Central to your eCommerce success will be how your online shopping cart integrates with your secure online payment solution. A shopping cart allows customers to take items from the shelves in your virtual store to your payment gateway, in the same way that a physical cart (trolley) in a bricks and mortar shop takes items to the cash desk.
Once there, the shopping cart is emptied and items run through the till. This process – adding up the cost of a customer’s shopping – is still part of the task of your shopping cart. Carts with comprehensive features will be able to integrate with your in-house software to provide inventory management tools as well as tracking orders and marketing aids.
The job of payment processing
Once the cost of the customer’s shopping has been tallied, the customer pays the retailer. At the most basic level, the shop assistant at the cash desk is the payment processor: he or she accepts cash handed over, ensures it is genuine and the correct amount, and deposits in the till. Later, that cash is removed from the till and deposited in the retailer’s business account.
More complicated transactions require payment processing tools that accept payment from debit or credit cards, checking validity of the card offered. The payment accepted is then transferred to the business’s merchant account (which acts like the cash till at the cash desk), before later being transferred to the retailer’s business account.
Payment Gateway Integration vs. In-House Payment Processing
To accept card payments, you’ll need a merchant account and a payment gateway. The payment gateway provides secure online payment capability between customer and merchant account.
Some businesses with advanced IT capabilities will develop in-house integration between shopping cart and payment gateway and merchant account. Other businesses prefer to use the expertise of payment processing companies that provide customised payment gateway and merchant account solutions as a bespoke package – saving costs and using existing guaranteed expertise.
The advantage of full service payment processors
Some third party payment processors, such as PayPal, enable credit card payments without opening a merchant account. However, these providers tend to charge higher fees and commissions on transactions as well as providing higher levels of guarantees for customers (eg, longer periods between purchase and transfer of funds to business accounts).
When integrating a shopping cart with a full service payment processor, such as North Payments, your payment gateway will work seamlessly with your shopping cart and ensure your merchant account is the most efficient for your business. You’ll also be able to hand pick the add-on payment processing functionality that will provide your customers with an easy-to-use, and enjoyable, shopping experience.
Contact us today to discover how our payment processing customisation will put you ahead of your competition.