Requirements for Processing Credit Cards on Small Business Web Sites

A business that accepts credit card payments online definitely has the edge over its competitors. As more and more consumers today prefer to shop from the internet, you just can’t afford not to have an online order option and online payment system on your website. Yes, even if it’s just a small business, having a credit card payment system will make a big difference in your marketing performance.

online shopping cart softwareThe first step you need to do is apply for a merchant account. You can contact your bank and apply for a merchant account so you can get started with your e-commerce site.

But what does it take to be able to accept online credit card payments? And what are the requirements needed in a credit card processing system?

Preparing Your Website

Secured Web Site. The primary factor you need to ensure is the security of your customers. See to it that your website is encrypted with at least 128-but SSL (Secure Socket Layer) certificate.
PGP Encryption. PGP encryption is used for protecting e-mails from getting hacked. If a customer chooses to place his order via e-mail, a PGP encryption will ensure that the contents of the e-mail will have some protection.

Firewall. Since you will be handling credit card details and personal information from your customers, it is crucial to do all the necessary steps to protect their privacy. Another way to do so is to set-up a firewall on your website.

QuickBooks - Save up to 20% & Free ShippingShopping Cart The right shopping cart application. Find a shopping cart that is not only safe and secured but one that is dependable.

There are several e-commerce software providers in the market so you’ll want to take your time in researching and looking for the best one. Make sure that it is able to accept different payment gateways.

Remember that you prospective customers will not be using only one type of credit card. A shopping cart application that accepts Visa and MasterCard is great but if you can find one that accepts a wider range of gateways, then the better it is.

Also, you’ll want to get a shopping cart that is easy to use and efficient. Test if your shopping cart really lives up to its promises. Usually, a customer who intends to buy can lose interest if he can’t figure out how to use your shopping cart. Find a shopping cart provider that will give you a 24/7 customer support in case you need assistance.

Privacy Protection Statement. Assure your online customers that their privacy is respected and duly protected. A Privacy Protect statement should be posted on your website. More importantly, stay true to your promises. Don’t sell the information you collect from your customers to marketing companies or brokers.

Register with legal organizations. Being registered with trusted organizations in the business industry like the Better Business Bureau will give your business more credibility. Posting official logos from prominent organizations will give your customers more confidence in buying from your website.

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About the Author:

Melanie James has spent the last 14 years working with businesses to implement quick, effective and inexpensive changes to their businesses to increase productivity and their bottom line.

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