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Taking Payments on a Website

Do you want to start selling items online? Having your products or services available for payment online is a great way to boost your sales, and according to internet magazine Internet Retailer, internet sales grew 14.6% last year to a record $341.7 billion. There are 3 categories of products that you may want to sell on your website:

  1. Payment for Services or Consultation – If you want to offer your consultations online, make it easy for people to pay or prepay for those services.
  2. Payment for Goods – If you’re selling something you ship to people, you can allow customers to choose the item, select options, shipping methods and compute state tax with a smooth, integrated checkout process.
  3. Payment for Digital Goods – Do you have an e-book, song, video or other information to sell? You can also allow customers to check out and pay you, then deliver those digital goods for download upon successful payment.

Regardless of which type of items you sell, there are several ways to process payments and here are some pieces of the puzzle.

payPaypal – The easiest way to accept payments on your site. All you need is a Paypal account and the email address for that account and you can immediately begin accepting payments. This is inexpensive too as there are no monthly fees, however you are subject to Paypal’s transaction fees. Additionally, when your customer pays via Paypal, the customer is redirected to Paypal’s site, away from your site which isn’t a very seamless experience, although many websites work this way.

Paypal Payments Pro – This is the next level of Paypal payments, where the user can pay using their Paypal account or by typing in their credit card number right on your website. For this level of service, Paypal charges $30/month plus transaction fees. Latest information can be found here.

aaasddassadCredit Cards on your website – Whenever you accept credit cards on your website you need two components. The first is a Payment Gateway, which communicates the transaction to a Merchant Account. The second is the Merchant Account. If you already are taking credit card payments in your business, chances are you already have one set up; in that case you just need a Payment Gateway. There are several services which offer either a Payment Gateway, a Merchant Account or both. The two most popular ones are Authorize.Net and Payeezy. Each has a monthly fee as well as transaction fees, so you may want to compare rates to find out which is best for you.

After a sign-up process similar to a credit app, you can get an account, then your web developer will ask you for a few pieces of information out of that account to allow him to set up the connection from your website to that account.

Website Security

It’s also important to note that if people are shopping online on your account, you want to have an HTTPS connection. This connection protects and encrypts data from the user’s computer to the webserver, so that sensitive information such as credit card data can’t be intercepted.
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