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    9 Replies Latest reply on Jun 12, 2008 10:39 AM by amspcs

    How do I accept credit cards for on-line payments?

    Bridge Navigator
      I was hoping for some basic advice and shared experiences here.

      A freind of mine ask me to help him set up his site for e-commerce. I have set up sites using Payapl before but he needs a true e-commerce solution.

      Can you walk me though "gateways" , "merchant accounts" etc.

      Do we use Verisign or (or some other solution) and what's the difference/what do they do?

        • Re: How do I accept credit cards for on-line payments?
          Lighthouse24 Ranger

          We've had some good threads in the past on this subject with knowledgeable contributors (not me -- my experience is strictly PayPal and the solution offered through BoA). You've probably read through those already, but if not, you can use the "search this site" in the upper right on terms like "ecommerce" and "gateway" and find them easily.

          I'm sure some of those same contributors will join in here over the next few days and offer specific guidance for your friend's business.
          • Re: How do I accept credit cards for on-line payments?
            amspcs Ranger
            Hello, Bridge,

            We have a web page on our site that pretty clearly explains how ecommerce payment processing works, complete with explanations and flow chart. Please go to:


            Here's the short answer: You need a merchant account AND a payment gateway (such as or Verisign AND probably a shopping cart (Volusion, GoDaddy, etc.) All are three distinct entitites, although many offer 'bundled' proprietary solutions which is something you'd want to avoid--proprietary solutions are serve the provider, not the end user.

            There are a number of contributors to this forum who can provide advise and solutions in any or all of these areas, including ourselves. We'd love to provide details on our services if you need them. Feel free to email questions. Good luck.

            Barry G
            AMS, Inc.
            1 of 1 people found this helpful
            • Re: How do I accept credit cards for on-line payments?
              NatOnline Tracker
              Here a versatile system cart that I am using on my e-commerce. You can integrate this system cart on whatevever site:

              Using your own design with our Generic shopping cart software
              and on this link more information


              I hope that will help you
              • Re: How do I accept credit cards for on-line payments?
                nMoncrief Adventurer
                I'd like to direct you to an article I wrote on HubPages that answers your questions. It explains the roles of the merchant account provider, the gateway provider, the acquiring bank, etc. It also explains why, in my opinion, your friend would be better off with a true e-commerce solution as opposed to using the one-size-fits-all approach of PayPal. Here's the URL:


                If you have more questions, please post them, or feel free to contact me directly.

                Neil Moncrief
                  • Re: How do I accept credit cards for on-line payments?
                    Bridge Navigator

                    Dear Neil,

                    Thanks for your response. I have not looked at your article yet but I did browse your web site. I would suggest maybe putting the article on your web site somewhere. I could not find a good overviews of what exactly you do for ecommerce companies on your website and specifically how you compare to other providers (for what ever services your provide).

                    What is the specific flow of information/services needed? shopping cart - credit card processing - merchant account - bank account? what does each one do?


                    Frankly, if I wanted to search the web for answers, I would have already. I asked here looking for some initial guidence on the process.

                    By, the way, I said I told my friend he needed something more than PayPal because of his volume. but for low volume ecommerce sites, I believe PayPal is an excellent solution and I have used it myself. They have simplified the process for non-tech people.
                      • Re: How do I accept credit cards for on-line payments?
                        amspcs Ranger
                        This blurb should explain all components of ecommerce credit card processing:

                        These are the five basic components you'll need for your ecommerce enabled website:
                        1. An internet Merchant account in order to accept credit card payment processing on your website2. Web hosting3. A digital certificate4. An internet Gateway5. Shopping cart software

                        Lets explain each of these items one-at-a-time:


                        \\ 1.An Internet Credit Card Merchant Processing Account An Internet Merchant Account is entirely different from a retail
                        Merchant Account in almost every respect. This is because the
                        technology is different, the fraud and risk factors are very different,
                        the security and privacy challenges are short, just
                        about everything is different.
                          You shouldn't have a
                        great deal of trouble being accepted for a US ecommerce Merchant
                        account providing (a) you have decent personal and business credit, and
                        (b) your product or service is fairly 'mainstream'. As with any
                        Merchant account, the
                        2. Web Hosting:
                        There are literally thousands of firms out there who can design and/or
                        host your web site. Unless you are doing it yourself, you'll probably
                        want to select someone near your home or business to maintain the
                        all-important hands-on t

                        3. Obtaining a digital certificate
                        A digital certificate, also known as a SSL Server Certificate, enables
                        SSL (Secure Socket Layer encryption) on the web server. SSL protects
                        communications so you can take credit card orders securely and ensure
                        that hackers cannot eavesdrop on you. Any eCommerce processor will
                        require you to have SSL before you can use their services. For a
                        minimal fee, one can normally use the certificate owned by the web
                        hosting company or Gateway providor you are using. If you are a larger
                        company, you might want to get your own SSL certificate through
                        VERISIGN or a similar wellknown provider.
                        4. Contracting with a provider of online transactions, AKA a "Gateway" provider
                        Finding a good gateway provider package is perhaps the most important
                        aspect in creating an eCommerce website. Everything in the entire
                        package revolves around, and must be compatible with, the Gateway. The
                        Gateway is literally the heart of the ecommerce system; if it fails,
                        everything dies with it. A good example of a gateway provider is

                        5. Shopping Cart Softwar
                        Shopping cart software is an operating system that can be used to allow
                        people to purchase your items by selecting them from your menu for
                        purchase, keeping track of your accounts, and tying together all of the
                        aspects of your eCommerce site into one cohesive whole. It can be very
                        simple, as in allowing for the purchase of just one item; or very
                        complicated, allowing for the purchase of several items, each by size,
                        color, or similar criteria.
                        GoDaddy and Volusion are good examples of shopping cart providers.


                        1 of 1 people found this helpful
                    • Re: How do I accept credit cards for on-line payments?
                      WITrading Wayfarer
                      This is something that we are currently including in our business. Making payments with credit cards is a great way to increase revenue. There are different ways to do this but depending on the amount of business you currently have and are expecting to have, you should start with a basic plan which you can do through Bank of America's Merchant Services.

                      Hope this helped, you can visit us at
                        • Re: How do I accept credit cards for on-line payments?
                          amspcs Ranger
                          The previous post from WITTrading, while generally faactual, requires a little amplification.

                          Re+: "you should start with a basic (+internet credit card processing+) plan which you can do through Bank of America's Merchant Services+".

                          True, B of A offers internet processing programs. It should additionally be stated, however, that there are many well-priced basic starter plans available from many sources, not just B of A, or any other depository bank for that matter.. The notion that the source for the best and/or cheapest merchant procesesing is your local bank is simply not accurate.

                          Here is something discussed previously in this forum that is well worth repeating:

                          Credit card processing institutions (known as Acquirerers) are very limited in number and do not generally include neighborhood banks. Banks are banks, processors are processors....two completely different unrelated industries. Acquirerers market their services primarily via ISO's (Independent Sales Organizations). Neighborhood banks purporting to offer credit card processing services in general function only as referrers to the end ISO/Acquirerer source; their interest in the sales chain consists of earning referral fees and/or ongoing commissions for their referrals; they have nothing to do with the actual processing activities. So when a merchant contracts with an Acquirerer/ISO via his neighborhood bank referrer instead of going directly to the very same ISO/Acquirer himself, all the merchant has accomplished is raising his cost of his processing services by adding an additional unnecessary middleman to the cost equation. Somebody has to pay for the extra referral expenses, and that somebody is the merchant.