Today's entrepreneurs conduct a growing portion of their business online; a web store allows both online and brick and mortar businesses to sell goods to customers all over the world. Of course, in order to provide buyers with a smooth, convenient and rewarding shopping experience, one must set up a safe, reliable and easy-to-use payment process. Fortunately, accepting credit card payments is relatively simple, and this article will provide the necessary steps to get you started.Step One: Set up a Merchant Account
A merchant account is a type of bank account that companies must set up to accept credit card payments; when customers make a purchase, their payments will be deposited directly into this account. If you're thinking that this will be a pain to set up, you can breathe a sigh of relief; you can easily create a merchant account at your bank or through a third-party service such as PayPal. The rest of this article will focus on using the latter, as it is the most convenient and easy-to-implement solution.
Setting up an online merchant account through PayPal is a simple process and one of the most popular methods for online businesses. Through a PayPal Payments Pro account, you will be able to accept payments directly on your own site, as opposed to that of PayPal. This service does require a monthly fee ($30) plus standard transaction fees based on your monthly sales, but it allows you to customize your checkout experience, e-mail invoices, and access your money instantly. If you prefer to set up a standard (free) PayPal account, customers will be directed to the PayPal website to complete payment. Both services facilitate online payments, but only the Pro service allows credit card processing directly on your website. Keeping customers on your store certainly has its benefits, but you can still be incredibly successful if you route customers through a third-party payment service.Step Two: Connect Your Website to Your Merchant Account
In order to facilitate online purchases, you must set up a shopping cart on your website; this will allow customers to select products to purchase and set up payment all in one location. The shopping cart function on the website will connect direct users to the merchant account, such as PayPal, to complete the purchase transaction. PayPal uses the Payflow Payment Gateway to link the merchant account with the business website.
The PayFlow Payment Gateway provides business owners with daily reports, dedicated account managers, fast authorizations, and recurring bill service; plus, it accepts all major credit cards, which certainly provides for a convenient and hassle-free customer experience.Step Three: Begin Accepting Payments
Congratulations! Once your merchant account is set up through a bank or online service such as PayPal, you can begin accepting payments on your website! If you've opted to use PayPal Pro, you can also accept credit card payments by telephone for customers who call in to place an order.