Online credit card processing refers to card-not-present payments that are completed on an e-commerce website via a Payment Gateway. The gateway is either provided by or integrated with a Merchant Service Provider.
To be successful in online credit card processing, there are certain services and tools that are required, while others are nice to have. Learn about the providers involved, requirements and how you can simplify back-end e-commerce operations.
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Online Credit Card Processing Setup
Before you can start online credit card processing, you need to set up the following:
- Website Hosting: The technology and services needed for your website to be viewed on the internet are provided by this service. Typically, you will need to purchase a domain name while the web hosting provider will store your website on its server. You can also host your own website entirely on your own, but this usually requires hiring full-time web developers and designers to maintain it.
- Shopping Cart: This software provides the tools to host products on your website. Some shopping cart software can double as inventory management tools.
- Merchant Account: A merchant account is required for your business to accept credit and debit card payments. A proper account is provided by a Merchant Service Provider.
- Payment Gateway: To facilitate online credit card processing, a gateway is required to pass the transaction information from the website to the Merchant Service Provider.
Your Payment Gateway is the technical glue that connects the point of sale to the payment network. It works silently in the background, processing information and providing a response to the card-not-present payment. As you’ve just learned, the gateway is one of many service providers needed to complete your online credit card processing, but there’s a simple way to consolidate these providers to make your back-end operations easier while you set up your business for future growth.
Consolidate Online Credit Card Processing Providers
The first step to streamlining your online credit card processing providers is to integrate them. Finding integrated providers should be relatively easy, as there is a large pool to choose from. The hard part is finding the right ones that fit your business needs and offer fair billing.
Integrating the right providers for your business early on means setting it up for success in the future. For example, opting for a shopping cart software that integrates with a Merchant Service Provider that can accommodate both an e-commerce and brick-and-mortar business gives you the option to branch out and open a physical retail location after a few years of successful e-commerce operations.
Another means of streamlining your providers is by finding all-in-one options. Is there a single provider that can host your website, provide a shopping cart, manage your merchant account and facilitate payments with a gateway? No, but there are providers that encompass multiple services that are needed for e-commerce online credit card processing. Opting for an all-in-one Merchant Service and Payment Gateway provider allows you to consolidate bills, streamline support and save money.
You’ve learned the foundation of online credit card processing, now it’s time to start your search for providers.
Be sure to tell us about your search for providers in the comments section below. We’d love to lend you our perspective on any hesitations or concerns you might have.
Editor's Note: This post was originally published in December 2018 and has been updated for comprehensiveness and accuracy.