In the realm of credit card processing, a merchant is defined as any client of the processing company that accepts credit card payments using the processor’s services.
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Merchants come in all shapes and sizes, from a mom-and-pop bodega to an international superstore; if they accept credit cards, they are considered merchants.

This term is also a reference to any business that holds a merchant account with the processing company.

Whether that business is a brick-and-mortar store or an online retailer they either provide services or sell products to a consumer. Merchants provide the revenue stream for credit card processing companies.

Merchants constitute the backbone of the world market and while they traditionally moved goods from one market to another, they have evolved to include digital media and services.

The term merchant has expanded so much over the years it has grown to encompass any transaction in which currency changes hands.

Beyond the usual money for goods, this now covers such items as game content, music, and even online betting. Each of these purchases is viewed as a transaction to a credit card processor.

The merchant at this point is the same thing as a business.

To be a merchant in the 21st Century, a business generally needs to accept credit cards. With over 70% of the US population possessing a credit card, a successful business needs to accept that form of payment.

Credit card processing companies work specifically with merchants to ensure that credit card transactions are smoothly processed.

The merchant uses a point of sale (POS) system in their store or website and the credit card information is run through the processing company. Once the transaction clears, the charge, minus the processing company’s fee, is deposited in the merchant’s account.

Merchants constitute the backbone of the world market and facilitate the commerce and trade of the world economy.

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