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Payment Options

Payment Options
Invisible Gold makes it easy to manage an on-line store, but there are a few things to decide before you start selling.

First, you need to understand that there are a lot of different ways to sell on-line. Some people sell on Ebay. Others put up pages of products but require shoppers to call in orders. One very popular option is to set up an on-line catalog of products and a shopping cart to calculate totals and process orders.

Invisible Gold has a shopping cart built-in that handles shipping, tax, discounts, and automatic processing of credit card orders. Note that many businesses choose to process orders by hand, and only later when they are comfortable (and busy) transition to having the site charge credit cards automatically.

It's also important to understand that security on a shopping cart site needs to be tighter. Invisible Gold automatically encrypts all of the data stored on the server - but you also need to encrypt the communications between the website and your customer. You can do this by signing up for an SSL or Secure Certificate. This is what prevents hackers from stealing your clients' credit card information. It also turns on the little padlock symbol on a website. Don't worry. The process process is simple and we'll help you through it.

Finally you need to choose between different payment options: paypal, checks, VISA, MasterCard, etc.

Credit Card Terminal
If you already have a credit card terminal for an existing store you can use this to bill online orders too. Many businesses go this route since there is nothing else to sign up for, it is easy to learn, and it means all orders pass through the same process.

On the downside, it can become a chore if you get more than a handful of orders per month. Also, be sure that you don't violate your contract with the bank. Credit card terminal accounts are often not authorized for internet sales.

PayPal is a service that grew popular through online auctions and small online merchants. It is so simple you won't even need an SSL on your site as all payment information is entered on the PayPal site. That's also the biggest drawback. Your customers will go to another site. They'll have to sign up for a PayPal account, and there are limitations to how many orders you can process per month.

For more information visit the PayPal website.

If you are just starting out, you might want to sign up for a ProPay account. This is another service that became popular with the online auction crowd - with the advantage that you can process Visa and Mastercard accounts.

It is basically just a virtual card reader. You login to the ProPay website and process orders by typing them in by hand. There are limitations to how much each item can cost, and how much per month. On the other hand, it is relatively inexpensive when you are starting out, and you can easily transition to a more automated system at any point.

For more information visit the ProPay website.

Authorize.net Processing
The ideal solution is to signup for a fully automated credit card processing system. The biggest advantage is that it saves time. It looks the same from the customer's perspective - except that their credit card is charged immediately. You spend your time fullfilling orders and the money just shows up in your bank account.

This option does come with a cost of roughly $30/mo. plus relatively small percentage charges (and $150 to signup). If you are processing more than a handfull of orders a month, the time savings should be worth it. It also simplifies maintenance of your website because any orders that come in simply need to be fulfilled - you no longer need to deal with the occasional customer that doesn't have sufficient funds in their account.

Invisible Gold is an authorized reseller for Authorize.net, but please call us to discuss all of your payment processing options.

Purchase Orders
There's actually one more type of payment option. Some businesses generate purchase orders. You can setup your cart to accept these numbers - but keep in mind that you don't actually restrict whether orders can be placed - this requires a degree of human control.

See Also:
Online Documentation Home, Invisible Gold Quick Tour, Template Library, Users and Groups, Shopping Cart, Mailing Lists, Uploading Images, Traffic, Approvals, Banner Ads, Login/Logout, Email Newsletters, Advanced Button, Moving Pages, System View, Security, System Settings, Hosting Invisible Gold Powered Websites, Generate a PayPal Client ID, Terms, Useful HTML Guide, Private Client Areas