topr8 - 5:24 pm on May 31, 2010 (gmt 0)
>>terminology merchant account and payment gateway
merchant account: the contract you have with a card processor allowing you to accept credit cards, the processor will charge you fees
payment gateway: card processors will not allow just anyone to interact with their database, thus you need to go through a gateway to connect to the card processor do the actual card processing.
card processors sometimes have their own gateway which they will bundle into the deal making it seem like you don't need a gateway.