Payment Gateway/Merchant Account: This article explains the basic information needed to understand what a payment gateway and Merchant Account are and why it is important to offer your customers different payment solutions.

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What is a Payment Gateway?

As an online merchant your customers need a method to pay for your products. If you do not supply the ability to pay for purchases with a credit card or an online check, you will be turning customers away.

By using a payment gateway, you can securely accept all forms of online payments. You will not be hassled by having to manually process your customer credit cards. You will not need to spend your valuable time and resources on a process that is easily automated.

When you use a payment gateway, you can receive payments at anytime whether you are there to process the order or not.

How a Payment Gateway Works for Your Customers

A good payment gateway will take care of processing credit cards, debit cards, and electronic checks. It will approve or disapprove customers in when they order from your store and will send you and your customer an e-mail receipt showing the purchase.

A payment gateway will link your web site with a merchant account. When the gateway receives the order information from your online store, the payment gateway will check the origin of the page and determines the account which generated the order.

Your customers will see an Order Summary displayed with their payment details. This summary should show your logo at the top. Your customer will be prompted to continue with the order or cancel the payment.

If your customer proceeds with the payment, they will receive a message telling them that they will receive a confirmation of their payment by e-mail. Under normal conditions, a payment is securely processed within 15 seconds of their order.

How a Payment Gateway Works for You

On receiving a payment transaction, the gateway begins a Credit Card Authorization Procedure with the designated bank. If the amount is accepted, an e-mail is sent to you with an Authorization Code and other details recorded from the transaction. You will only receive an e-mail confirmation from the payment gateway if the payment is authorized by the bank.

The payment gateway will also check to make sure that double submissions of a payment are not made.

What is a Merchant Account?

A Merchant Account is the authorization granted by a financial institution to accept and process credit cards. A Merchant Account includes processing of transactions and depositing of funds to your bank account.

When you get a Merchant Account, you are issued a merchant number. As part of the merchant agreement, processing fees are established by the bank. When you establish a Merchant Account you will be given a choice of accepting payment by check or payment made directly into your bank account.

The bank should also issue you a POS ID number which will allow you to determine which of your operations the payment originated from.

VSTORE.ca Payment Gateway and Merchant Account Services

VSTORE.ca's 100% Free E-Commerce Web site provides a variety of payment gateway options unlike most carts that only allow one or two payment gateway providers. You can choose to accept payments with one or all of the payment gateway providers and let your customer choose how to pay for their order. With our E-Commerce Store building tools your web site can be online in an hour with the payment options you and your customers need.

You will be impressed with our easy to use interface for securely adding a payment gateway and the ability to process orders and validate credit cards. Click Here for a complete list of our 100% Free E-Commerce solution features and join us today.

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