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What is "Merchant of Record" and Why is it Important?

Payment Processing

What Vacation Rental Managers Need to Know About the Benefits of Being the Merchant of Record

Simply put the Merchant of Record (MOR) is the entity (or business) that holds the merchant account with the processing bank. It is the entity that is authorized & responsible for selling a product and/or service to the cardholder and to whom the cardholder owes payment to for the service or product. Your business has a direct contract with the processing bank to deposit the payments processed to the business’s checking account, and therefore, more control over your account.

Larger businesses (i.e. property managers who represent more than a few rental properties) benefit from holding a Merchant of Record processing account in many ways:

  • You have homeowners and business costs to pay. Being MOR puts you in charge of the payment schedule, so you can set the terms for your accounting preferences and those of your homeowners and be in control of your cash flow.
  • MORs funds are protected by the FDIC throughout the transaction settlement and funding process.
  • MORs rates are more customizable.
  • MORs have direct access to the processor for chargeback help and security compliance.
  • When you are the MOR, your business name shows up on the client’s credit card statements. 
  • Being the Merchant of Record puts you in charge of your money, your brand, and your reputation. 

With this being said, there may be times when you are not the MOR, especially when working with entities such as Channel Managers and OTA’s. The best example of this would be Airbnb. Airbnb is the MOR for all transactions completed on their website. This gives them control of the funds and when the rental manager is paid. Working with Airbnb and similar entities who insist on being MOR does not preclude you from being MOR on your direct bookings. Entities such as insist upon you being the MOR. 

Ascent is committed to finding you the correct solution at the lowest cost available with dedicated support every step of the way. We make it easy to start processing, switch providers, add gateway services, or even to partner with other service providers to bring the best payment solutions possible to Vacation Rentals and Lodging providers. Please fill out the form to the right or contact us at


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