Sunday, April 16, 2006

Credit Card Web-Acceptance – The Basics

Copyright © 2006 Stephen Wright

For every new and existing virtual marketer who has put up their very own website, payment methods quickly becomes a reality you can’t afford to ignore or resist. Unlike a traditional walk-in establishment, doing business over the internet requires you to reconsider any preconceived notion of getting checks, cash, and money orders – all in advance of sending your valuable products out. Long gone are the days when potential customers have the patience to wait until their check arrives, shipment or download authorization happens, etc. Simply put, some means of debit/credit type acceptance is a must for doing business via the web in today’s internet market place.

Truth is, the expectations of customers demand more and more sophistication in our order, billing, and payment exchange. An increasing amount of potential customers fully expect to use a shopping basket that mimics a traditional shopping experience. They proceed to checkout for payment, get immediate response feedback for delivery information or in many cases with e-download materials, are taken to a download page, ready for exchange of the materials or products.

For those unable, or unwilling, to give them this, they simply are seeking other alternatives for their buying needs. After all, shopping via the internet is about the convenience and ease of use and capabilities. If you can’t provide it, they will find someone else who can.

Fortunately, the options for gaining this capability are readily available. Payment processor providers (PayPal for example) can be simplistic and reasonably priced. There are many, so make sure to shop around for a provider that fits your specific needs. Also, there is a multitude of merchant account software programs available, though generally speaking, this option is more expensive that a turnkey payment processor activity.

Using the PayPal example, once you sign up, you can either link to their servers or incorporate their payment methods directly into your website via web query forms. The html language generated via the PayPal site can be pasted directly into your webpage, thereby making the transaction less apparent and intrusive, though not entirely seamless.

Irrespective of the method chosen, one area of concern involves the issue of charge-backs. Charge-backs occur when a customer who previously purchased an item requests a refund of an amount – where you have already been paid. The reasons for this are long and varied, ranging from non-receipt of goods, damage in shipping, “not as
described” claims, and of course the ever present fraudulent claims.

The point being, make sure you understand up front how these charges will be handled, what fees (if any) you will be charged when (not if) they occur. These fees can get out of hand if you are not careful. Make sure you know what you are getting into with these fees.

As a bottom line, there are lots and lots of alternatives for getting your website capabilities “up to speed” in today’s internet business environment. Make sure you do some research about what is available and what it will cost you. A little up-front homework will save you hundreds, if not thousands, later on. Either way, do not miss out on sales and revenue by not having these capabilities.




Stephen Wright is President & CEO of InternetMarketingUSA.com
Looking for Internet Marketing Ideas, Tips, and Solutions? Get everything you need to make money online in "Dotcomology: The Science of Making Money Online". Absolutely Free at: http://www.InternetMarketingUSA.com/dotcomology.html

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