I have already done a fair amount of Research as I am about to go live with my own Online site - allowing my clients to settle their invoice on-line by credit card.
Real Time Commerce seemed more than happy to set me up - even though I am based in the UK - so I don't know where you got the information from.
Anyway - www.Netbanx.com are UK based and will set up an account for people who have Merchant accounts, or what they call a Bureau account for those who don't.
This is the company I am going with, as most of my customers are UK based - they also accept UK debit cards (switch, delta).
To get a merchant account - you need to go to a Physical Bank. They will ask you x amount of questions and then say yeah or nay.
If they say yes (which if you are an internet-only based business, then don't hold your breath) then you may need an interent merchant account number as well the standard one thay give you.
With these account details you then have a choice. You can accept credit card numbers and details on your site and pass them through a standard credit card terminal manually(rented from your bank), or you can use an online clearance house (such as netbanx above, or CyberCash or Real Time Commerce). You ususally get better transaction charges with a merchant account than without.
Without a merchant account - you have to go with someone who will set up a pseudo-merchant accoutn for you. There are a few of these on the site above - there charges range from ok to astronomical - and you usually only get the money at the end of the month.
I hope this helps
An other useful link for you is above. This is what I used for most of my research + a lot of emails.
>Jim you wrote you would have had an account with Realtime Commerce Solutions, run by Rick and Sheryl Shockley, in the usa. And you're from the UK yourself. I tried to get in touch with them, but they say they don't do any business with not usa related companies/ppl.
>what i am looking for is a merchant account (for a client). but all the cc processing companies try to sell their services where they want 10 or 15 % or the amount, and are not flexible with the processing.
>no-one was able to tell me how to get a merchant account, what is needed.
>btw, it's an online shop, and not a porn site. i guess most of these cc processing solutions are made for xxx membership sites.
>do you know where i can read how to get a merchant account? or any advice?