Accepting online payments is a fundamental process for online stores, organizations that accept online donations, and organizations that wish to offer online bill-pay solutions to their customers. We have tremendous experience building all of these solutions successfully.
We have built a lot of websites for not-for-profit organizations, and typically they always require an online donation form. These forms are easy to create as a standalone form (if we host your website), or you can use the built-in payment forms that come with our Content Management System (CMS). Our forms can utilize PayPal, or almost any popular payment gateway service to process credit cards in real-time.
Clients will sometimes ask us "To save money, can't I just accept payments on my website and run credit cards manually?". We call this "manual processing". This is a practice that is going away, for a number of important reasons. First off, you are exposing credit card numbers to your staff, which creates a very unsafe condition. Second, the savings of the real-time transaction fees are negated when your staff is spending time running cards. Thirdly, there are more errors when you run cards manually. The Payment Card Industry (PCI) is cracking down bigtime on the handling of credit card data, and it is very frowned upon to store credit card numbers (even on our secure servers). Merchant providers are now charging $20 per month for every month that you can't prove that you are PCI compliant. Lastly, you can be much more responsive to orders and payments when they are processed immediately. For all of these reasons, we suggest that you be smart about your payment solution and get a real payment gateway.
What used to be a tedious process is now a one click affair. Our CMS includes an invoice builder application, which allows you to create a single bill-pay form, or multiple invoice forms that are specific to your clients. This allows you to create a form quickly that will take payments and donations, and run the cards in real time.
When you would like for your customers to lookup how much they owe on their account with you, pay their bill online, and then have that transaction seamlessly flow back into your billing system, that requires a more customized solution. We have a lot of experience in building these gateways to and from your billing system. We can quickly build an API that will do batch transactions using either web services, XML, SQL Transactions, CSV, Excel, FTP, and form posts. With this many options, we are pretty confident that we will interface easily with your billing system. Just make sure that your billing system runs on an SQL database, or that you have an API that will import and export the data in a friendly format. Our sales team can provide a quote to build your online billing integration.
There is a new type of merchant account that has recently become available for municipalities and utility providers that saves them money. Instead of paying a percentage of the total amount for each transaction, individual transactions have a simple service fee of under $1 per transaction. This makes it possible to create a cost effective online bill-pay solution for your customers that is better for the environment, without a high fee. We have witnessed some municipalities and utility companies make the mistake of oursourcing their bill-pay to companies that charge $5 per transaction and more. This cost far outweighs the cost of traditional postage, so customers don't end up using electronic bill-pay like they should. This new payment solution solves all of that, and has made us very popular with utility companies because we can save them tens of thousands a year on credit card fees. Contact our sales department for more information.
To sell products online, you need to accept credit cards in real-time. The good news here is that our Store-Logic Ecommerce Engine works with all major online payment solutions. These include Authorize.net, Paypal, Google Checkout, SkipJack, PayFlowPro, and others. This functionality is alreay built into the system, and no custom setup or programming is necessary.
A payment gateway is not the same thing as a merchant account. A payment gateway is a service that you pay a monthly fee for to aid in the real-time processing of credit cards. What the payment gateway does, is interface between your bank, the card issuing bank, the credit card companies, and your merchant provider. They do all of this in a super-fast, secure online network. All of our top customers that accept online payments use a payment gateway service. The biggest and most recognizable name in payment gateways is Authroize.net, who typically charges about $10 per month, and 15 cents per transaction (contact them for an exact quote). If you setup a merchant account through us (we have fantastic rates), the payment gateway service is included free of charge. Contact sales for more information. You can also learn more about the payment gateways that our software supports on our help website here.
A merchant account is an account through a payment processor that allows you to accept credit card payments. The processor then deposits the money in your bank account, typically 24-48 hours after the transaction. FirstData is the largest payment processor in the world, and they are who most banks use. We have found a merchant company that provides merchant accounts that are very close to the interchange rate (the minimum rate as specified by credit card companies). Many small businesses make the mistake of going to their bank for a merchant account, and this is a costly mistake. Banks simply resell FirstData, and typically they tack on a setup fee of up to $400. This is a pure profit fee for the bank, and the merchant account rate is typically high as well. This means that your bank is getting a small percentage cut of all of your credit card sales. This adds up over time. Merchant accounts for online sales are typically quoted similar to phone orders, because they carry the same risk where credit cards are not physically present. For this reason, the average rate for on online merchant is about 2.3% per transaction. That money is taken out as the transaction happens with the processor, and it goes to the credit card companies and a small fee goes to the processor. Let us help you to get a quote for your merchant account, and we typically can save you a ton of money.
Online credit card forms and ecommerce checkout systems require encryption for security. It used to be that you would need to purchase a special SSL security certificate each year to protect your payment forms in your website. This would cost about $100 per year. What we have done at Delaware.Net, is better. Now we have a wildcard SSL certificate for our applications, so that you get this level of security for free with our applications.