E-Commerce Solutions for Web Designers
After a decade of handling payments for all types of businesses at Liberty Credit Card Solutions, we discovered that the web designers we partner with or work in parallel with, benefit greatly from having an outline of the underwriting process for e-commerce clients. Even if you’ve never worked with Liberty Credit Card Solutions before, your clients and you will be better off having an understanding of best practices for e-commerce payments. From firsthand experience, we know that all of these items can be sticking points for businesses. However, with the right information, it is not necessary for them to become obstacles.
As a web designer, a client will ask you to build a website for them with the ability to accept payments for their goods or services at some point. These features should always appear on their website in this scenario.
- A contact page: include the name of the business,
physical address, customer support phone number, and the
e-mail address for customer support
can be anything the business owner wants. The policy can
be: “We never share any information about our customers,” “We
sell the information,” “We post the information,” etc. As long as
it’s clear, anything is fine.
business owner wants. We suggest a flexible policy that permits refunds and exchanges as long as the good is returned within a specific and reasonable time frame.
At this point, Liberty Credit Card Solutions is happy to share our expertise about e-commerce solutions for web designers. We will ask you to provide some of the details about the project (e.g., what is being sold, is the product/good open to the public or will a client need a password/login to make the purchase, is there something unusual being sold that might require additional information to be made, etc.). We can also speak directly to the client so that they understand our role, our fee schedule, and the steps to complete our contract. The opportunity to engage with your client at this point helps to ensure that their website’s ability to accept payments is not delayed.
We know that your web design team knows that there are many different shopping carts and different payment gateways, and most but not all are compatible with each other. We suggest that you contact us to make sure that the shopping cart-gateway pairing is compatible and to make sure that the gateway is acceptable to the payment provider. This is just to confirm that everything will go as planned! It’s better to be certain before wasting time building something that might not work as expected.
Two of the more popular, non-propriety payment gateways are Authorize.Net and NMI. What they and all payment gateways have in common is that they encrypt the credit card information, authorize the transactions, test for fraud, and then pass clean information to the merchant service provider.
With regard to shopping carts, the options are nearly endless. We recommend using the shopping cart options that you are most comfortable with. Your client is paying for your time and you’ll work faster working with the shopping cart you know best.
Once the shopping cart-payment gateway pairing is verified as compatible, you should start working on integrating the shopping cart into the website. The website should have the appearance that it can take a payment. If a shopper on the website clicks on an item, that item should go into the shopping cart, and allow that shopper to go to the checkout screen. Once at the checkout screen, there should be fields for the cardholder’s name, billing address, shipping address, e-mail address, card type (Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express if desired), credit card account number, the card security code (CSC; the three or four digits usually found on the back of the card), expiration date, and the logos of the card companies.
At the same time you are integrating the shopping cart into the website and creating the checkout page, the Security Socket Layer (SSL) Certificate should be purchased for your client or by your client. Once purchased, the SSL needs to be posted. This means if anyone were to click on the little green lock that appears in the address bar (the SSL certificate) they would see that the name of the business is verified.
At this point the merchant account can be approved, and the merchant service provider can activate the payment gateway. At this point, the payment gateway account number and log-in information can be given to both the merchant and the web design team so that the final steps of linking the shopping cart to the gateway and putting the gateway seal on the website can be done.
The merchant service provider will then review the website for a final time. This is a formality to make sure that everything has been done correctly.
This article is not meant to be inclusive of the scale and functionality, and all the features, an e-commerce website could have. For example, FoxyCart is gaining traction as a scalable, open source platform for e-commerce websites with many plug ins. However, even websites using FoxyCart necessitate a payment gateway and a merchant service account. For specific questions about e-commerce solutions for web designers, feel free to reach out to: firstname.lastname@example.org.