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    22 Replies Latest reply on Jan 9, 2009 11:49 AM by candi58

    What does it take to Use/Process Credit Cards Online

    TopdawgBernie Newbie
      Hello folks.
      Just joined this forum today. I am starting a new business that will offer services on a subscription basis with monthly automatic renewals. We would like to be able to accept Visa, MC and AMEX. How do I go about having this ability of accepting, processing, etc Credit cards for payments.

      Sorry to ask this extremely basic question. But I see discussions here on costs, straight-pass through stuff etc. So, I know I am in the right spot to ask these questions. Thank you all in advance.
      TopdawgBernie.
        • Re: What does it take to Use/Process Credit Cards Online
          IAmSpartacus Adventurer
          Hello Bernie,

          This can be done many different ways and depends on several factors. The easiest way to get started would be to sign up for a paypal account and use its products and services. You can check out the following link for more details:

          https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd
          =_home-merchant&nav=2

          There are other options that vary greatly in terms of technical complexity, but it really depends on the structure of your web site. Feel free to email me with any further questions.
            • Re: What does it take to Use/Process Credit Cards Online
              TopdawgBernie Newbie
              Thank you. Spartacus!

              Offline, I learnt, and was recommended, that I use authorize.net. So, I signed up for their services. $0.35/transaction, 2.19% of each transaction $ amount as their per transaction fees. In additon there are monthly fees for ARB, CIM, etc. Now, I am told that I need to get merchant services provider and this is the part that confuses me. I need to pay yet again per transaction to someone else?

              So, a $10 credit charge will net me a even less than $0.35+ $0.219 per transaction that I thought I'd be owing Authorize.net?

              Thanks again.
                • Re: What does it take to Use/Process Credit Cards Online
                  nMoncrief Adventurer
                  Bernie,

                  A credit card transaction processed over the Internet requires at least 2 parties. One is the gateway provider, in your case Authorize.net. The gateway receives the information from your shopping cart, secures it via SSL, and passes it on to the processor. The processor works with an acquiring bank who issues an authorization number. There's more to it, but this will do for now.

                  In most cases, you can get better rates by contacting the processor directly, not by going through Authorize.net. In my experiences, merchants who contact Authorize.net pay higher item fees and higher discount rates than necessary. In your case, $.35 is high for the total transaction. And if they still have to add the processor's fee, it's ridiculous. If you want to contact me, click by profile for my information, and I'll be happy to give you a rate quote that will save you money. Or, you can go to www.creekfinancial.com/quote. Good luck in your business!

                  Neil Moncrief
                  Creek Financial Services
                  1 of 1 people found this helpful
                  • Re: What does it take to Use/Process Credit Cards Online
                    IAmSpartacus Adventurer
                    Yes, that's one of the reasons I recommended PayPal. In order to accept credit cards, you typically set up a merchant account with your bank and a provider like Transaction Solutions. They will then lease you credit card machines and other software tools to manually process credit cards.

                    However, if all you're going to be doing is accepting online payments then PayPal is quick and easy to get set up without the extra hassle and charges. The transaction fee depends on monthly sales (i.e. starts at 2.9% + $0.30 and goes down as low as 1.9%) and the money goes straight into your PayPal account so you don't need a merchant accunt - just a PayPal business account.

                    If you want to take payments offline, then they have an additional service for $30 per month.
                    1 of 1 people found this helpful
                • Re: What does it take to Use/Process Credit Cards Online
                  LUCKIEST Guide
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                  1 of 1 people found this helpful
                  • Re: What does it take to Use/Process Credit Cards Online
                    designer Tracker
                    Hi! I can vouch for Paypal. I had it for several years on Ebay and my Web site and love it! As a buyer/seller, it's the way to go!!!
                    • Re: What does it take to Use/Process Credit Cards Online
                      nMoncrief Adventurer
                      Bernie,

                      You'll hear a lot of people talk about PayPal in the forum. It's great if you only plan to sell a few items per month because it's fast to set. However, if you plan to run a serious e-commerce business, you need to consider the disadvantages of PP also.

                      1) PP costs more. The fees are high.
                      2) PP takes their fees out of each transaction before they pay you. (This was a huge drawback to me during the 7 years I managed my own e-commerce biz.) If you sell something for $100, you'll see a deposit to your checking account for $98 + change. It makes it virtually impossible to balance your checkbook.
                      3) When you customer is ready to buy and they trust you enough to give you their CC number, it doesn't look as good if you re-direct them to PP and ask them to give the CC info to PP instead. A serious e-commerce business should have their own SSL certificate and accept CC numbers using their own secure gateway. This is my opinion, but I think it's valid.

                      PP does have advantages in certain situations. For more on this topic, read this post I made to this forum: http://smallbusinessonlinecommunity.banko
                      famerica.com/docs/DOC-1865

                      Neil Moncrief
                      Creek Financial Services
                      • Re: What does it take to Use/Process Credit Cards Online
                        TopdawgBernie Newbie
                        Thank you all so much.

                        So, I do have a Gateway ID from Authorize.net. Your comments about Paypal were made by my friends who too thought that my business needed to look more "professsiona'" and thus the recommendation against PP.

                        I will look in to the other possibilities suggested as well. Thank you once again. Very helpful indeed.

                        'Bernie
                        • Re: What does it take to Use/Process Credit Cards Online
                          MnlyTechnlgy Adventurer
                          TopdawgBernie: Welcome to the forum! We found that PayPal is the most cost-effective and reliable service to use, especially if you do not have a "storefront" which will accommodate foot traffic. We looked into using Merchant services through Quickbooks, which I use as my accounting program, but it was not as cost effective as using PayPal and didn't offer the guarantee that PayPal did/does.

                          Hope this helps.
                          • Re: What does it take to Use/Process Credit Cards Online
                            amspcs Ranger
                            My two cents worth:

                            True PayPal doesn't exactly give the most professional image. But it is far superior to any of the Palpal 'wannabees' out there and is a smart solution for merchants just getting started. Why? Two reasons. (1) No monthly minimums or start up expenses which allows new merchants to walk before they try to run. Spend your money on promotion and advertising instead of gateway a shopping cart monthly fees, not to mention merchant account fixed fees and minimums. (2) No monthly contract, again the 'walk before you try to run' scenario. Use Paypal for a few months and when you're ready to upgrade to something more sophisticated, you're not trapped by a contract. And authorize.net DOES have a contract as do virtually all shopping carts and merchant account providers. Here's an EZ link to apply for Paypal merchant account:
                            https://www.paypal.com/us/mrb/pal=2SXM26U7ZHJUA This recommendation comes from the heart. We are traditional merchant account providers and Paypal is in direct competition with our product. But..........the truth is the truth.....small start-ups have no business getting in over their head with the expenses associated with individual gateways and merchant accounts, there are more important areas for them to spend their money. Much smarter to start out with Paypal baby steps, get your business rolling, then come consult someone like me for a traditional merchant account when the time comes, not before.

                            Still not sold on Paypal completely? There's a second alternative you might want to consider in this case. QuickBooks merchant services has decent rates, built-in gateway, and again no contractual obligation. Virtual terminal and starter software are available at no cost to you, no setup fees,, and it's a LOT cheaper than paying for a merchant account and gateway provider individually. Here's the link to online application:

                            https://merchant.intuit.com/signup/?b=ao319&p=bn2943

                            Hope this helps.
                            • Re: What does it take to Use/Process Credit Cards Online
                              Metamorf Wayfarer
                              hello,

                              My name is Patrick I am approved reseller of merchant services with central payment corp.
                              Im pretty sure as a buiness man you want the best for your business and pay pal is good but you cant track your money your paying money for a system thats not working for you join metamorf process cards online 24/7 maintaince threw your inernet presence bring business to your website track your data with our online data base save money time and increase revenue.
                              • Re: What does it take to Use/Process Credit Cards Online
                                playaction Wayfarer
                                Hi everyone,
                                just a quick note , there seems to be some confusion about PayPal. PayPal can be integrated into your website without customers ever going to paypals site. it is called Website Payment Pro using Direct Payments. Customers don't even need to have a paypal account. You use PayPal's API calls (you'd most likely need an experienced web programmer to do this for you), and then paypal processes the payment behind the scenes, but to put it simply, you sign up for the system, have the API's in place, and then you can have your customers buy from your site without ever leaving your site. To look even more professional, use SSL (should go without saying) and buy a SSL certificate from verisign or whoever. (all of which can be integrated to be used with paypal)
                                At anyrate, since millions of people use paypal (which was developed by ebay) there's really no reason not to use it to get a business online quickly. Of course there are benefits to using other providers, mostly some savings over paypal, but the argument of stating that paypal looks less professional is not valid if you use API's.

                                just an FYI, I learned all of this while developing a website, learned the API's on my own and have had no problems. I don't get anything from paypal to promote this info, just wanted to make sure that the info is out there to whoever wanted it.

                                Just my 2 cents!
                                Thanks
                                Darrick
                                  • Re: What does it take to Use/Process Credit Cards Online
                                    TADA27513 Newbie
                                    I will also speak to PayPal, particularly Pro as a "second stage", as that is what our company currently uses. My main merchant needs are "seasonal" in that I don't put on training every month and the minimum fees (particularly in a month with little cashflow) can be a burden.

                                    Do note one downside to the standard PayPal that hurt us in the early days. Although I have personally never had a problem with them, the company does have a stigma in some companies and particularly govt and military entities. If you are a B2B, consider going to a standard merchant account (or PPPro or Amazon Payments - my second choice). Many businesses refuse to allow purchases through PP. Cost me over $5K in lost sales in my first year...

                                    Best of luck!

                                    Charles
                                  • Re: What does it take to Use/Process Credit Cards Online
                                    FullAccessExp Adventurer
                                    FullAccessExp.com | +*Flyer Distribution, Door Hangers, Street Teams, Event
                                    Processing credit cards has never been easier. If you're starting off then, I'd highly recommend PayPal. You'll be able to accept a variety of credit cards. Additionally, they offer an automatic invoicing program to help you keep up with subscription renewals. I continue to use PayPal for my business because it's the best, no-hassel, solution I've found. There are no contracts, and you can upgrade as your business grows.

                                    Best of luck in your new venture,

                                    FullAccessExp.com
                                    • Re: What does it take to Use/Process Credit Cards Online
                                      candi58 Wayfarer
                                      I use Paypal for my credit card paying customers. It's easy and convenient. I lose money each time that I get a credit card payment through Paypal, but I also get cash bonuses from Paypal too. Plus, it makes it easier for some customers to use a credit card, then writing out checks all of the time. Join Paypal. It's free registration. I haven't had any problems with accepting credit cards through Paypal.