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E-Commerce
ECOMMERCE
E-commerce is the business of buying and selling goods
and services online. If you’ve ever bought software or
music online, you’ll know that the reach of e-commerce has
widened beyond anticipation. Especially now that we
have smart phones and tablet PCs and no local Blockbuster.
Nowadays, you can even buy your groceries online.
Wonder what your great grandmother
would think about that!

THINGS TO CONSIDER

Before you jump in and start setting up your site with a shopping cart, there are some important things to consider about your business and the products you’re selling. Start by asking yourself the following questions:

Are you selling physical products, e-books or subscriptions?

Will it be single items, multiple items, are categories required (like size and colors), and will you be offering discounts or promotions?

Do they need to be able to login and watch their order go from “processing” to “shipped”?

• PAYPAL

Paypal is simple and secure way to process payments through your website. Creating a Paypal account is easy and free and you won’t need to store any credit card data or worry about your client’s security.

• MERCHANT ACCOUNT

If you’d prefer to process credit card payments yourself, rather than use service like Paypal, you’ll need an Internet Merchant Account. With a Merchant Account, you can take money from a credit card and send it directly to your bank account. These transactions are more risky and your bank will require that you take payment securely via a payment service provider (PSP) or payment gateway.

• PAYMENT GATEWAY

A payment gateway allows you to take a credit card number, validate the card number and amount and pass the payment to your bank.
Via Pay Page
Your customer is redirected from your website to a secure page on the payment gateway to enter their card & personal details. The benefit here is that you don’t touch your customer’s credit card details and won’t be liable for the customer’s security. The disadvantage is that you can’t customize or add your logo to the page.
Via API integration
Your customer enters their card details on your website (running SSL) and the details are passed to the payment gateway. The advantage is that you control the payment process and the look and feel of the pages, however, you’re also responsible for the customer’s card security.

• PCI DSS

The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard is a set of requirements that you need to comply to when dealing with credit card payments. These are the same standards that stores need to comply to when dealing with in store credit card purchases. You’ll have to comply to quarterly security scans and ongoing compliance checks.

• STORING CARD DATA

Storing card data also requires PCI DSS compliance. The disadvantages are that you are responsible for security, and the ongoing expenses of maintaining compliance.

• MULTIPLE CURRENCIES & LOCAL TAXES

If you’re offering your product outside of Canada, you’ll need to account for currency conversions and taxes. Most online sites will take payment in a single currency, but if you need to do currency conversion, you’ll need either an API or a merchant account.

CHOOSING A SAFE AND SECURE PAYMENT PROCESSING SYSTEM

It is crucial that all online payment transactions be secure, sturdy and seamless. Unfortunately, with the increase in online payments, there has also been an increase of credit card fraud.

As a reliable e-business, you will want your customers to experience safest online monetary transactions. With this in mind, there are primarily two ways in which your customers can purchase from your website.

ecommerce-pic

In this case, the customer enters their card details on your website. This will require SSL, a merchant account and API to the Payment Gateway. You will need to be PIC DSS compliant and will need to budget for development as well as maintenance.

There is a higher risk of liability on your part as you are responsible for the security of your client’s confidential credit card details.

Customers may not trust your website and hence your business will lose sales opportunities and potential profits.

PayPal is an E-commerce company that allows payments and transfer of finances across 190 countries worldwide without revealing the end user’s financial information at any point.

If you integrate PayPal into your business website, all your customers need to do is create a PayPal account once, after which they do not need to enter their credit card details whenever they make a purchase from your website.

This facilitates convenience and enhanced safety for your customers.

PayPal makes sure that the customers find your business trustworthy to deal with, enabling you to focus on growing your business.

THE SIGNIFICANCE OF SSL

When a customer enters credit card details on a merchant website or pays using PayPal, their confidential information is encrypted using a high-security protocol called Secure Sockets Layer (SSL).

Such an encryption ensures that sensitive data is not tampered with or misused.

Look for an SSL certified vendor while purchasing any product/service online to ensure confidentiality and security.

If your business website is SSL certified, your customers feel confident and secure trading with you and part with sensitive information more readily than otherwise.
If you’d like to enable SSL on your website, you’ll need to purchase a certificate from an SSL provider, which will then be installed on your web server. When ordering the certificate, you’ll provide all your company details, which will then be verified and upon approval, you’ll be issued with an SSL certificate.
There is an annual fee for an SSL certificate from the provider as well as additional charges for installing and configuring the certificate onto your web server.

LAST WORDS

To expand your market online, e-commerce definitely deserves to be included among the very basic necessities of life (the basic necessities being food, shelter and shopping, of course). So, give us a call and we’ll work out the best solution for your organization. Let’s get your customers shopping to ensure that you have food and shelter! A vacation or two couldn’t hurt either, and we think you’d look really good in a Ferrari too!