Setting up a merchant account to accept credit cards is not rocket science, but it can be very confusing. Here's a tip to help simplify the process.
Make sure you know the difference between requesting information and completing a merchant account application. Many merchant service providers have forms on their site requesting information such as your business name, type of business, how much you process, etc. They use these forms to gather data so that they can contact you back to go over merchant account rates fees and other information. Some forms are actually merchant account applications to accept credit cards. While you may think you may be completing the form just to get information back, you may be completing an application, which is a legal contract with the bank. Once you digitally sign the application, you're bound by those terms and conditions to which you agreed by submitting the application. Some sites, such as PayByWeb notify you that you are applying for a merchant account, just to make sure there is no confusion.
The merchant account application process can be simplified by making sure you take the time to read the information provided, before completing any forms or applications.