Payments and Your Shopping Cart
If you are a Website owner that sells multiple goods and services then you already know just how valuable a good shopping cart can be for your business. There are many factors to consider when choosing a shopping cart and your choices may be determined by how many customers you normally serve, how many goods and services you sell, and what your budget looks like for a shopping cart. One of the features that you need to make decisions about when deciding on which shopping cart software to select revolves around the payments you will accept. There are different types of online payments that Website owners can accept from their customers. PayPal and major credit cards are two of the more commonly accepted types of payment.
Typically a Website owner will choose to buy an online shopping cart program, and use the services of an Application Service Provider (ASP) or they may decide to program a shopping cart manually to accept payment options. Most of the more reliable hosting companies offer shopping cart programs to use with your online store although not all of them. Payment options will not be the only feature that you will be making your decision on as price, and customer service are also important but not having enough or the right kind of payment options can turn away customers, so it is pretty important.
Credit cards are the most popular way people purchase online and in order to accept credit cards a Website owner has two choices: Apply for a merchant account or use Paypal because Paypal gives you the ability to accept all major credit cards without having a merchant account. You can acquire a merchant account from a bank or other financial institution that handles Internet transactions.
When purchasing shopping cart software check to see what payment gateways and processors the shopping cart is compatible with before buying it. Also check to see what currencies the cart can accept, this is especially important when you have global customers. Examples of payment gateways and processors are Authorize.net, PayFuse, PayPal, Optimal, E-Pay, VeriSign, Bank of America, LinkPoint, Tricash, CyberSource, Realex Payments, Telecheck 2CheckOut and Google Checkout.
Common shopping cart currencies are AUD (Australian Dollar), USD (U.S. Dollar), CAN (Canada Dollar), EURO, GBP (Great Britain Pound), SEK (Swedish Kronar), and SGD (Singapore Dollar).
It is also important for Website owners to decide whether they are using an Orderform which is when the payment processing is done using a payment form on the local server where the shopping cart is located and installed instead of using a separate page that is hosted by the payment service. When financial transactions are done on site, the site owner usually needs a SSL certificate, which is a security certificate.
Making payment decisions is easier if you know your customers needs and likes. It is good business to offer the payment options that customers are accustomed to and expect to see when purchasing goods and services online