Step By Step Guide To Selling Online for Small Businesses

Guide to accepting online payment from e-commerce websites, Merchant Accounts and payment processing gateways

Setting up online payment system for online website sales

Setting up an online payment processing for web site sales is perhaps the most difficult and confusing issues for new web businesses. There are numerous options available. But first we we will just outline the general procedure for setting-up and accepting online payment.

Setting up Merchant Account for online payment

These are in effect bank account facilities set up through your own bank that allows processing of credit and debit card payments. This is similar facility to that many businesses have to take credit card payments either through the swipe machine etc. For online sales, merchants ask for an enhanced version of this basic service. Application for such accounts needs to be made through your bank manager who will also advise of setup costs as well as any transaction costs. Some banks may require you to deposit a guarantee into the account to cover any chargebacks your customers may make on your sales to them.

Obtaining a merchant account for new businesses can prove to be difficult as the banks like to see some form of trading history before they agree to set up a merchant account. However once a merchant account has been set up, you are free to use any one of the approved Payment Gateway companies such as Worldpay, protx, AuthorizeNet etc.

If a merchant account is denied, you have slightly limited choice of Payment Gateways and will have to pay higher charges.

Payment Gateways

These are companies that provide data connection to the bank's merchant account facilities. Once a request is received from your website (typically by the shopping cart software) the Payment Gateway companies pass on the request to the merchant bank who actually debits the customer's credit cards. Once the transaction is completed the merchant bank notifies the Payment gateway who in turn advises the shopping cart to update its records. Payment gateways also provide detailed reports of all transactions and offer other tools for web sites to connect to the merchant bank's systems.

Connecting to the Payment Gateways

There are at this moment many many different Payment Gateways. Most of the advanced Shopping cart software such as BazaarBuilder provide a simple interface where you enter account details and which routes credit card transactions to the Payment Gateway of your choice.

Page 2: Select A Shopping Cart