If you’re thinking about switching credit card processing services or merchant accounts, you’re likely looking for information about how a merchant account works together with your online shopping cart. The way they interact with each other varies greatly and will largely depend on who you choose for your eCommerce platform and merchant account provider.
The following steps will give you a basic overview of how payments are processed through merchant accounts once the customer makes a purchase using a shopping cart platform:
The Consumer Makes a Purchase
When a consumer on your website has decided to purchase a product, they will add it to the shopping cart. Once they are done browsing through your website, they are taken to the checkout page.
Once the consumer enters their credit card information, the shopping cart automatically connects to the payment gateway, a service that securely transmits information to the merchant account. Normally, payment gateways are included in eCommerce or shopping cart packages.
The Payment is Sent to the Merchant Account
Once the payment has been made and the funds have been verified, the payment gateway sends the funds to the merchant account that is connected to the website. The funds are generally transferred from the merchant account to the owner’s regular bank account on a monthly or weekly basis in batches.
The company who hosts the merchant account may charge a fee for each batch that is processed.
Integrated Credit Card Processing Services
To minimize costs, many website owners use a company that offers complete payment processing services, from the shopping cart software all the way down to the merchant account.
These types of services can save the website owner a significant amount of money because they will only have to pay a small processing fee for their monthly transactions instead of paying multiple fees to different companies.
Companies who offer these types of services will normally give business owners multiple packages to choose from. These packages can be customized to fit the needs of the business owner and are the perfect way to cut overhead costs that relate to processing credit cards through an eCommerce website.