This is the latest installment in The Official Merchant Services Blog’s Knowledge Base effort. We want to make the payment processing industry’s terms and buzzwords clear. We want to remove any and all confusion merchants might have about how the industry works. Host Merchant Services promises: we deliver personal service and clarity. So we’re going to take some time to explain how everything works. This ongoing series is where we define industry related terms and slowly build up a knowledge base and as we get more and more of these completed, we’ll collect them in our resource archive for quick and easy access.
Today’s term is Electronic Commerce, or E-Commerce for short. E-Commerce is the process of using the Internet or computer networks in order to buy or sell information, services, or products. This includes all transactions involved in conducting business over the fore mentioned networks. The act of buying or selling over these networks allows for secure paperless transactions to happen electronically. It has also given many businesses the ability to expand from local and regional markets to national and global markets.
Initially E-commerce just involved business to business transactions over private networks, it wasn’t until the mid 1990′s that it became completely open to the public. These businesses were using Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), which was a transfer of electronic data from computer to computer and Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT), which was an electronic transfer of money from one computer to another in order to do business with each other. Doing business like this guaranteed that the transactions would be completed in a faster and less expensive way. Advancing computer networking capabilities led to the public use of the Internet and opened the doors of E-commerce to the world.
E-Commerce has a major impact on the markets that businesses can reach. Businesses now have the ability to reach a large global market allowing for a greater return on their product sales. Retailers can sell more of a particular product at a lower cost, as a result of business being done online and not by man power alone, which gives them the ability to lower prices and increase sales. Although we may take advantage of E-commerce and the ease it creates in our daily lives, its benefit to the global economy is always changing and ever-increasing as technologies continue to develop. Everyday we see new businesses from all over the world implementing E-commerce into their business strategies, resulting in the growth of a “global community”.
Host Merchant Services offers a variety of E-commerce solutions to fit your business, including HMS Express, our own cutting edge in house payment gateway. HMS is able to interface with most of the major Payment Gateways out there, including Authorize.net. We also offer unparalleled protection for all of our merchants in the form of our PCI Compliance Initiative.