Accepting credit card payments online has become extremely simple, to the point where the majority of a new company's time is usually spent in comparing the different types of service rather than setting up the service. There are many payment processors available, and most of them are cost effective and easy to integrate into already existing websites.
Online payment processing is an extremely important part of eCommerce. The ideal online payment processor is fast, and easily customized. Unlike traditional payment processors, it usually doesn't take much to set up an online store. Traditional online payment processors usually need credit checks and a background check, where an online payment processor usually just needs some personal information and a bank account, although in some cases, financials may be required, as well as supplementary information.
There are two main ways that a merchant can start accepting credit cards through their website. A fully integrated solution that works directly with the shopping cart, which can be optimized to work with any website. And, a hosted pay page, which is a third party payment page that is hosted by the payment processing provider. The integrated solutions typically are a bit pricier than alternatives and require some basic development on the merchants end to set up, but they make the transactions very simple and secure for the clients. Larger companies use this type of online payment solution. Unless the business owner is fairly technically adept they will usually need some help to fully install it on their website. Most gateway processors need a contractual agreement that can last up to a few years. Although not all online payment-processing providers are the same, some contractual agreements are based off of volumes, programs, and promotional time frames.
Hosted Pay Page
Hosted Pay Pages are slightly different. When a customer comes to your website to make a purchase and decide they want to check out and complete the purchase, they are re-directed to the payment page to complete the sale on a secure network, and once completed, they are sent back to the main website. A hosted payment page is usually less expensive to set up and needs very little work. Many users like a hosted pay page because it means they can use the same payment system for multiple websites. Many hosted pay pages are extremely popular, so consumers are already used to using them.
For many websites, a fully integrated solution will be preferable because it seems more professional and can be customized to the website. Integrated solutions are perfect for those websites that want to give their customers the ability to purchase multiple items or service packages at one time. They can store the items in the shopping cart until they are ready to check out. Also, with an integrated solution, your website must be SSL certified and secure, as the transactions are being done through your website, unlike the hosted pay page. This requires the proper certifications and web development to ensure that your cardholders information cannot be frauded.
For websites that are just starting out or still building a client base, a hosted pay page may be a good way to start out before making a more expensive investment. Most payment processors will provide you with online reporting regardless of if you choose a hosted pay page, or a fully integrated solution in order to manage your transactions each day, or check on settlements throughout the month.
Setting up an online payment processor is the first significant decision that many online businesses will have to make. Ultimately, most payment processors are different; so do not simply go with the payment processor that provides you with the lowest rates. Typically in this industry, you get what you pay for. Do your due diligence, and start accepting online payments today.