Starting your own e-commerce website requires a few basic steps. First, you need to hire a web design company that will create the website for you. You can choose from their catalog of designs or you can have it customized and impose your company’s theme. Next, you’ll need to provide a convenient and easy way to pay for your products or services, and perhaps the most popular way is through credit card processing.
There are lots of benefits in using credit cards as your payment option; your customer base is extended to clients around the globe. Credit cards have become very popular in many countries and you may want to take advantage of that fact. Another advantage is that credit cards increases your sales average since it artificially expands your customers buying power which can result in impulse buying.
One common problem with traditional payment is that it involves a lot of record keeping and auditing. With credit card processing system, you can relax as the accounting is being done by the software automatically. You can check and filter transactions and use the data for further marketing analysis.
The first step is to acquire a merchant account; this can be done through banks or a third party credit card processing company. Merchant services include verification of funds, authorizing transactions and cash transfer in between accounts. The fees vary distinctively among different companies and it’s important to know and compare these differences as it can make or break your expected profits.
The process involving online transactions does not differ much from a regular retail environment. Whereas a physical card is presented and then swiped into the credit card processing equipment, online transaction involves typing in credit card information through a secured website.
Secured websites uses SSL or secured socket layer for processing and it can be verified with URLs starting with ‘https’, or an additional ‘s’ that set it apart from regular websites. SSL encrypts data before sending them out in packets and over the internet. Hackers usually work by capturing the packets intended for the payment processor’s website and decoding it by means of reverse engineering.
However, much of the security issues surrounding credit card usage online are allayed with financial institutions as well as third party firms acknowledging charge-backs over unauthorized transactions.
Researching the different third party companies can be a nightmare. The different charges set by these companies can have an effect on your type of business; some plans are better suited for large quantity sale scale type of companies while others are better suited for single-large-sale type of business. An automobile dealer is a good example of the latter.
So, how do you research without getting into the complexities of the banking world? The best way is to look for aggregator websites which deal with researching, interviewing and other screening process. These sites are paid by different companies to evaluate and do a comparison chart with other providers. They list the features and put in their recommendation based on the information gathered.
by Jeev Trika