The FAQ You Requested...
What is Merchant Status and what is its relationship to Credit Cards?
A business has Merchant Status when it has been authorised by one of the main "High Street" Banks or other leading financial institution, to process credit card transactions in its own right.
Within such an agreement, the authorised business has total control over the transaction processes, procedures and security, and must ensure that adequately trained staff are always available to administer and control the procedures involved. To run a successful worldwide Internet business with 24-hour/365-day availability, this may require suitably qualified staff to be constantly available.
For internet trading, this is often called processing cards in "Customer Not Present" mode.