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In a brick-and-mortar type store, you present your card to the cashier, who swipes it through a card reader or takes an impression of it. With an ecommerce merchant account, you cannot physically see the card you are charging, so you need a special kind of merchant account called a "card not present" account. An internet merchant account will typically ask the customer to know the billing address and/or the security code on the card. This helps prevent fraudulent use of credit cards online.