There are four pieces to the online payment puzzle:
- A bank account
- A payment gateway
- A payment processor
- A web site with an SSL certificate on it
SSL certificates vary in price depending on what you are using it for and what level of security/encryption you need. You will need to check with your hosting company or a company that sells SSL Certs for current pricing. If you are hosted on 8Dweb, a free SSL certificate is included with your CMSDefender package.Depending on your needs, you may require a dedicated server, or a virtual private server with your own dedicated IP address. Again, prices vary greatly depending on needs and speeds.
You may also need to look into PCI compliance
. This is another additional annual fee that goes to a PCI Compliance certification company such as McAffe, GeoTrust or VeriSign. Your credit card processor and/or payment gateway processor may suggest or require you to utilize their PCI compliance partner(s).
Once you know your site is secure and you are confident that you are PCI compliant, you will then want to check with your bank to see if you can receive payments online with them. You may have to establish a merchant service account with them if you do not already have one. If your bank does allow you to take online payments you will want to find out what payment gateway they work best with. Your bank will also be able to provide you with a fee listing of what they will charge you per transaction, deposit, etc.
Your payment gateway
is a bridge between your customer's bank and your bank. If you were to use authorize.net as your gateway, you may incur charges like a 1 time gateway setup fee, a monthly service fee, a per transaction fee and a batch fee. Of course there are also other services they will encourage you to purchase as well.
Once all of these pieces are in place you can then add code to your web site, or use an eCommerce software package that integrates with your payment gateway.