How to accept online payments without a merchant account

How to accept online payments without a merchant account

Collecting payments via the website is absolutely a must for online businesses. But usually, merchant accounts issued by acquiring banks do cost a lot. Today Maxpay will propose other ways of getting payments as well as merchant accounts issued by acquiring banks.

Why do I need a special account to accept payments online?

A merchant account allows collecting funds paid by cards or any modern payment method on online platforms, and also from retail stores. 

It is also known: acquiring banks issue them. Usually, these banks do take high fees for the opening and charge high as well while processing. Besides that, acquiring banks require a lot of documentation in the beginning, and contact with merchants on a long-term basis. 

Gladly, we have alternatives to acquiring banks. First of all, to accept online payments, a business owner can use other methods that allow them to collect and store money for goods and services without establishing a system for internet purchases.

Secondly, other account issuers can grant the account on behalf of acquiring banks. And normally, they do take less for their services and provide fast and easy onboarding.

Ways to receive e-payments without the account

Well, in this situation, you can use money transfers. There are some options and online services you can use.

  • Money order. The money order is a payment option that requires payment in advance. Here a customer should create a financially valid paper in a bank for an agreed funds quantity with a merchant using cash or a credit card.
  • Wire transfer. Sending money through banks is that option that is secured and easy to use. Transfers can be performed in EUR, USD, or any other currency, and fully online if desired.
  • Letter of credit. A letter of credit is a financial paper issued by a bank that obligates a customer to perform a transaction for a certain amount until a precise scheduled day. 
  • Check. Checks take a physical form of a piece of paper as well, and simply represent the issued amount of money. Then they can be sent by post or by email. Checks should be available to order over the internet and in the banks.

How to collect card payments without a merchant account

To transact money via the internet without an account, you would still need a third party to hold the process. Online payment processing requires a kind of medium that would connect a website of a merchant with inner banking networks.

These partnering services can be payment service providers or payment gateway service providers. The first one is an institution that offers various financial technology services to a business and especially equips them with all the needed tools for collecting online purchases on a website. The second one is a web-based tool that enables a business to connect a web platform with the payment processor, and so payment gateway providers are mostly focused on this aspect.

For instance, Maxpay is a payment gateway service provider that also helps companies with the merchant account opening and chargeback prevention tools.

Merchant services offered by its provider

Acquiring bankPSPPGP
Opening a merchant accountpossibleonly on behalf of an acquiring bankonly on behalf of an acquiring bank
Setting up POS for retailerspossiblenot possiblenot possible
Providing acceptance of online paymentspossiblepossiblepossible
Installing a payment gatewaypossiblepossiblepossible
Offering a fraud preventionpossiblepossiblepossible
Offering a chargeback protectionpossiblepossiblepossible

Collect card payments – the best solution

The best way to collect online purchases is to obtain a merchant account and so to do it properly. And in fact, there is no obligation to deal with acquiring banks directly. You can require a valid account at the PSP in Europe, the UK, Belgium, and other EU states.

PSPs and payment gateway service providers open a merchant account on behalf of merchants at acquiring banks and propose all the other useful services. Also, they do charge less and require simpler documentation. Partnering with them would be not profitable only for retailers, as PSPs deal just with eCommerce businesses.


How can I accept debit card purchases without a merchant account?

Mostly, using money transfers. But obtaining an account opens an opportunity to have a payment straight from the selling website.

How can I accept online payments without a bank account?

It would be quite impossible. To collect electronic transactions you need to have at least a private bank account.

Do I need a merchant account to accept online payments?

Yes, it is the sole way to collect funds online via the website. The other way would be to require money transfers each time.