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Accepting Credit Cards

November 19th, 2009 · No Comments · Uncategorized

In today’s world with the ease of shopping online and having everything at your fingertips, customers want to know that they can safely and quickly pay for products online using their credit cards. With the growing threat of identity theft it is more important than ever to keep your customer’s information secure and we don’t just mean the card number itself but all of your customer data.

First things first, make sure that you sign up with a web hosting company that has secure servers that are intended for ecommerce. You will want a hosting company that offers you a great shopping cart, a payment gateway and will easily integrate with whatever merchant account you decide to go with.
When you take a credit card for the purchase of goods or services the information has to pass through several avenues before the transaction is complete. Amazingly enough, modern technology has made it so that all of this can happen within a few seconds. Basically a customer enters their card number and then a payment gateway allows you to readily send information between your customer, you and your merchant account provider. It is important to choose a payment gateway that uses the same language as your web site. This will make the integration seamless. However, if you signed up for ecommerce web hosting, chances are you have payment gateway at your fingertips. For payment gateways we recommend Authorize.net.
Once the information from the customer goes through the payment gateway it will arrive at the merchant account provider. They will authorize the purchase, charge the transaction and then send the data back through the payment gateway to your shopping cart to finalize the order. The whole process is much more complicated than we went into here but this serves as generalized information on what it takes to accept credit cards.
Make sure you get a great merchant account and that you don’t pay merchant account fees that you can avoid. Really shop around and get the account that will best suit your website needs. Every business is different so there is no way that one merchant account can fit the needs of everyone. Some companies can get you same day approval and you can be up and running, taking payment in no time at all. For merchant accounts we suggest: Charge.com

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