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I_Smell_Tuna

Credit Card Transactions

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If I understand your question, you would have to set up an account through one of the credit card processing centres - worldpay, paypal etc for SECURE payment processing. Doing it entirely own your own (if you can - no idea), most people will not trust I suspect.

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Your best bet would be to use a proper payment service provider. They will either take the cards on their own site, and send you the money (Worldpay, Netbanx), or take the cards on their site and have the banks pay into your merchant account.

Setting up an internet merchant account is the same as setting up a non-internet merchant account, for example to accept cards over the phone (which you are doubtless familiar with).

In any case, having a merchant account is a good idea and will reduce the amount of commission you need to pay to the "no merchant account" providers, like Worldpay and Netbanx.

If your company is properly established and engaged in legitimate and easily provable business activities, getting a merchant account is really easy.

Likewise, if you are selling physical goods, a merchant account is a no-brainer.

If you are selling a kind of "ethereal" service, and/or you aren't an established business, getting a merchant account could be harder. This is particularly true if you're selling an online service such as access to a web site (like gamedev.net) or if the bank finds your industry sector at all questionable (i.e. porn).

In this case, you'll have to use one of the "take the card themselves and give you the money" PSPs, which rip you off to a greater extent than a proper merchant account would.

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The payment provider will either take the card details on their own site (there will be technical integration work on your end to pass through the relevant info), *or* you will take the card details on your own site and send the info via some sort of secure channel in real time (usually over HTTPS).

In the latter case, you'll need a secure site yourself, so you will be using HTTPS and get a relevant certificate from your SSL certificate provider.

In neither case will your server have to store CC details, and I recommend you do not go down this route (Some companies do but this is dodgy and/or not allowed depending on your merchant account and local rules).

We use Protx as a PSP for our clients.

This message is not an endorsement of Protx, Worldpay or Netbanx (or Datacash (who rip you off)).

Mark

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