Got an idea for a business? Here’s the good news…it’s easier than ever to launch a website and sell something online within a matter of days (if not hours)!
Business idea – check.
Product – check.
Website – check.
Accept credit cards – um….
Sure, you can sign up for a quick PayPal account, and they’ll gladly charge you a high percentage of each transaction. On top of that, you’ll have to send your customer off your website in order to pay through PayPal’s system (hoping that they find their way back to your website to finish transaction).
4 Easy Steps to Accept Credit Cards Online
- Choose your website platform.
Most likely, you’re going to choose a hosted e-commerce solution such as Shopify, Magento Go, or Volusion. These companies give you the tools to quickly set up a website where you can sell just about anything. Pick one, sign up, and starting entering your products.
- Apply for a merchant account.
It may sound like a big deal, but it’s really quite simple. We’ll ask you a few questions about you and your business, and we’ll check your credit. Usually within 24 hours, we are able to open your account (based on approval).
- Obtain a payment gateway.
When we setup your account, we’ll also make arrangements for you to obtain what is called a payment gateway, which authorizes payments for online businesses. It is the equivalent of a physical point of sale terminal located in most retail outlets. Payment gateways protect credit card details by encrypting sensitive information, such as credit card numbers, to ensure that information is passed securely between the customer and the merchant and also between merchant and the payment processor. One of the most common payment gateway companies is Authorize.net, but there are other options as well.
- Connect your payment gateway with your website.
No matter what hosted e-commerce solution you choose, you’ll login to the website’s administrative dashboard to enter the payment gateway settings including the API login ID and transaction key (which are provided to you). You’ll test the system by making a sample transaction before launching your website.
Within a matter of days, your new e-commerce store will be up and running. You’ll be able to offer your customers the option of paying my Visa, MasterCard, Discover, or American Express. Don’t be overwhelmed by the process. We’re here to help!