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Online Credit Card Payment Processing


Online credit card payment processing is essential for any business which is interested in having an online presence. Obviously, having a way to collect payments on a business website is probably the most important tool in any online business model.  Finding a merchant credit card processor and online system is one of the first decisions that should be made once you begin setting up your website. In order to make a well informed decision, each web owner should have a clear idea of the process, the fess and the various online tools available for their credit card processing system.

The Process

Understanding what happens when a customer comes to your website’s order page with their credit card in hand will help you have a better understanding of this process from all aspects. First, the customer will enter in their credit card information. Now the gateway system will actually take this card data and route it to the proper processing site (along with going through some fraud prevention steps).

The next step in the payment processing sequence is that the issuing credit card bank receives the card holder transaction data and correlates the information with the merchant bank processor. At this point, the bank will either approve or decline the transaction and communicate this decision. Assuming a positive acceptance decision, the merchant (your business) provides the goods or services (even if this is handled automatically). Finally, the issuing bank sends the funds through the network to your bank account. (typically done within 24 to 48 hours.

The Fees

The fees for credit card payment processing services can vary quite a bit, depending upon which company you wish to use as well as which specific features you want to include in your account. Almost all of these companies will use a base percentage for every transaction you process, plus a set amount per transaction. For example, you may be charged a rate of 1.59% plus $0.19 cents per transaction. This means that on a $100 transaction, you would pay a fee of $1.59, plus $0.19, or $1.78 total.

There also may be a number of additional fees involved. Some companies may (or may not) charge set up fees. These can be anywhere from free to several hundred dollars. Sometimes, there will also be additional monthly fees which may include the gateway or other equipment as well as monthly minimums. Sometimes, you will see something called a batch fee, which is charged each time you attempt to run a report of all your charges (usually this is limited to one per day).

Online Tools

Having online tools can help to instill confidence in you business and your credit card payment processing company. A solid online gateway is a needed addition to help facilitate the secure transmission of card and transaction data across websites. You should also consider having a verified merchant seal which implies that you are highly trustworthy.

Of course, your online credit card payment processing service should also use highly regarded fraud protection tools and methods. Having these show that you understand the process and are a cut above ordinary websites.

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