How to Accept Credit Cards
In order to process credit cards through your online store, you will need a Merchant Account and a Payment Gateway.
A merchant account is simply a commercial bank account that allows you to accept credit card payments. There is typically a small transaction fee which is a percentage of each purchase. The percentage is based on volume. Higher volume accounts have a lower transaction fee percentage. There is typically a minimum monthly fee. This would come from a 3rd party such as your current bank. Spark Pay online stores offer a very cheap solution to this problem that includes our payment gateway free. The Americommerce merchant account is guaranteed to be the lowest price and have the lowest monthly fee. See more here: http://www.sparkpay.com/merchant-services/
A payment gateway allows your online store to connect to your merchant bank account. It acts as a “virtual terminal,” as apposed to a card-swipe terminal. There is typically a small transaction fee and a monthly fee for this service. Merchant account providers typically resell this service from a 3rd party, or you can use any of our integrated gateways. Almost any payment gateway will work with any merchant account. However, the Americommerce Merchant Account comes with the FREE Americommerce Payment Gateway and it's also fully transportable to any other merchant account in the future. See more here: http://www.sparkpay.com/merchant-services/
Example Transaction Scenario
- A customer places an order on your store.
- Spark Pay online stores contacts your payment gateway over an encrypted SSL connection, providing your account information and the customer information.
- The payment gateway sends this information to your merchant account bank.
- Your merchant bank contacts the credit card issuer bank for your customer and gets authorization for the amount of the order, while verifying address and other information.
- Your merchant bank returns a response to the payment gateway, which returns a response to the Spark Pay online store, which will either mark the order’s payment as approved or declined.
- At the end of each day, the payment gateway processes all payments automatically to deposit the funds into your merchant account.
Recommended Merchant Account
Almost any merchant account & payment gateway combination will work with Spark Pay Online Stores . If you do not have a merchant account, simply sign up for the Americommerce Merchant Account, or feel free to shop around and choose any of the thousands of options out there. However, the Americommerce merchant account is guaranteed to be the cheapest and most affordable option and is baked right into our ecommerce platform for easy setup. See more here: http://www.sparkpay.com/merchant-services/
Recommended Payment Gateway
Spark Pay online stores is compatible with most major payment gateways (over 50), though we recommend our payment gateway first and Authorize.Net as the next best option as both are portable and widely used system. See more here: http://www.sparkpay.com/merchant-services/
Check the related articles a list of our supported gateways, yours may already be listed!