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Creating a fully operational and hassle-free eCommerce Business is no easy task. There are lots of elements that play a role in the success of an online shopping site. Without question, one of the most important factors in eCommerce is the “Payment Methods” accepted by the website and integrated into the shopping cart.

We want this to be a guide for users and webmasters planning on building an eCommerce Store. Therefore, we identified a couple of the most important factors in the eCommerce Payments process.

Increase Sales With Optimized eCommerce Payment Methods

Merchant Account

You must have a merchant account along with your eCommerce site. You cannot just accept PayPal as a payment method because it would look unprofessional. A merchant account allows you to do many things. Most importantly, it provides legitimacy and integration for your online business.

Consider these factors:

Provider and Fees

Do not pay any setup fees or get into long contracts when signing up for a merchant account. There are plenty of services available without setup fees or contracts. However, you might get better rates with a contract. Do not agree to pay more than 2.5% per transaction and be careful of those “per transaction” fees. They usually run about 10-25 cents on top of the percentage you pay per transaction.

You will get “Fraud Orders” once you go live with your eCommerce store no matter what you do. These fraud orders will cost you these same “per transaction fees” which can add up to a lot of money on a monthly basis. So, ask your provider about Fraud orders and how these “per transaction fees” are handled.


A chargeback occurs when a customer denies or questions a transaction. Chargebacks have a penalty of about $25 if the customer disputes a charge and wins the dispute. Again, these fees could add up if you are not careful. Make sure that the name that shows up on the customer’s statements is the same as your website (another reason to use a Merchant Account vs. just using Paypal). Also, make sure that you include a phone number along with the statement. Most merchant account providers provide this option.


This is a widely accepted merchant account platform. This is available from many different providers but always ask for Authorize.Net. With Authorize.Net you are given access to an online platform where you can monitor all transactions, disputes, charges and security features.

We suggest accepting Visa, MasterCard and AMEX. This covers 99% of buyers out there. You can get Discover as well but only 1-2% of transactions would be paid via Discover.

Customer Satisfaction

Authorize.Net helps you here with a wide variety of functionalities. First of all, you have the option, and you should, place a hold on the credit card of a customer once they place an order, and only charge once the item is shipped. This will ensure that you do not get any unnecessary complaints and chargebacks from clients. Also, you can implement many security features using CVV codes and address verification. This will save you from all the fraud orders.

* Remember: if you ship to another address than the billing address, you will not be covered in the case of a chargeback.


Paypal is an online payment gateway system. It’s not a merchant account. However, since it’s so popular, we recommend accepting PayPal payments on your site along with a Merchant Account. This will ensure that you do not lose any sales just in case a customer prefers to pay via PayPal.

PayPal has many security features, buyer and seller protections. Therefore, many users prefer PayPal. We calculate that 20% of your orders would be paid via PayPal so if you do not accept PayPal, you might be risking that percentage of orders.

The only problem here is that you will have to deal with another payment gateway on top of your Merchant account. This might get time consuming if you get a large number of orders. Paypal has no setup fee

Google Checkout

This is Google’s competitive response to PayPal. Since Paypal had over 90% of the market share, (due to the sheer volume of EBay Transactions), Google rolled out “Google Checkout”.

Google did not charge transaction fees to sellers for about a year, and their fees now are very reasonable. You do not have to deal with credit checks to get a Google Checkout Account and accept payments.

We recommend incorporating this with your eCommerce site if possible. Google Checkout is definitely a player since over 80% of online traffic is routed via Google. Their interface is also very user friendly and they make it easy to charge credit cards. They also have a buyer and seller protection features, which provides peace of mind to both the merchant and the buyer. Google Checkout has no setup fees.

To summarize:

a) Get a REAL Merchant Account which accepts Visa, MasterCard and American Express.
b) Integrate Paypal onto your shopping cart
c) Integrate Google Checkout into your shopping cart.

This way, you will make sure that you do not lose any customers due to payment preferences.  Any questions?  We can help you, contact us.

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