How To Set Up Your Own Online Payment Processing
by Michele Gill
If you are a mommy blogger and you’d like to process credit card payments on your website without using PayPal, you have several options. While it is more time consuming to set up the process yourself, there are many benefits, including better SEO tracking. Many website owners will agree that if your sales exceed $5,000 a month and/or you have over 100 items for sale on your website, and then you’d be better off in the long-run of setting up your own online payment acceptance process.
In order to ease the stress of setting up your own process, you should become familiar with it before you start. Also make sure you understand the upfront fees and ongoing monthly fees that you may be responsible for. Then have daddy or another relative or friend play with the kids while you get to work and improve your website.
In order to set up your own online payment process, you’ll need an Internet Merchant Account (IMA), a SSL Certification, a payment gateway, and approval from the credit card companies that have the cards you’d like to accept.
An IMA is a special account that allows you to accept credit card payments online. If you already have a merchant account with your bank, let them know that you’d like an online merchant account. If you don’t accept credit cards at this time, open an account with a dedicated merchant. An IMA account will charge you about 1-2% transaction fees, compared with Google Checkout and PayPal that charge 3-5%.
The payment gateway is also called a Payment Service Provider or PSP. A PSP handles website pages where customers submit their payment information, transferring the credit card details and payment instructions to your IMA account. The most popular payment gateways is Authorize.net. They have a $99 set-up fee, a $20 monthly fee, and a transaction fee.
A SSL certification provides a secure internet connection by encrypting the data on your website to prevent theft. A SSL certificate can be purchased by your web hosting company, or Verisign.com. When a URL address has an “s” after the http, it means the site is secured with an SSL certificate. You should expect to pay between $30-$200 a year for a SSL certificate.
Finally, you’ll need to contact each credit card you’d like to work with individually and request approval. You could also use a Payment Processing Company to pool the application process, like Propay.com or Advantage.com. Most credit cards will charge you a monthly fee and a transaction fee.