The easiest way to survival and success for an Internet merchant is to accept credit card accounts. If an Internet merchant does not accept a credit card account, their ability to do business online will be severely hampered and may lead to their very rapid failure.
The concept behind an Internet merchant accepting credit card accounts is simple: the consumer visits the merchant’s Web site, finds something they’d like to purchase and clicks on the “buy now” or “check out now” button. When they do so, they are able to fill in their credit card information, which is processed at the same time the order is officially placed and the shipping process begins.
It is not, however, automatic for an Internet merchant to accept credit card accounts. In order for an Internet merchant to accept credit card accounts, they must make a financial arrangement with a credit card processing company. Just like the debit or credit card processing machines at stores, the Internet merchant will pay a small fee--either a set cost or a percentage of the total sale, normally between one and two percent--to the processing company for each transaction. In return, they are able to open themselves up to a much larger base of potential customers.
Once the Internet merchant can accept credit card accounts, an adjustment to their Web site’s computer code--simple for a trained programmer--can activate the credit card acceptance process. When the credit card is entered, the information is transmitted to the processor, who approves the transaction and sends the money--less their fee--to the Internet merchant.
Being an Internet merchant capable of accepting credit card accounts is crucial to an online business’s survival. In the case of a regular business, credit cards open up a whole new level of unplanned or compulsive buying as opposed to cash or check transactions; in the case of an Internet merchant, however, credit card purchases are almost an absolute requirement, since there really is no way for a cash transaction to occur and a check transaction would take several days to a week to begin. As a result, being a Intern merchant able to accept credit card accounts is not only a luxury, it is a must.