E-Commerce Payment Processing
In the past, E-Commerce (processing online) was something of a confusing mess of multiple and often expensive options. Today, E-Commerce is fairly simply and very affordable!
In order to have a good understanding of how processing online works, please visit our HOW IT WORKS document where you will learn the 4 basic components of an online credit card acceptance set up.
TMC makes processing your credit cards online affordable! From comprehensive shopping carts or API set ups to simple DONATE NOW functions for our Non Profit businesses, we are prepared to help you enable your web site to accept credit cards from your customers!
Please Contact Our Team to determine the best online option for your business!
More About E-Commerce Payment ProcessingThere are a number of payment methods you’re able to accept, and there is some terminology you should be familiar with, before attempting to setup your own e-commerce payment processing.
Types Of Payments You Can Accept OnlineHaving an understanding of payment processing and the types of payments you are able to accept is the initial step you’ll need to take prior to selecting a payment processor.
Credit CardsEvery payment processor will permit credit card payments, which is the most common form of payment. Payments from credit cards have the following steps:
- User enters payment information in a form on your site
- This data is sent to a payment gateway to determine if the request is declined or approved.
- The payment gateway declines or approves the transaction
- Your website accepts the payment or displays a decline message to the user
eChecks/ACH TransfersEChecks or bank transfers are similar to paying with a check online. This give the user the option of entering banking information into your payment gateway, which will check for the availability of funds and begin a transfer of the funds to your merchant account.
Payment Processing TerminologyWe’ll review the terms that are used in describing payment processing so you’ll be able to grasp the concepts when you read about them.
- Payment Gateway
- Merchant Account
- Charge vs Authorize
- SSL Certificates
- PCI Compliance
Payment GatewayThe payment gateway acts as a replacement for the terminal that is used in physical locations for accepting credit cards. The gateway will decline or approve a transaction and report back to your website.
When you utilize a WordPress plugin such as woocommerce you will normally require an additional plugin to connect the payment gateway to the site. The additional plugin will communicate between the payment gateway and your site and report on transaction approval or denial. In most cases, you can purchase software that has already been designed and use it in your site, especially if you use a popular platform like WordPress or Shopify.
If you already have a merchant account, there might be additional charges that will be charged separately for your payment gateway. If you have selected an aggregated account with both the payment gateway and merchant account together, your expenses are normally charged for the complete payment processing solution.
The payment gateway will determine the different features you are able to offer. For example, saving credit card data for purchases in the future, authorizing charges and then processing them in the future, recurring payments, the types of credit cards you can accept and which additional payment methods are acceptable, like eChecks.
Merchant AccountYour merchant account is the account in which transacted payments go. It’s the place where customer payments go prior to transferring them to a business account. Merchant accounts aren’t directly involved in the transaction.
If you already have a physical location, you probably use a merchant account when accepting payments. If you don’t have one yet, you can choose either an aggregated or a dedicated account.
A merchant account that only you use, is a dedicated account, and it’s chosen by many online merchants, although it takes more effort to setup than an aggregated account. When a transaction is processed, the funds are transferred to the merchant account within 48 hours and then the funds will be released so that you can move them to a business account in two more days.
With an aggregated account the merchant bank and payment gateway are bundled. In this case, you needn’t acquire the two accounts separately. This is often convenient for new merchants as it alleviates some of the complexity.
Authorize vs. ChargeMany payment gateways permit you to either authorize or charge payments. When a payment is charged, money is requested immediately via your payment gateway, from your customer’s account. Authorization is a request that determines if the customer has the ability to pay the charge. The payment details are retained, and the customer is charged later.
SSL CertificateIf you are planning on processing payments on your site, you’ll need an SSL certificate.
Get an SSL certificate even if it is not required by the payment processor. It’s not very expensive and it’s fairly easy to get. SSL protects customer data if you have on site processing and it will protect their login details as well.
In addition, SSL certificates help a site to convert better since users often feel more secure if a site has an SSL certificate. Not to mention the fact that it is recommended by Google, and it can help you get better organic search results.
TokenizationTokenization is the capacity to save payment data securely for later use. Never store credit card data on your site. If you would like to allow a client to save payment information for future use, or for payments that are recurring, the payment gateway you use must offer tokenized payment details.
With tokenization, the payment gateway stores your customer’s information in secure storage and provides your site with a token for later use.
Therefore, if your site is hacked, the hacker can only get encrypted payment tokens, which are useless ,since they cannot be used elsewhere.
Therefore, if you would like to save customer information for use in the future or allow recurring payments or pre-orders, you need a payment processor that allows tokenization.
PCI ComplianceThis is a term that a lot of merchants are familiar with, and realize it has importance, but don’t fully comprehend.
PCI compliance is a reference to rules merchants must follow in order to be allowed to accept online payments.This compliance consists of several levels that are related to the different layers of payment processing security. Merchant banks may require varying types of compliance in order to accept payments.
To process payments your site must communicate with a payment processor, therefore, compliance could be due to the payment gateway, or it may not be, which is why PCI compliance is difficult to comprehend.
If payments are transacted off of your site, and then the user is redirected back to your webpage, then it is PCI compliant since your website doesn’t handle credit card or other customer credentials.
If users stay on your site, then the manner in which the payment gateway is coded, integrated, and its features will have an influence upon PCI compliance.