E-commerce is a vital and essential part of today’s global economy, and it is growing by leaps and bounds. If you are looking to start a business or expand your existing business, e-commerce is most likely the direction you are going to take; no other platform offers you the opportunity to connect your product with customers around the globe. One issue that you are likely to run across is this: getting your online shopping cart and payment processor to work together. The digital link between the two has to be compatible. With years of credit card processing experience, compatibility is an issue that E-Commerce 4 IM is very familiar with.
Carts, Gateways, Processors and Integration
Shopping carts, payment gateways, payment processors—the terminology can be confusing for even the savviest merchants. To understand why your shopping cart may not be compatible with your payment processor, it helps to understand what happens when your customer shops on your site.
- The shopping cart: This is the e-commerce software that allows your customers to select items for purchase. It is just like a cart in the grocery store—when the customer pulls the things off of the digital shelf, the shopping cart holds those items by saving their information and then displays that information for the user to see. The shopping cart is just like the grocery store right up until the credit card is swiped since it shows the unit prices and the final price, including shipping and tax.
- The payment gateway: Using our grocery store analogy, this is how the customer “swipes” their credit card. The payments gateway encrypts the customer’s payment information (card number, AVV, and CVV2) and sends it through the credit card network to your payment processor. This process is necessary because merchants are prohibited from transmitting payment information directly to the payment processor—the gateway fulfills a vital security and communication function. In essence, the gateway forms the connection between the customer’s and business’ accounts so funds can be exchanged.
- The payment processor: This is the company (usually a third party between your merchant account and the customer’s bank) that mediates the exchange of funds. In seconds, the payment processor analyzes the transaction, looks for essential security features, and ensures that the customer’s account has the available credit to complete the purchase. The payment processor then sends the approval through to the retailer and credits the merchant’s account.
This description is just a thumbnail sketch of an amazing process that is completed in seconds billions of times per day around the globe. But it should be obvious that your shopping cart must provide information is a way that can be understood by the payment processor’s systems—those two elements must be compatible. If you are just getting started in e-commerce or are switching credit card processors, you may find that your existing shopping cart infrastructure is not compatible with your payment processor.
How to Accept Cards When Your Cart is Not Compatible.
So, do you go back to the drawing board with your website and shopping cart framework? The answer to that question is usually no, thanks to the services provided by expert payment gateway providers like E-Commerce 4 IM. With more than 125 different processor integrations available in a variety of currencies, E-Commerce 4 IM can seamlessly connect nearly any shopping cart and payment processor. All you need to do is contact your merchant bank, ask for your VAR sheet, and provide this information to E-Commerce 4 IM. They will set you up with the payment gateway connections that will keep your e-commerce enterprise humming.
For all of your payment gateway needs, contact E-Commerce 4 IM today at 800-570-1347.