IT & E-Business Management Best Practices
E-Commerce Merchant Services
eCommerce is the latest mantra in increasing your sales. This is because instead of selling your goods and services through a local store, you can sell online and gain a greater customer base. Apart from providing shipping services, you will need an online eCommerce merchant account to accept credit card payments to make your venture a success.
Searching the web, you will find that there are many companies providing eCommerce merchant account services. If you go through them, you will realize that not all the eCommerce merchant accounts are the same. Choosing the right one will depend upon a number of factors including the size of your business, revenues generated and the number of years you have been in business.
Another determining factor is where you want to set up your merchant account. You can set up a private account in any financial institution, bank or acquiring institution. Alternatively, you can consider the services of an intermediary or a merchant account broker to establish a merchant account. Another option is to consider the services of a third party who can process payments for you.
As previously stated, all eCommerce merchant accounts different. For example, accounts can differ based on the way and amount of applicable fees charged. Some merchant account providers charge a monthly fee, while others charge a one time fee. In most cases, the differentiation depends on the amount and size of the transactions involved.
Another factor that you need to consider is whether the service provider can process credit card payments for all major credit cards available in the company. Your eCommerce account should be able to process all credit card payments including Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover.
Most of all, the eCommerce merchant account service provider should have credibility or you may end up hurting your business.
Merchant Credit Card Services
Studies have shown that you can increase your business sales manifold if you accept credit card payments from your customers. This is because most people are not like to carry cash around, and so using their debit card or credit card is their preferred mode of payment. Suppose, you own an online store where people can make orders by the click of the mouse. It follows naturally that you should be also in a position to accept credit card payments online. Then there may be situations where the people would prefer to make their orders by phone. There are companies that give a toll free number and the people can place their orders and give their credit card information based on voice prompts.
To accept credit card payments, you need to have an online merchant account with any financial institution, bank, or acquiring institutions. These institutions will deposit the money accepted through a website into your account. Apart from getting a merchant account, you must also get a payment gateway. As the name itself suggests, the payment gateway is a gateway, actually a code, which processes and validates the credit card information by sending the information provided to the credit card company and gets an accept or decline message. On getting the accept message, the gateway then transmits the amount from the website to the merchant account.
Address verification is the most important aspect of credit card services, as it is essential to fight against credit card fraud. Some credit card companies ask for the CID or the credit card identification digits.
Software such as the IC Verify (DOS winpopup), PCAuthorize (Windows), or MacAuthorize (Mac) These software are required to process the credit cards.
As a merchant, you can accept credit card information on your own website or on the website of the acquiring institutions, with whom you have your merchant account. These institutions charge a nominal fee for their services, but the increase in sales is well worth the investment.
Merchant Service Providers
You can improve your business sales by accepting credit or debit card payments. This is mainly because carrying cards is both more practical and safe, and people prefer to pay for their purchases through cards rather than cash. Apart from paying in person, when customers actually visit the store, they can also buy goods and services online through the Internet, or also by phone or fax. Imagine losing your sales all because you did not have the means to accept credit card payments. Going by the advantages of accepting credit payments, it only makes sense that you accept credit payments.
For this, you need to have an Internet Merchant account. Customers can then submit their payment online or by phone. The process is relatively simple. You can open your merchant account in any financial institution, bank or an acquiring institution. To understand how the process works, you need to keep in mind that between the customer and merchant there exists a payment gateway, which not only validates the authenticity of the credit card, but also transmits the payment to the merchant account.
Merchant service providers consist of two organizations: one is the credit card processing company that processes the credit card payments and the other is the merchant account service provider. The Merchant service provider companies can provide services for web solutions, mobile solutions, retail solutions, and MOTO solutions.
The merchant service provider companies accept credit cards such as Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover. They also accept echecks. This means you can transfer money from one account to the other-either in the same bank or in another bank. You can also utilize their services to monitor all transactions that take place through your website. Apart from accepting credit cards, these organizations also accept payment through gift cards, signature debits, and Internet auctions. Their services are designed to secure sensitive customer information and prevent any fraudulent transactions.
In times of fast paced business solutions, the concept of E-Commerce is fast gaining momentum. The term basically refers to conducting and accepting payments online through the Internet. Even if you do not have an online store, you can increase your business sales by accepting credit card payments. This is because you may have customers who prefer making their payments by credit cards. To accept payments through credit cards, you will need a merchant account in any financial institution and the services of an Internet gateway provider organization. Processed payments will be deposited in your merchant account.
To connect to the gateway account, your company website will need some technical modifications to accept credit payments. The web developer will add an order for to a shopping cart, where a customer can add personal details as well as credit card information.
As a part of the merchant services, the gateway organization will validate the credit card information by sending the details to a credit card provider company. After the validation, the gateway will receive an acceptance or decline message depending on the authenticity of the information. The message will be displayed on the screen. After getting the acceptance message, the payment will be transmitted to the merchant account.
These payment gateways provide payment solutions to web merchants, telephone order merchants, retail and mobile merchants. Web merchants can connect to the gateways through server-to-server connection for submitting transactions to the payment gateway.
There is also the Simple Integration Method(SIM). Here, the gateway monitors the entire transaction process data collection, data procession and response to the merchant. On the other hand, the retail merchants can purchase certified, ready-to-install POS(Point of Sale) solution or a device that is integrated to the gateway organization.
IT & E-Business Management Best Practices
E-Business, ERP, MRP, CRM, SCM, AIS, KMS, CMS, RAD,
E-commerce (B2C and B2B and C2C), Internet, VoIP, Total Cost of Ownership (TCO),
ITIL, ITSM, ISO7799, COBIT, ISO FCAPS, TMF FAB.
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