Accepting Credit Cards Online
May 31, 2012
If you have an Internet store or own a retail e-commerce website, you will need online credit card processing. With the help of an online merchant account and credit card payment gateway, you can give your customers the option to purchase goods with the click of the mouse, at any time, day or night.
Merchant Warehouse can provide you with an online merchant account and the ability to do online credit card processing, no matter how small or how large of a website you have.
You will find some helpful online credit card processing and e-commerce merchant account information in the links below. It will help you get on your way to accepting credit cards.
How Online Credit Card Processing Works
The model below shows how online credit card processing works – how online payment gateways are used in order to accept credit cards on websites.
- The online customer finds the merchant's website and adds products to their shopping cart. When they are ready to check out, they enter their billing information.
- If the merchant does not have a secure page, the customer can be transferred to a secure payment gateway. If the merchant does have a secure site, then the information will be "passed" to the payment gateway without the customer ever leaving the merchant's site.
- Once the billing information has made it to the payment gateway, it is then transmitted to the processor.
- The processor passes the information from the online payment gateway onto the bank that issued the credit card, which verifies that the card is valid and that the amount requested is available on the card.
- The bank sets aside the purchase amount for the merchant, then sends back an approval number or a decline message to the processor.
- Within 3-15 seconds, the information in steps 2-6 is passed back to the gateway.
- The gateway passes the approval code back to the merchant's site or, if the merchant does not have a secure site, gives the customer their approval information. At this point, the merchant can also choose to have the payment gateway email the customer a payment receipt.
- Final payment is secured and is deposited in the internet merchant’s account. It typically takes two business days from the time of the original transaction for the funds to reach the merchant's checking account.
For more information on how online credit card processing works, call the number above or apply online for a merchant account.
Online Credit Card Processing Tips
Follow the tips below to avoid any of the possible pitfalls of setting up an online merchant account for online credit card processing.
Tips on Setting Up Your Online Merchant Account
- While it’s true that most online merchant accounts can be set up in a few days, it does sometimes take longer. A good online merchant account tip is to start thinking about setting up your account a few weeks before you plan on using it. You will have plenty of other challenges in those last few days before you open for business.
- Use credit card processing experts for your online credit card processing needs. Since internet and online credit card processing is relatively new, you should make sure you get the best advice, software and costs available. Most banks, superstores and other companies who do not specialize in merchant accounts can never be as up-to-date with the current trends as specialists like Merchant Warehouse.
- Online credit card processing may have a few different fees than a retail merchant account. Understand all of your online processing fees and make sure everything is fully outlined. Be thorough reviewing the application and be certain to ask questions about anything you don't understand. Taking the time to go through everything thoroughly may save you from surprises when you get your statement.
- Make sure you are quoted for online credit card processing and not a retail account. Many merchants may find that they are initially quoted, and mistakenly sign-up for, a retail account. If you have a retail account, you will get hit with much higher fees than you would have if you had set your account up properly. Most online credit card processing accounts will have a rate well over 2%. If you are quoted a rate below this number, it is likely that you have been misquoted.
- Choose a leading payment gateway to handle your online credit card processing transaction. While some newer gateway companies have excellent products, nothing beats the reliability and the ease of integration that the more established gateway companies have. If you follow this tip, you know you are getting a product that works from a provider with a proven record.
If you have further questions or would like additional online credit card processing tips, please call us at the number at the top of the screen or request a merchant account online.