Are merchant accounts necessary?


Are merchant accounts necessary? Can some other bank services be used when charging clients while still being professional?

I'm thinking of using wire transfers or maybe PayPal. Can PayPal or Google services handle 6 figure transfers and payments?


asked Nov 30 '11 at 12:07
Sergio Alvarez
46 points
  • What countr(y)(ies) are you sending from and to? – Kenneth Vogt 12 years ago
  • Also, a merchant account is used for receiving credit card payments. Is that what you meant, or did you mean a business bank account? – Kenneth Vogt 12 years ago
  • Im not sending i am recieving payment from my clients. Yes merchant accounts are so that your clients can use there cridet/debit cards. What i was asking is are merchant accounts required? – Sergio Alvarez 12 years ago

2 Answers


They are not necessary, and you can still look professional using other service providers.

You can use PayPal Pro to do credit card transactions but I have a feeling they would have concerns of doing a 6 figure transaction. Even if it did go through it's possible PayPal would hold on to it for a long time before releasing it to you incase their was a charge back / fraud.

You can also look into which doesn't require a Merchant account to collect credit cards (just a valid US bank account).

If you do go the merchant account and processing gateway route you can look at: They are pretty popular now and can help through each aspect. They also have plenty of info on their site on how the whole thing works and what is a merchant account, gateway etc.

Typically 6 figure transactions would be check or wire transfer

answered Nov 30 '11 at 16:21
Ryan Doom
5,472 points
  • i think that using direct transfers to and from bank would be better for the clients and me. i read somewhere that Automated Clearing House(ACH) is a common payment method. For some reason i thought that merchant accounts where required for businesses.Im glad its not. Yes i have the same concern about companies like paypal i have read that paypal holds your money for a long time if they decide they want to. Thank you for your help Ryan – Sergio Alvarez 12 years ago
  • Yeah I've heard of PayPal locking people's money before but never saw it first hand until this week. Client of mine upgraded to PayPal Pro so he could do a credit card charge but it was for $5,000. Then he tried transferring to his bank account and i think it triggered their possible fraud detection. Froze his account and he can't move any money. Ridiculous! – Ryan Doom 12 years ago


I'm not sure where you are from, but you could also look into using It only costs $0.25 per transaction over $10, and under $10 is free.

answered Dec 3 '11 at 05:40
1,162 points

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