I have a client who already has a merchant account for their physical store.
What specific information about the merchant account will my client need to get from his bank to link it up to an online payment gateway that we will be using for the store?

-----edits below

-"my merchant account" changed to "the merchant account"

-It is noted that my client will need to get a "high-risk" merchant account separate from his existing physical stores merchant account.

-Though the question is essentially answered, for clarification:

We plan to minimize our PCI compliance needs by utilizing something like Braintree's Transparent Redirect or the CRESecure iForm. So the gateway we would need to give the merchant account info to would be either of those two. Though, the CRESecure method would have yet one more step added into the mix since they would forward data to another payment provider.

It is now assumed that the best place to field this question is to the support team at Braintree or CRESecure.

  • This is confusing. Your client has a merchant account(first sentence); okay. What does your merchant account(second sentence) have to do with this? Overall, though the answer would seem to be "whatever the (unnamed) payment gateway provider asks for." Have you checked their documentation?
    – Su'
    Sep 14, 2011 at 9:17
  • I mistyped where it says "my merchant account". It should have been "the merchant account". I did not see in their documentation about connecting just their gateway to an external merchant account since I assume they prefer I get the merchant account through them as well. Sep 15, 2011 at 1:55

1 Answer 1


First, let me start off by saying your client cannot use their store merchant for Internet transactions. Visa and MasterCard (and probably American and Discover Card) require a separate merchant account for Internet transactions (that is any transaction that is captured through a website). This is due to the high risk nature of Internet based transactions. If a merchant gets too many chargebacks related to Internet based transactions that account can be closed without affecting the store account plus Internet based transactions that result in a chargeback are handled differently then those occurring as a result of a store based transaction. Also, all Internet transactions are required to provide an Electronic Commerce Indicator flag identifying it as being Internet based in nature. If your client is caught using their store account for Internet transactions they may be fined, have their closed, and/or be blacklisted and never allowed to have a true merchant account again. So if you use a payment gateway with the stopre account the ECI flag will alert their merchant account provider and they will get caught quickly.

Having said that, this isn't something that should affect you as the webmaster. The merchant account provider and payment gateway provider should handle setting up the payment gateway. What they will need will vary depending on which merchant account platform the merchant is based on. Since that would entail writing an entire chapter of information that wouldn't make any sense to anyone not in the business I won't get into detail about there here. But if for some reason you are required to set up the payment gateway yourself, the payment gateway provider will tell you what information you need and the merchant account provider will provide that information.

Disclaimer: I wrote the article linked to above

  • Thank you. As this is my first e-commerce project, I had not read that anywhere. Likely, because it is such common knowledge. Hence, the "Anonymous Coward" title. Sep 15, 2011 at 1:57

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