A merchant account is an agreement between a merchant, an acquiring bank, Visa, MasterCard, and possibly American Express, Discover, Diners Club, JCB, etc.
The gateway processes transactions for merchants using each merchants own merchant account. In the same manner that a clerk in a retail store swipes a customer’s card through a box that processes that merchant’s transactions using that merchant’s own merchant account, the gateway processes merchant’s Internet transactions using each Internet merchant’s own merchant account.
The gateway is essentially the Internet equivalent of the swipe hardware found in retail stores, with quite a bit of enhanced functionality specific to Internet processing.
This means that merchants must contact their acquiring bank with any questions specific to their merchant account.
If you have questions as to why you are receiving a specific response to a transaction, you must contact your acquiring bank. These questions include, but may not be limited to:
- Why is a transaction being DECLINED when the customer says the card is good?
- Why does the AVS response state that the customer’s address is not a match when the customer says the address information is correct?
- Why aren’t American Express or Discover transactions being accepted?