eCommerce Website Design - Payment Gateway Checklist
eCommerce Website Design Tips
Payment Gateway Requirements Check List
Everything you ever needed to know about Payment Gateways BEFORE you go live...
So your eCommerce website design is coming along nicely and you're ready to start thinking about how to process credit cards. Sounds easy enough. Should be able to get that sorted in a week or so, right?
Oops, wrong. The bank have a list of requirements as long as your pet Giraffe's arm and some of it may make about as much sense to you as it does to him.
Here's a checklist that shows everything you need to think about and which order to do it.
Prepare Your Web Site / Info Pages
Before the bank will approve your credit card merchant facility your eCommerce web site must provide certain information. It's best to get this sorted early in the process so it doesn't delay your launch. This includes:
- A refund/return and/or disputes resolution policy. See examples.
- A delivery policy. Tell your customers how much delivery costs, how long it takes and whether you use a courier or normal post.
- Transaction currency. Your prices are probably in New Zealand dollars. BigCommerce shows this at the bottom of the page.
- Your web site should communicate your Terms and Conditions to the cardholder during the order process and require the cardholder to select a "click to accept" or other acknowledgement button to accept the policy. BigCommerce has an option to do this and it's easy to turn on. Some banks are more fussy about this than others.
- Your Cancellation Policy. Once an order has been made, can customers cancel it?
- Surcharges - If you add a Surcharge fee to your normal prices when a cardholder chooses to pay with a Visa/MasterCard, you need to clearly display, to the cardholder, as part of the card sales transaction environment or process, that if they choose to pay with a credit-card there will be a surcharge fee imposed on the card sales transaction, and give the cardholder an opportunity to cancel the card sales transaction prior to completion of the transaction. Including this info in your tems and conditions is usually enough.
- Visa & Mastercard logos - some banks require your web site to display these. Even if they don't, it's a good idea to do so for the peace of mind it gives your customers.
- Currency Converter - If there is currency converter displayed, a disclaimer is required; "The price advertised might not be the same price charged to the credit card account due to exchange rate fluctuations. This means that because we are based in New Zealand we have to convert your purchase to New Zealand dollars at the exchange rate on the day it is processed." Some banks are fussier than others about this.
- Export restrictions - if you have any and if they apply.
Getting A Credit Card Merchant Account
Your credit card merchant account allows your bank account to receive payments from your customer's credit cards.
Getting a new credit card merchant account from the bank is the slowest part of the process. It usually takes at least a month and can take much longer if you don't have your ducks in a row first. Get your application in as early in the process as you possibly can.
Different banks give varying qualities of service but the biggest factor for choosing a bank is probably your credit history. A good credit history with your bank can make approving your credit card merchant facility faster and easier so it's usually easiest to go with your current bank.
Choosing Your Payment Gateway Provider
The payment gateway allows your web site to interact with your bank and process payments online in real time.
There are a LOT of providers to choose from now. Here are the most popular NZ payment gateway providers.
If you already have a payment gateway from a previous version of your web site it's probably easiest to keep it unless you have new requirements that it doesn't fill.
If after reading throught he list of features on the gateway providers web sites above you still are not sure, have a chat to your web designer.
Setting Up Your Payment Gateway
Once your payment gateway account is created we'll need to connect your payment gateway details to your shopping cart. Depending on the payment gateway, these details will be various User IDs and encryption keys which will be provided to you by email by your payment gateway provider.
We'd rather test for problems than let your first customer be the guinea pig, so we'll create an item in your shopping cart worth $1 and we'll pay for it using our credit card.
Ok, you're finished. The list can seem a bit daunting the first time you see it but it's fairly straight forward when you know what to do.
Actually, you're not quite finished. Now would be a good time to call us and have a chat about your next bit of marketing.