ULTRACART Ecommerce Articles

How to Simplify E-commerce Credit Card Processing

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The majority of online customers want to use credit cards on the e-commerce sites they visit. Online merchants typically need to provide a simple credit card processing system that doesn't interrupt the sale at any point and provides a simple way to manage transactions.

However, the key is to find a way to streamline the checkout process. Think of the many reasons why a customer could leave your online store. There are quite a few ways a sale can go south before the final purchase is made. Online merchants need to make the sales process as painless and simple as possible, and a big part of that is making sure to have a top notch e-commerce shopping cart for credit card processing.

Effective photos and well matched copy can make your products seem almost as tangible as they would be in a bricks-and-mortar store - and a well-written description can have SEO benefits for your shopping cart module too.

Make It Clear That Credit Card Processing Is an Option

Some customers may not be familiar or comfortable with payment methods such as PayPal or Google Wallet (formerly Google Checkout). Much like a customer at a restaurant looks for familiar credit card stickers on the front door before going inside in order to make sure she can pay for a meal, online customers want to make sure they can pay for their purchases. And while PayPal or Google's payment schemes may be familiar to many online shoppers, offering all options (including the ubiquitous Visa and MasterCard), all groups may be more likely to proceed with their transactions. (It is wise to choose a shopping cart that can facilitate the entire credit card processing setup, including creation of standard (or even custom) buy buttons and credit card/credit card processing branding (logos) on your site. For example, UltraCart allows its shopping cart clients to link directly to payment processors like PayPal, who in turn automatically create the codes needed to post the selected credit card processing sources in the shopping cart main sections and the shopping cart item management or backend.)

Demonstrate That Credit Card Processing is Legitimate

Customers know that sharing their credit card information online can be quite dangerous, and they may not know whether your e-commerce site is a safe place to share it. One of the ways you can demonstrate that your site is above board is by requiring the Card Verification Value in your credit card processing checkout. The 3-4 digit CVV code is only printed on the credit card itself, and therefore the only way to make a purchase is if the customer has the card on hand. This will show customers that you only want legitimate business at your e-commerce site. Note: To accept this type of information and process it instantly through their shopping cart rather than manual processing offline, an online merchant may have to use a credit card payment gateway like PayPal or others. This instant processing allow you to report errors to customers immediately which allows them to take action (such as using a different credit card or moving more funds over to an existing debit/credit card.)

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Placing credit card brands and processor logos (along with trust symbols)visibily during all phases of the checkout process can increase user confidence and lower shopping cart abandonment. Note how this online merchant has elected to place these symbols after collecting crtical checkout information rather than before. The placement of these symbols so much farther "below the fold" further decreases the chance that less committed buyers will see them.

Processing Credit Cards with SSL Certificates for Security


When customers in your e-commerce store see that a website operates with SSL Verification, they'll know that their credit cards will be processed with their security in mind. SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer, and essential means that the data on a web page will be scrambled. This will prevent hackers from viewing personal data, especially credit card processing information. A website that operates without a secure, SSL connection may be putting the personal data of its customers at a higher level of risk. Plus, because the actual web address (URL) often changes when moving to a third party shopping cart or even payment processor, using an SSL provides more confidence to consumers because the domain instead is kept the same, which implies a larger, more established organization from whom the customer is buying. (Most modern shopping carts like UltraCart offer direct SSL setup from within the program, allowing easier administration. Tip: Choose a shopping cart that also reminds the merchant when the SSL license is up for renewal to prevent any types of service interruptions.)

Make the Credit Card Processing Forms Easy to Read


One of the leading reasons why customers leave shopping carts behind is because they can't figure out the forms they're supposed to fill out. Make sure the e-commerce shopping cart service that you choose has forms that have clear credit card selection prompts that are defined next to customer information boxes--such as purchaser's name, address, and credit card information.

Placing the credit card processing brand or card category next to or below the selection check box will help to prevent customer confusion that may in turn result in frustrating processing errors. In addition, consider ways to make the final "purchase" button clear and easy to click on. Don't place a "cancel order" button on the bottom right next to the purchase button. Making it easy to cancel an order, but keeping that button far away from the final purchase button may also help to prevent any accidents. It is wise to publish the "steps" of the buying process so that each purchaser knows what to expect.)

Let Customers Save Their Credit Card Processing Information

If you want to cultivate long term customers, offer them the opportunity to save their account information as a long term profile. This will make it easy for them to process their credit card information whenever they stop by your website in order to make a purchase. Make this option clear and easy to find both at the beginning and end of the e-commerce checkout process.

Preventing Credit Card Processing Chargebacks

ChargeBacks And Fraud

Interestingly, the above steps which help prevent sale abandonment and faulty processing, also can help reduce credit card "friendly fraud" (which occurs when a customer cancels their order through their credit card processor and not the merchant directly) and chargebacks. Having a credible, easy to understand system can lessen these occurrences, which are particularly problematic since they can't be budgeted for unless order volumes are very high. There are also software solutions that can help in this regard by profiling certain types of purchases and also providing filters to help prevent fraud and cancellations.

(One technique employed by advanced shopping carts like UltraCart is to actually employ multiple payment gateways and rotate them. This helps lower potential chargebacks by spreading out inquries among different payment gateways.)

With a professional e-commerce shopping cart solution, online retailers will be able to create shopping carts that make it a breeze to process credit card information and to whisk customers through a painless checkout process. Credit card processing can be simple if you choose the right credit card processing solution.