To Accept credit card payments online without a merchant account you will need a full stack payment service. Let me quickly to to explain this to you.
A full stack payment gateway provider will offer you a composite product that includes
- Payment Gateway
- Merchant Account
- PCI Complaince
In most of these cases you will be getting an aggregate merchant account . This means the processor will offer you a MID that is being shared by multiple merchants. So this will not be a dedicate merchant account.
In most cases this solution will work fine however if you need more flexibility then you you can try to apply for a dedicated merchant account.
Once you are approved for the full stack solution then you can proceed for the integration. After successful test transaction you can switch the gateway to live mode.
The processor may settle funds to you on weekly or daily basis. The PSP may put 1 week or 2 days hold-back.