How To Accept Credit Cards Without A Merchant Account

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To increase sales on your website, you must accept credit cards. To process credit cards, you could apply

for a merchant account through your bank or other financial institution.

Sometimes, though, you would be further ahead to use the services of a credit card processor.

This is especially true when you are first starting out and have more limited resources.

In this way, you may process credit card transactions without the high front-end costs and requirements

of a merchant account.

Here, then, are just a few ways of accepting credit cards without a merchant account.

I personally use all of these vendors and can recommend them wholeheartedly.


1. Clickbank

If your product is downloadable (such as electronic books or software), you might consider .

For a $49.95 initial fee, you can process credit cards and on-line cheques for $1.00 per transaction plus

7.5% of sales. You receive additional exposure through free listing on their website and through the

search facilities of other websites, such as As an added bonus, you have your own built-in

affiliate program. You decide what commission (from 1% to 75%) you would like to pay your affiliates.


2. PayPal has no initial fees. For just 2.9% of sales and $ .30 per transaction (and sometimes less),

you can receive money from anyone.

Also, you can pay others by credit card or chequing account without supplying your personal credit information

to the payee. PayPal can be used to collect money from your auctions, website sales, or even from friends or clients.


3. PaySystems

In the original edition of this article, I recommended (also known as

This is what I wrote about them: “ can handle either intangible (downloadable) or tangible

(shippable) products. For an initial fee of $49.00, you can accept all major credit cards as well as

online checks. Fees are just 3.95% of sales and $1.00 per transaction. Alternatively, you may pay 5.5% of

sales and $ .35 per transaction.” “For this, you receive shopping cart, integration with third-party

affiliate programs (such as, fraud screening, multi-currency transactions, toll-free support,

marketing tools, and more.”

Unfortunately, has discontinued their “Internet Billing Account” for those outside the United States.


4. 2CheckOut can handle both intangible and tangible products. For an initial fee of $49.00, you can

accept all major credit cards as well as online checks. Fees are just 5.5% of sales and $0.45 per transaction.

For this, you receive shopping cart, fraud detection, integration with third-party affiliate programs,

multi-currency transactions, free on-line support, and more.

Incidentally, has the same policy as does with regard to sales taxes.

Both companies take the position that you are selling your product to them and that they resell it to the

final consumer. Thus, they claim that you are not subject to sales taxes on those sales.