With customers wanting goods and services delivered in a timely fashion the demand for accepting online payments has never been higher.
Fortunately accepting payments online in real time is accessible to the smallest
of retailers and can be implemented on any website at little or no cost by even
the most amateur of web editor using popular payment systems like PayPal
There are often a number of ways in which secure card processing can be integrated
into your website which will vary depending on your provider but most merchants
choose one of 3 roots or a variation on one of them.
1) Copy and paste payment buttons
By following a simple wizard and supplying information about your product or
service most payment gateways will generate a simple button for your website.
This button will either allow the customer to buy the item directly or add
it to a 3rd party shopping basket ready for purchase.
To implement this the person who edits the website simply copies and pastes
the wizard generated code into their website.
2) Script and database generated buttons
Option 1 can become time consuming and unwieldy when dealing with more than
a handful of products and so many retailers now integrate their product database
or inventory system into their website to generate these buttons automatically
for each product.
This option is clearly more more technical and requires more knowledge about
databases and website development.
3) End to end solution
Option 2 can be taken a number of steps further where all the basket functionality
and customer handling is done through your own website and a series of scripts
and redirections which gives a sleeker almost seamless end to end process for
the customer whilst still using the secure 3rd party card processing company.
This is the most complex of the 3 options and will often require a developer
with experience in handling these types of transactions to implement it in an
appropriate and secure way.
This really depends on the service you subscribe to however typically the each
online payment will incur a cost as a percentage of the total amount and in
some cases there may also be setup or monthly service charges again this is.
In each case it is usually down to the level of configurability, security and
service that you subscribe to that will determine the cost.
Responsibilities and liabilities
No matter how you choose to integrate card payments into your website it is
important you fully understand your responsibilities& liabilities when it comes
to bank card fraud.
If a card is used without the card holders permission, the onus will be on
you the retailer to supply as any information to try and prove that the person
you supplied was the genuine card holder.
In the event you are unable to provide this information you will receive a
"charge back" to pay back the total amount that was taken for the
We recommend you only ship to addresses checked by the online payment system
usually know as Address Verification System (AVS).
Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard (DSS).
PCI DSS written by Visa and MasterCard is a worldwide standard for consumer
data protection across the payment industry which was officially announced in
January 2005 and endorsed by leading card schemes.
There are 4 levels of compliance however if you are using a 3rd party payment
gateway and do not handle online payment details directly on your website you
will be covered by your payment gateways compliance which is likely to be level
If you are using or plan to use remote interfaces (such as SOAP) you will
need a separate PCI compliance.
Some card schemes may enforce the standards with financial penalties for non
compliance and in some circumstances card services may even be revoked if the
user is compromised and/or non-compliant.
Which online payment provider?
There are many online payment providers to choose from however payment systems
like PayPal and Google Checkout tend to be well known and trusted and have no initial fees.
Others such as WorldPay
and Secure Trading
are more configurable than the likes of PayPal but there are also setup charges
Accepting online payments has never been easier and can be achieved by any
amateur web editor.
Taking an online payment system a step further with a fully integrated approach
can give a sleeker more professional feel to your website.
If you'd like to find out more about enabling online payments on your website
please contact us.
Below are some useful links and further reading.