[thelist] Payment Processing (con't)

Maximillian Schwanekamp lists at neptunewebworks.com
Thu Jun 23 14:47:12 CDT 2005

Joshua Olson wrote:
> The actual movement of money and "who contact
> who" can be very convoluted and complicated when you get into the
> nitty-gritty of payment processing.
> When explaining this to the typical client, would it be a disservice to them
> to simplify the process--explain it in terms of the "gateway connects to
> merchant account connects to final bank account" in regards to the movement
> of money?  Does the typical client care about the inner workings, or are
> they only interested in services for which they pay for out of pocket?

In my experience most clients only care about the process to the extent
that it affects them.  They want to know how it works from the
customer's perspective, how it works from their own perspective, and
what kinds of problems they're likely to encounter and how to deal with
those problems.  As web developers I don't think it's for us to explain
the inner workings of payment processing, though for general audience it
might be good to have links to more technical info.

When I've explained things to clients, I've had best success by
describing the process in the 2nd person, as if they were already
processing: "... and then your customer submits her order info,
including the credit card number and card code, which gets transmitted
to Authorize.Net; AuthNet communicates with the various banks involved
to make sure the card is good, etc, and if the transaction is approved,
they 'capture' the transaction and tells your shopping cart system that
the order is approved, go ahead and fulfil the order.  Each night,
Authorize.Net sends the transactions to your merchant account bank, and
they transfer funds into your business checking account."

My point is that clients are business owners/managers - they usually
don't want to waste time on technical curiosities.  They ultimately only
want to know how the process affects their bottom line.

Maximillian Von Schwanekamp

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