How to Accept Payments for Your E-Commerce Business
Now that you have your e-commerce site up and running, you will need to decide on which payments you will accept and set up your site to allow for them. The task can seem daunting and overwhelming at first, but once you break it down to smaller steps, it will pose no problem for you.
Determine Payment Methods
The first thing you need to do is to determine which forms of payments you want to accept on your site. There are many options such as credit or debit cards, payment by check or PayPal. The more options you offer, the more customers you will be able to service. Not every internet shopper feels secure enough to use a credit card online, even on an encrypted site, offering alternative payment methods can provide customers a way to feel secure enough to purchase from your e-commerce store. Three popular alternative payment methods are Google Checkout, Bill Me Later and PayPal.
You will also need shopping cart software in order for you to be able to charge tax where applicable, calculate shipping costs, take orders, send out notifications and sell items. A good online shopping cart should provide you with flexibility and security. Be sure to understand exactly what is included with your shopping cart program and which tools are featured with each one, so that you can choose the one that will best meet your needs. Popular shopping cart software programs include ShopSite Inc., 1ShoppingCart.com and GoECart.com.
Obtain an Online Merchant Account
In order to accept and process credit or debit cards, you will need to set up an internet merchant services account. You can get a merchant account for online credit card processing through a bank or one of the many merchant account providers found online. It is crucial to read any small print involved with online credit card processing to avoid hidden charges and additional fees. There is no single standard rate with merchant accounts as most options also include assessment fees and interchange fees as well. Other fees that you should be aware of are account termination fees, annual fees, account minimums, statement fees and per transaction fees. Some merchant accounts may charge a monthly payment while other may charge a lower monthly payment but also charge you each time a card is swiped. Leading merchant account providers include Merchant Account Express, moneybookers.com and United Bank Card.