Monthly Archives: December 2014

Credit Card Processing and Site Security

By: Leslie-Ann Fletcher, Marketing and Promotion Coordinator

Many online businesses provide the opportunity to purchase their products or services online. If you are setting up payment processing on your site, it is essential to know the step by step process. Let?s begin by providing a visual diagram provided by Dream Warrior Group’s CEO, LaMae Weber. Below, I will describe the process step by step.


Let?s say you go to the Jo Malone online store and you want to buy some lotion for $150 dollars. You find the lotion you want and you add it to your cart and are ready to check out. Next you put in your credit card information and in a matter of seconds your payment is processed and you are given a confirmation number. How does this all work?

First your transaction goes to a payment gateway account which is the bridge between your website and a merchant account. A payment gateway is the ?service that automates the payment transaction between the shopper and merchant.? ?It is the infrastructure that allows a merchant to accept credit cards and other forms of electronic payment.?(Webopedia). A merchant account then processes your money and sends it to your bank for approval. If the charge is approved, the merchant account deposits (after the gateway account batches it)the money in your bank. This takes less than a second to happen.

It is vital to make sure your site is secure and that it has an SSL certificate. An SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) Certificate is what creates a secure connection between a website and a browser. It is a ?digital certificate that authenticates the identity of a website and encrypts information sent to the server using SSL technology.? (GoDaddy) The SSL Certificate icon provides buyers with a sense of security and gives your site credibility.

Notes for selecting your providers:

It is not advisable to purchase your payment gateway and merchant account as a package because if you end up having a problem with one or the other you have less options for change. Here are some things LaMae recommends when implementing payment processing:

? Gateway and Merchant Accounts should be from separate vendors
? You should retain control of both accounts (have master login information)
? Your Webmaster/Developer will need access to properly set up your processing (be sure to make them an Admin)
? Watch your rates regularly ? and be sure you are comparing apples to apples
? Make fee comparisons ? don?t be afraid to change if you?ve done one and two above

Providing a secure, simple and quick way to purchase on your site will allow for a very pleasurable shopper experience, which will in turn result in return visitors.

Check out our video tutorial on Credit Card and Site Security here: