Chapter 7. Accepting Payments

In This Chapter

  • Anticipating your online customers' purchasing needs

  • Applying for credit card merchant status

  • Finding shortcuts to processing credit card data

  • Providing shoppers with electronic purchasing systems

  • Delivering your products and services

Starting a new business and getting it online is exciting, but believe me, the real excitement occurs when you get paid for what you do. Nothing boosts your confidence and tells you that your hard work is paying off like receiving the proverbial check in the mail or having funds transferred to your business account.

The immediacy and interactivity of selling and promoting yourself online applies to receiving payments, too. You can get paid with just a few mouse clicks and some important data entered on your customer's keyboard. But completing an electronic commerce (e-commerce for short) transaction doesn't work the same way as in a traditional retail store. Online, customers can't personally hand you cash or a check. You, the seller, can't verify the user's identity by looking at a signature or photo ID.

In e-commerce, both buyers and sellers have the same concerns they've always had. Customers need a reliable way to pay you securely without worrying that their credit card information might be stolen. The seller needs to know that the customer isn't using a stolen credit card. Luckily, online payments are safer than ever, and more options exist than ever before.

To get paid promptly and reliably online, you have ...

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