Online Card Processing Tips & Advice
The Internet has made it easy for businesses to set up and offer products and services for sale in a virtually global market. Through an Internet search, customers can find the specific products or services they’re looking for, and then purchase and make fast and secure payments all from the comfort of their homes.
If you own or manage an ecommerce business, your sales potential is limitless. You must, however, have the right credit card processing solution in place. Here are some things you need to know about an online merchant account:
Online credit card processing differs from that of in-store processing for one obvious reason; transactions online are non-card present. When a merchant processes a transaction from a customer without seeing the physical card, the transaction immediately carries a higher risk. This is due to the potential for fraud, in which the online purchases can possibly be made with stolen credit card numbers. For this reason, banks mitigate their risks by charging slightly higher processing rates for online credit card processing.
Rates will differ from merchant to merchant based on the products or services that the online business is offering. Businesses in what is known as the high-risk category, such as travel services or adult related services, will pay higher rates simply due to the nature of their business and risk of charge backs by customers.
Rates are different than fees. When setting up the merchant account for your ecommerce business, it’s also very important to be aware of all the fees associated with your account. While some processing companies advertise what appear to be the lowest rates, they more than make up for it with hidden fees.
Typical fees for ecommerce merchant accounts typically include a one-time set up fee, monthly statement fee, a monthly gateway fee, and per-transactions fees. Some other fees to be wary of are “maintenance fees” also know as “merchant support fees” or “customer services fees”. Also, “early termination fees” can prevent a merchant from getting out of a contract without paying a hefty penalty. (Learn about merchant account pricing here)
Setting up the shopping cart and payment gateway is rather simple. The processing company will help you handle this. For the checkout procedure, the processor will typically route your customers from the shopping cart to a secure payment gateway hosted elsewhere.
When a transaction takes place, the payment gateway will encrypt all data, ensuring that the transaction is secure. The merchant can take additional steps, however, to be sure that the card number being used in the transaction is not a stolen number. An excellent security measure that can be taken is matching the location of the IP address to the billing address. It should be a huge red flag if a merchant sees a transaction from an IP address in a different country than the billing address.
It has been estimated that as much as 20% of all ecommerce takes place on mobile devices. This percentage is likely to continue to rise. It’s therefore critical that all ecommerce businesses have websites that are optimized for mobile. Sites that are not optimized run a great risk of losing the sale.
If you have an online business and have credit card processing questions, we’d be happy to answer them. If you’re shopping for rates, give The Transaction Group the opportunity to earn your business. Chances are we can save you as much as 25% over other processing providers.