View Full Version : Credit card processing

12-14-2002, 10:23 PM
OK, has anyone got any advice for me about accepting credit cards?

I would like to be able to do everything on my site, i.e. all the processing myself, but I have no idea as to what you have to do in order to be able to carry this out - although I can do all the scripting.

I am looking at an option like 2CheckOut (cheap) or WorldPay (more features) however if I could use my own gateway that would be better - I am just wondering what other stuff you have to do.

The only info I can find on the web is either about companies offering processing services, or companies offering gateway/processing scripts, no actual info or anything about protocols etc.

Has anyone got any experience of this and could they give some advice? My two main requirements are that it is a cheap method, and also that it can do everything on my own site. Is that going to be possible?

::] krycek [::

12-14-2002, 10:45 PM
Whatever you do you'll need a merchant account, and a secure server. Then you would need to establish a relationship with the credit card companies, in order for them to tell you the security and protocol information you need to query their servers - I don't know for sure, but I think it extremely unlikely this information is in the public domain, for very obvious reason.

Bottom line - I think you're looking at a start-up cost in the thousands of dollars.

Go with a gateway.

Or use PayPal - while the fact that purchasers have to join is a disadvantage in respect, i've only ever had two people (out of several hundred happy customers) who wouldn't buy because of this. Of course, there's no way to quantify those who didn't like it, and didn't tell me; but more and more people are using paypal anyway, now that they own (or are owned by?) e-bay

12-14-2002, 10:58 PM
yeah, I kinda thought it would be something like that.

The secure server aint a problem, but the merchant account alone would cost more than a service like WorldPay.

thanks for the advice :) it's always better to check first, eh? :D

::] krycek [::

12-15-2002, 01:48 AM
Billpoint, Paypal, etc. for a small charge. :D

Philip M
12-15-2002, 09:32 AM
You may want to have a look at

But it is not all that easy to establish a merchant account,
especiallly if you offer internet sales only and have no retail premises. You can guess that the credit card companies are pretty sensitive about the risk of fraud. Also, you need to have quite a high volume of sales to make it worthwhile (for both you and them).

12-16-2002, 10:17 AM

12-20-2002, 10:16 PM
...but the merchant account alone would cost more than a service like WorldPay
Cost is relative and you will need to do your own calculations. The two examples I saw in the thread, WorldPay and 2CheckOut, charge the following (info from their web sites):

--- WorldPay ---
$399 setup
$50 per month
3.25% + $0.40 per transaction

--- 2CheckOut ---
$49 setup
No monthly fee
5.5% + $0.49 per transaction

If you were to get a "true" merchant account and use a gateway, you most likely would have fees in this general area:
--- Traditional ---
$200-$500 setup
$30-$50 per month
2.25% + $0.25

Create a spreadsheet, plug in your numbers. Here are some comparisons, ignoring the one-time setup fees and assuming a $40 per month merchant account fee:

5 transactions per month, $50 average ticket:


5 transactions per month, $500 average ticket:


50 transactions per month, $50 average ticket:


50 transactions per month, $500 average ticket:


As you can see, cost is relative to your volume and average ticket amount (or projected volume). High volume merchants will benefit more from lower discount rates. Low volume merchants will benefit more from low monthly fixed fees.