[thelist] ecommerce, shopping carts, etc.

Liz Lawson lizlawson at charitycards.co.uk
Fri Sep 8 03:48:30 CDT 2000

>I am really game to learn how to help people sell unique items
>online.  Many will be merchants who already accept credit cards

Just a quick "watch-out" (although it may be UK specific...)

Just because they have a merchant account for credit cards doesn't mean they
can take them on-line.

There are two main sorts of merchant account. Shop people may only be able
to accept transactions where the card is physically in front of them.
Mail-order people have a different sort of account: a card not present
account. They have a dummy card to swipe before putting in the number. The
cardholder present people have to swipe the actual card. At least one credit
card merchant services provider has yet another level of account
specifically for real-time online transactions (if the e-shopkeeper gets the
number through a secure method then puts it through the swipe machine
themselves it just counts as mail-order.)

If your client has the wrong sort of account, they will have to apply for
the right type: it's not just an automatic conversion. Some ( UK ) merchant
services providers are notorious for dragging their feet, so make sure your
client is aware that this may be an issue, that you have no control over any
delays it causes, and although you will help and advise them it's something
only they can sort out: you don't have the authority to make changes to
their banking arrangements!



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