Online Credit Card Processing

Written by Rachel Arieff
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Online credit card processing capability is essential to the success of today's businesses. With the dominance of the Web in daily life, nearly every successful business has an effective merchant website. This is true even of traditional businesses that are not primarily Internet-based. Savvy business planners have recognized that the habits of consumers are increasingly tending toward internet shopping.

What is an effective merchant website? In a nutshell, an effective website is one which not only fully informs potential customers of the products and services the business has to offer, but also gives them the opportunity to make purchases right then and there from their PCs. Anyone with retail experience knows how important it is to make the sale the first time, when the moment presents itself.

Ensuring Successful Online Purchasing

The competitiveness of Internet businesses, along with the ease in which customers can instantly access competitors, further underscore the importance of this rule. However, in order to increase one's chances of making the sale to the customer, specific criteria must be met. These criteria are that:
1) the customer's shopping experience must be user-friendly,
2) the customer's shopping experience must be secure, and
3) this security must be guaranteed.

Let's give an example. Customer X is browsing for a specific product from Company Y. Customer X encounters the product on Company Y's website and is ready to go ahead and make an online purchase. If Company Y's website is logically designed, purchasing the item should be easy. An icon for purchasing will be easily visible to Customer X. When clicking on this icon should lead to a guaranteed secure page in which Customer X fills out the necessary personal and account data.

Ensuring Secure Purchasing

Once on the secure page, a security guarantee should be clearly visible to Customer X, along with the logo of an established and reputable web security provider. An icon or link should offer further information on Company Y's security policy and procedures, should Customer X desire to view it. A privacy policy should also be clearly stated on Company Y's website. This policy should guarantee the privacy of Customer X's personal and account data, promising that Company Y will not share this data with outside parties.

Finally, once Customer X makes the final clicks to purchase the item, a confirmation page should appear. A confirming email should also be sent to the Customer X's email address. This email should contain details of the transaction, along with other information, such as how to track the order or receive sales or other support.

Catering to Savvy Internet Shoppers

This is the standard model for successful online credit card transactions. It is also one that increasingly internet-savvy shoppers have come to expect. In fact, for many shoppers, any deviation from this general outline will raise a warning flag, making them very likely to abandon the purchase midway through and shop somewhere else. Who could blame them? Today's news is fraught with horror stories of online credit card fraud and identity theft, much of which takes place on amateurishly designed, insecure merchant websites.

The fact is that business websites cannot succeed merely by offering online purchasing to customers. They must also offer a pleasant and reassuring shopping experience that creates customer trust as well as satisfaction. In addition, businesses must keep up with innovations that develop in online credit card processing, or once again risk being left behind in the lucrative world of online sales.

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