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Online Merchant Accounts & E-Commerce Steps

1. Choose From Any of Our Web Hosting Plans
    All of our web hosting packages (except for the Windows Entry package) include Secure Server Access to handle sensitive information such as credit card transactions and customer/client personal information.

    In addition, each package (except for the Windows systems) includes the e-commerce shopping cart software osCommerce and ZenCart.

2. Create Your Web Site 3. Open a Online / Internet Merchant Account
    A merchant account is required in order to accept credit card payments online. The application for a merchant account is separate from an application for a web hosting account. The rates and fees for a merchant account can vary greatly depending on such factors as the country in which your business is registered, and the perceived credit risk of your business.

    The basic requirement for any merchant account is that you must have a business checking account. Your business checking account does not have to be with the bank and/or organization providing your merchant account services.

      Note: Yet another option for accepting credit card payments online is to use the merchant account services of a 3rd-party. An extremely convenient and economical provider of such services is PayPal. PayPal can be incorporated into Miva Merchant. Also, consider looking into the 3rd-party merchant services provided by MoneyBookers.

    For details (including pricing) of merchant accounts for U.S. clients, click here.

    For non-U.S. clients, consider the merchant account services provided by WorldPay.

    In addition, we recommend contacting your local bank and seeing what they have to offer (and what they recommend) in terms of online merchant account services.

    If you have any questions about merchant accounts, please feel free to contact us at any time, and we will do our best to answer your questions.

4. Choose Your Payment Processing Method

    With a merchant account, credit card payments can be processed in one of two ways - Offline or in Real-Time.

    Offline credit card processing is when a merchant uses the traditional method of obtaining authorization for the credit card transaction by calling it in. Offline processing can also be handled by using your web browser connected to the Internet and a third-party software (i.e., a Virtual Terminal).

    Real-time credit card processing is when the authorization process is done online at the time of the purchase with code embedded into your html pages. Our merchant account program offers the ability to process credit card transactions either in real-time (at the very moment of sale) or offline (e.g., when the merchandise is ready to be shipped to the customer).

5. Promote Your Site
    No matter how great your site is, if you don't promote it, no one will come.

    Promotion takes many forms, involves many steps, and never ends. It is probably the most important aspect of operating your web site.

    The basic steps one should follow in promoting an online business involve registering the web site with all the major search engines, as well as with the specialty search engines and directories when and where appropriate.

    Before registering with the search engines, however, you'll want to make sure to use the appropriate Meta tags in your html code to help increase the chances of your site being listed higher in the search engines.

    An excellent (and free) newsletter on promoting via search engines is available from Web Position.

    In addition, all of our web hosting packages include basic consulting and promotion services to help you do this right.

6. Open for Business
    Congratulations! You are now ready to sell online.

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