The definition of ecommerce is commerce that is transacted electronically over the Internet. Ecommerce allows customers to purchase goods online, mostly via credit card, within the comfort of their own homes. Payment gateways play an important role in this process. They securely validate credit card transactions in real-time. Payments from successfully charged cards are then automatically debited into merchant accounts.
Most of the best shopping cart software solutions (such as InstanteStore) support quite a number of payment gateways. If you are looking to buy shopping cart software, make sure that it supports (or can be easily integrated with) the payment gateway (or gateways) of your choice.
When choosing payment gateways, merchants usually want to know 3 things: How long has the payment gateway been around, how much do they charge, and what are the services that they provide. In this article, we will take a look at the features of 2 payment gateways that are integrated with InstanteStore.
Authorize.net has been around since the mid 1990s, 1996 to be exact. Together with its owner, CyberSource Corporation, Authorize.net processed 1.1 billion transactions in 2006 with a value of US$65 billion. Authorize.net boasts a merchant base of 248,000. Their solution is easy to integrate and they offer merchants (web-based and retail outlets) a few methods to link their stores to Authorize.net’s payment gateway.
Here is a breakdown of their pricing (suggested retail price only):
- Gateway Setup Fee – $99.00
- Monthly Gateway Fee – $20.00
- Transaction Fee – $0.10
- Batch Fee – $0.25
- Virtual Terminal (to process phone orders) – FREE
- Customer Support – FREE
- Fraud Prevention Tools, Address Verification Service (AVS), Card Code Verification (CCV) – FREE
- (multiple) Connection Methods – FREE
- Advanced Fraud Detection Suite™ (identifies suspicious online orders) – $9.95 monthly (optional)
- Automated Recurring Billing™ (ARB) (subscription billing tool) – $10.00 monthly (optional)
- Customer Information Manager (CIM) (simplifies storage of sensitive customer data) – $20.00 monthly (optional)
In terms of customer service, Authorize.net provides free customer support via 3 methods. They are toll-free calls, e-mail and online chat. Representatives are available from Monday to Friday, 5 AM to 5 PM Pacific time. They are closed on major holidays.
2CO or 2CheckOut
2CO has been around since 2000. They not only provide global online payment solutions but are also the authorized reseller for thousands of both hard and soft products and services. In 2008, 2Checkout’s processed transactions amounted to US$213 million.
Here is a breakdown of their fees:
- Signup/Account Establishment Fee – $49 (one time)
- Transaction Fees – 5.5% commission on each transaction, plus a 4 charge per transaction
- Application fees – None
- Monthly fees – None
- Statement fees – None
- Leases – None
- SSL certificate – No need to purchase
- 30 Day money back guarantee
2CO provides a toll-free number for those in the US and Canada for those who need help. Alternatively, customers can consult 2CO’s knowledge base, open a support ticket or join their community. Their customer service department is always open.
You can find out more about 2Checkout in this previous article.
The best shopping cart software is feature-rich and user-friendly, somewhat like the best payment gateways. Each payment gateway has their own pricing structure, and their own pros and cons. Some gateways may be more suited to smaller businesses, whereas others appeal to larger businesses. Choosing the right payment gateway for your online store is important. List down your requirements for a payment gateway, do some research and shortlist a few payment gateways, then compare these gateways to see which one best suits your business before making a decision.
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