February 14, 2012

Today The Official Merchant Services Blog is turning its attention back to E-Commerce. Yesterday we delved into the topic of partial payment authorization, hopefully clearing up some of the more confusing aspects of the process. Now we’re going to take things back to the basics, and delve into the advantages of online processing, specifically focusing on the advantages that E-Commerce brings to your business.

Setting up a merchant account that allows you to process payments online opens up a whole new customer base for your business. By accepting credit and debit cards through an online shopping store you offer convenience to your current customers and opportunity for new customers — increasing sales and profits the entire time.

Partnerships That Count

We bring this up right now because Host Merchant Services just recently promoted its partnership program, which hinges on the customized E-Commerce solution package and the powerful online payment gateways the company offers online merchants. In particular, the company’s partnership with HostMySite.com — featured in a press release as well as an e-mail campaign from HostMySite — has underscored Host Merchant Services‘ dedication to making E-Commerce easy to use and profitable for its customers.

Host Merchant Services partners with online businesses to provide complete credit card processing and financial transaction services solutions for that merchant’s end-customers. HMS is the perfect partner to help integrate a fully customizable e-commerce solution that is tailored to the specific and variable needs of a web company’s customers. The partnership program splits into three tiers of focus: Web Hosting Companies, Web Designers and Website Owners. What this does is it lets the program be flexible according to the specific needs of the partner, but highlights the strength of the processing services offered to the end-user customer with the online shopping cart.

Host Merchant Services Online Shopping E-Commerce Credit Card Payment Processing Image.

It all comes back to that: Online shopping. So, for example, the services being offered to a web hosting company provides extras that help their customers, who have their own websites with their own shopping carts, process transactions at a lower rate and with less hassles. Or, for example, with the website owner partnership the services go directly to that end-user and are tailored to their processing needs.

Set Up a Merchant Account

The first step an online merchant needs to take to launch a successful E-Commerce business is to open a Merchant Account with a credit card process, like Host Merchant Services. You can fill out this form and get the application process going quickly and smoothly. After you set up a merchant account, the next step is to get a payment gateway going.

Convenience is Key

One of the strengths of E-Commerce is that merchants can make sales from anywhere in the world. Online transactions don’t require you to have a physical terminal. You can use what is called a virtual terminal through your internet connection, giving you access to a payment gateway — and that’s it. You manage your sales through that and get your transactions done easily.

The goal is to find the gateway that works best for your business. Host Merchant Services offers a variety of payment gateway services which you can read about here. The Gateway essentially completes your website’s ability to allow visitors to shop on it. It takes the process from the point at which the customer clicks “buy now” or “check out” and allows customers to transmit their payment information safely and securely. The gateways also screen questionable transactions, and help reduce online fraud in the process.

What is a Payment Gateway?

A payment gateway is an e-commerce application that authorizes payments for e-businesses, online retailers, bricks and clicks, or traditional brick and mortar businesses. It is the virtual equivalent of a physical point of sale terminal located in most retail outlets. Payment gateways encrypt sensitive information, such as credit card numbers, to ensure that information passes securely between the customer and the merchant.

For more information on how Payment Gateways work, you can review this article and graphics series here which takes you on a step-by-step journey through the entire system.

Categories: E-commerce

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