Clickbank Merchant Account

You can sell your digital, downloadable products online as well as take credit card payments, debit cards, and online checks through Clickbank and its marketplace. As with all third party processing, the sale is technically made by Clickbank, to which you “sell” access to your digital product. In return, they pay you a percent of all sales and list your product in its online marketplace directory. Looking at it another way, Clickbank charges you a fee to process your sales and for access to their marketplace customers.

With the Clickbank account comes payment screening, billing inquiry customer support, refund request processing, and the necessary secure payment systems. You generate sales / traffic activity, provide online sales page(s), fulfill orders, and provide customer service support (other than refunds).

Merchant Account Transaction Types

As with many third party payment providers, Clickbank limits the types of transactions.

Some Advantages of Having a Clickbank Account

Clickbank is set up as a payment processing and affiliate program service for downloadable, digital products. It is an economical and easy way to offer an affiliate program if you are just starting out and want to “get your feet wet” running an affiliate program.

The Clickbank account’s main advantage is the built-in affiliate program. You can automatically offer a commission of up to 50% on your digital products if you choose. There is no additional software or fees involved. You simply generate the affiliate URL and make it available to those wanting to promote your product. When a sale is made through an affiliate, Clickbank handles affiliate compensation. There is no additional work on your part.

The service also offers a wide variety of payment options, all with the same fee structure. Your customers can pay by Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover, Eurocard, Bravo, Visa Debit, Mastercard Debit, or Novus. Customers in the US can also pay by online check.

As with all third party processing, using a Clickbank account (as opposed to having a merchant account) means less administrative work, no long term agreements, and lower overall costs for most low-volume accounts.

Drawbacks to a Clickbank Account

Clickbank accepts digital products and services only. Your services and/or products must be deliverable entirely over the internet via web pages, downloadable files, or email. For other types of products — or if you are not interested in the integrated affiliate program — is a more appropriate third party payment processor.

As with all third party credit card processing, Clickbank has higher total transaction fees (discount rate, etc.) than a merchant account. This means that at high dollar volumes, the Clickbank account may be more costly than a merchant account.

As of this writing, Clickbank cannot handle secure pages. This means your download URL is directly accessible to anyone who knows the address. To remedy this, there is a growing number of shopping cart and other services that offer secure technology to “plug into” your Clickbank account. Also, some monitor the download URL and change it periodically to prevent fraudulent downloads.


As of this writing, there is no monthly fee to use Clickbank. There is a one-time $49.95 activation fee. The charge for each transaction is $1 + 7.5%

How to Sign Up or Get More Information

To learn more about what Clickbank does, go to the Clickbank account overview page. Click “Sign up now” at bottom of the page to apply for your Clickbank merchant account.

Merchant Accounts Are an Alternative to Clickbank

Deciding What’s Best for You

The ecommerce section of can help you through the decision of how to accept payments online and suggest resources to consider. Each section of the site is devoted to a piece of the online payment “puzzle.” You will find pros and cons associated with each choice, questions to ask before signing on, and potential pitfalls.

Whether you take payments online through an Internet merchant account, use third party payment processing (or both) read all agreements carefully before committing. Do not hesitate to ask the providers questions if information is unclear or incomplete.

Put together the “puzzle pieces” for taking payments online and your ecommerce Web sales will flourish!