The goal of an e-commerce site should be to use software that processes all orders
independently. To do this, you will need an automated method that processes the payments with a minimum of human intervention. Below are the terms you will use as you create an online transaction solution.
You have already learned that many products
contain their own payment gateways. However, several different third-party companies now offer online dedicated payment gateway services. Rather than installing payment gateway software on your own system, you can access theirs on the Web. Online payment gateway vendors include CardSecure.com and Cybermerchant.
You do not have to install complex software with these options, because these companies focus only on providing a payment gateway. Using a Web browser, you can supply vendors with your merchant account information, as well as the payment options you desire.
Advantages to this approach include:
- Easier setup
- Extensive user tracking
- Customer support
- Seamless integration between your site and the Internet service provider (ISP)
Additionally, these vendors configure the payment gateway. The chief concerns about this option include all the issues that arise whenever you relinquish full control of your site to another provider. Such concerns include the vendor's ability to provide reliable service, security, and the fact that your provider may not be able to grow with your business.
Prepare your Web server for automatic payments by configuring your Web pages to work with all site components. For example, your Web pages must be capable of handling requests and integrating with the payment gateway for each transaction. Databases will need to be set up for real-time inventory tracking.
You will need an online merchant account to process the payment transaction online. Online merchant accounts typically include both a merchant ID (MID) and a terminal ID (TID).