An e-commerce merchant account will allow you to buy and sell products and services through electronic systems such as the Internet. When the term e-commerce is used, it includes the development, marketing and sale of products, as well as the ability to shop online.
One element in creating a successful business online is to produce your own website. And if your intention is to build an online presence by selling your products and services, you will need to set up an e-commerce merchant account. An e-commerce merchant account should be set up to ensure your website has a secure process for your customers to make payments.
It is important to keep a payment method in mind when you build your company website, and when the time comes you will need to implement a payment strategy in the form of a merchant account. In almost all cases relating to e-commerce, this payment implementation will come in the shape of an icon, the well-known shopping cart.
There are several processes that make an e-commerce merchant account successful. The first is to add the shopping cart icon. This button should lead your customers to check out and make the final steps toward payment.
The items that your customer has collected for purchase will be stored as list in the shopping cart. Once they have finished shopping, they should click on the shopping cart, which will lead to the check out process. Here they are able to review their shopping list and confirm the items. Another click should take them to a payment information form where they will then enter their personal and financial details. This is recorded on a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) form.
The second process is the purchase; once a customer enters their debit or credit card information, the information must be authorized. This movement of information is referred to as the gateway, it transports the payment information to the bank, and the bank authorizes the details and then debits the card. Within two to four working days, the funds are transferred to your merchant account.
As a business owner there are many gateway merchant providers to choose from, but as with every other form of account, it is imperative that you take your time in choosing a provider by applying your own research techniques.
It is good practice to research the integrity of any merchant account and gateway merchant provider when considering your options. Internet forums can be useful in aiding your research, as there is always a great deal of company specific feedback online.
It is also prudent to take into consideration the fees that you could be charged for setting up an e-commerce merchant account. All merchant account providers will charge a service fee, either as a flat rate or as a percentage of your total sales. To make sure that the merchant account provider will meet all of the requirements for your e-commerce business, read over any contract carefully, including the specific terms and conditions.