An online merchant account is where an eCommerce store has an account with a bank which facilitates the processing of credit and debit cards via the internet.
There are various banks and merchant providers which offer these accounts [e.g. PayPal, NAB, CommBank etc.]. Each has separate cost structures including monthly, transaction and discount rate fees.
An online merchant account is vital to all eCommerce businesses. Without it the business wouldn’t be able to conduct the transfer of payments for goods and services.