Electronic commerce or e-commerce implies buying or availing products/services over the Internet. Using a credit card is one way of buying products or services over the Internet and the working of this process is illustrated below. Items are bought by a consumer from an online web store. Then, the transaction details are carried over to the web host's server through a secure connection (SSL). The transaction is managed through the Payment Processing Gateway which also handles the encrypted credit card details. The merchant account processes the movement of funds, which are debited from the buyers credit card account. This is followed by the deposition of funds in the seller's bank account.
So much for the introduction on e-commerce, let us move further as to how to manage an e-commerce transaction on a website. Although, there are different methods of managing e-commerce transactions, the best way is of a third-party arrangement which can deal with all the e-commerce processing. Another method is to incorporate everything onto your website pages. Designing the site for showing your merchandise in the best way is a good idea, if you intend to handle everything through your website. Handling everything through the website can be done in two important ways like:
- Utilizing the shopping cart system
- As an option, with a customized website and database, you can create your own system
It is imperative that you have a fully functioning Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryption, if you are going to accept credit card transactions through your website. This reduces the risk of fraud to a great extent as all the transaction details are encoded when they pass through the buyers computer and the server.
Two ways of integrating SSL onto your website are:
- Sharing SSL area with the hosts
- Purchasing your own SSL certificate which is a more professional way to go and requires a hosting account and a unique IP address
Rather than allowing a third party to manage all e-commerce transactions, if you decide to do that yourself via your website, a Merchant account and a processor account would be needed to be set up. It is simple and easy and everything would fall into place in a matter of minutes.