Taking Credit Cards over the Internet
Taking credit card transactions over the Internet is a three step process: • Getting a merchant account
This is the process of being able to actually take credit cards and have transactions moved into your checking account. This involves signing up with a bank credit application for Visa/Mastercard and getting set up to have funds transferred into your account. To sign up with other cards like American Express Discover you need to separately sign up with them - once you have a merchant account this can usually be accomplished with a phone call, but still it's extra work... • Setting up Internet Transaction Processing
Once you have a merchant account you need a mechanism to process transactions. Traditionally you used to either swipe a card in the store, key the card in a Zon device or you used payment processing software like ICVerify for physical or mail order processing. Internet payment processing involves transaction processing over an open Internet connection, so the transaction can be performed online, potentially even on the Web server itself. Internet transaction services typically provide an API, an HTML type input terminal for manual entry and full online reports of transactions and batches. Transaction processors are separate from the banks that provide a merchant account, although some providers provide a single transaction statement seemingly providing a single service. • Integrating the Transaction Processing into your site Once the logistics are set up and you can actually take credit cards and process them over the Web, you need to integrate the software into your application. Most providers have an API that allows code access to processing functions. Most of these APIs are in C and require writing a wrapper DLL. API architecture also varies from client server pieces and pure server pieces. Client server pieces are more difficult to set up as the client side needs to be configured with secure keys and requires the server to be configured to match. Pure server side APIs typically require no client setup and are more flexible as you can use HTTP tools of your choice. Some services combine the merchant account and Internet processing into a single service - but expect to pay for this privilege - your rates tend to be higher. Your merchant transactions and Internet transaction fees tend to be charged separately. Credit Card Transaction Processing: Step-by-Step
There are two main types of credit card payment processing systems. They are merchant account processing and third party credit card transaction processing. The credit card transaction process is different in both systems. Credit card transaction fees are also differ. We’re going to follow credit card transaction processing step-by-step for both types of credit card transaction processing systems. Merchant account credit card transaction processing is a type of credit card transaction processing where the money is directly processed by the merchant account providing bank. • Your client enters the necessary information using a secure form on your web site • This information is encrypted using SSL-encrypted technology • The encrypted data is passed to the credit card transaction processing gateway • The data is decrypted using an SSL certificate by the gateway • The credit card transaction processing gateway verifies the correctness of the information provided • The information is re-encrypted using SSL technology and passed on to the credit card transaction processing bank • The bank transfers the money from the clients credit card to your merchant account Third party credit card transaction processing is another type of credit card transaction processing. Here the money is transferred through a third party credit card transaction processing company to the bank. This is used when it is difficult to...