- Step 1: Get a Merchant Account
- Step 2: Get a Payment Gateway
- Step 3: Setup the Gateway in Your Online Store
- Example Payment Gateway Transaction
- Other Methods of Accepting Credit Cards
In order to process credit cards through your online store, you will need a Merchant Account and a Payment Gateway.
Step 1: Get a Merchant Account
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.
Step 2: Get a Payment Gateway
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. To see a list of supported gateways, see Supported Payment Gateways / Payment Methods and their specific setup information.
Step 3: Setup the Gateway in Your Online Store
Once you've signed up with a supported payment gateway, its time to configure it in your online store. Payment Gateways are configured in Settings > Payments & Taxes > Payment Gateways. For specific instructions for configuring Payment Gateways, see Setting up a Payment Gateway. For gateway specific instructions, see Supported Payment Gateways / Payment Methods and their specific setup information.
Example Payment Gateway Transaction
- 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.
Other Methods of Accepting Credit Cards
A popular alternative to a Payment Gateway is PayPal Express Checkout. PayPal Express Checkout is very easily enabled in Online Store Apps & Addons:
- Navigate to Tools > Apps & Addons > PayPal Express Checkout
- Check Enable PayPal Express Checkout
- In the PayPal Email Address field, enter an email address where you receive your PayPal payments ( If you do not already have a PayPal account, you can create one after you have received an order.)
- Click Save
Once enabled, customer's will be able to chose PayPal Express Checkout as a payment option on the checkout page. When they click Place Order, they'll be redirected to PayPal's secure checkout form to complete the transaction. There, they can pay with a credit card or their PayPal account. Once finished, the customer will be redirected back to the Online Store to view the order confirmation page.
For more information on setting up PayPal Express, see Enabling PayPal Express Checkout.