Aug 16, 2022 - 07:50 AM
The simple answer is no, but to truly understand why, we'd need to take a look at how exactly you want to run your business. And to do that, you need to understand some intricacies of payment gateways and merchant accounts.Payment Gateways and Merchant Accounts: How They Work
A payment gateway is a software that connects your eCommerce store or payment page to your merchant account.
Some popular gateway platforms include Authorize.Net, NMI, and CardPointe. Other payment gateways include the likes of PayPal, Stripe, Amazon payments, and Worldpay.
On the other hand, merchant accounts are specialized bank accounts with the primary goal of allowing businesses to accept electronic payments from their customer's credit or debit cards.
But besides credit cards, merchant accounts work well with tools like point of sale equipment, mobile payment devices, and online payment applications.
Next, and bear with us if this gets a little complicated; there are different types of merchant accounts, from true merchant accounts like FiirstData, BluePay, and cardconnect to payment aggregators like PayPal, Amazon Payments, Stripe, Square, and WePay.
And all these influence the number of payment gateways and merchant accounts you need to run your stores.Can You Use Them for Multiple Stores
As with anything financial that involves several institutions, it can easily become messy. And one great example of this is what happens with true merchant accounts.
The true merchant account offers your business an exclusive merchant ID number and eliminates the middleman. But, they also require you to provide general information about your business, average sales, ownership information, and void cheques or bank letters.
This means that misrepresenting yourself or your business or combining two or more stores will be flagged, which can lead to your funds being frozen or your account being shut down. Using a true merchant account would limit you from using multiple stores in one account.
On the other hand, payment aggregator platforms don’t have these issues because they require little documentation. Payment aggregators are fairly easy to set up since they offer worldwide availability, very limited or no underwriting, and no formal approval process.
And although a payment aggregator account can theoretically link multiple stores to one payment gateway and merchant account, the fact that not all your customers are on them defeats the purpose.
Also, their high rates, which can range up to 3% of every transaction, and the fact they have a penchant for withholding or freezing their customer's funds for the slightest breach of their requirements also make them unappealing to customers.What About Payment Gateways?
Payment gateways are another matter. Since there work behind the scenes, several eCommerce platforms like WooCommerce usually support multiple payment gateway platforms.
That said, you can integrate multiple payment gateways and payment terminals into your merchant account.