transactional data such as: message formatting, automatic tax calculation and fraud detection.