Credit Card acceptance

I'm putting together a Web-based service company. I have never done this before and am interested in accepting credit card payment. How does one do this? Do I start with a bank or are there 2nd party services that I can use? I know this is not the "exact" area for this type of question but I'll take a chance. Any Web-business moguls out there?
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sduellConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Not sure if any of this is helping isenberg, but...

The Americart advantages are:

No lump sum cash up front they will take you on a month-to-month

30-day Free Trial

All upgrades, etc. are done by Americart without changing your web site

Includes a database option - no charge

Does not require you to install any software on your computer

Does not require you to purchase expensive Security Certificates from RSA, Thawte or Verisign

Accepts about a dozen different methods of payment

Plus many other features not found in PDG Cart

You have a few choices to do this. You can process your card yourself. You can get the scripts from any major credit card. Call them to find out how. Another way of doing it is to integrate your web site with another service like They doing the processing for you. Visit them to find out more information. Also there is another company called i think they also doing credit card processin in reall time. Good Luck.
Paul RiskoCommented:
I am a intermedite webmaster. What Marine said above is true. If the company can process cards and they're not selling soft goods, porn, or don't run 3 shifts there is no need for real time card proccessing. You can run the cards yourself and get a card proc. account through your local bank. Cybercash, combill,, ibill,e-commerce exchange and payment net are all for real time procc. It is costly. Ranging from .30 per trans. to $40 per month in addition to your host fee. I assume you will be hosting on an NT server (if you use FP2k you have no choice). You need a host that is both SSL and SQL for you best bet. Your paying to much for monthly hosting if it cost more than $50 per month. How many items will they be selling? You prob. need shopping cart software.
If you want to see an E-commerced site I've done go to
the overall design was not my idea, but I'm they're webmaster.

Hope i helped?
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Check out Mal's e-commerce. They provide free shopping cart and free SSL processing. They will direct you to credit card processors that will integrate with their (free) service if you want.

Advertising is minimal.

In addition you will get some detailed advice and  instructions that will get you started.

I have been using this service for almost two years. You can see an example at

Good luck!
isenbergAuthor Commented:
Appreciate the comments. The type of service I'm considering is a little unusual... I will review information provided to me by potential buyers for accuracy. If error are found I will tell the buyer. Upon payment I will release the details via e-mail. Think it would work? I would like to be able to accept credit card payment. I see that using my local bank can be easier than spending the setup fees and monthly charges. I haven't decided on award of point yet. Any more comments?
I have a little experience of this, and it sounds like the best solution for you at the moment would be an EPOS, card system, usually organised through your own banking services. As the orders come in, I presume they would be via FP forms, you would have the chance to manually reject or accept the order. If you accept the order you just type the credit card details into the EPOS, and the deal is done, then you despatch. Initially you would probably do this manually, but once you've proved it works and you have the funding, with a little development the whole process could be done electronically. I think that going through a third party vendor, or Mall service as well as costing you a fair chunk of margin, will possibbly restrict your product line and the way you sell.
Okay, just going through this process myself.  The first step is to setup a merchant account.  This can be with your local bank or online.  It is not cheap.  Then for online transactions you can arrange for a gateway to handle the transactions for you between the user and your merchant account.  Again as mentioned not cheap.

Best bet is to talk to your local banks and see what services they offer.  If they can't handle it (depends on where you are, in Australia a lot of banks are not into online transactions yet)you can arrange for both merchant account and a cc gateway online with, or a variety of others.
Dassa is correct about setting up a merchant account with both a bank and a credit card company.

Once that is done, the easiest method that I have found is by using the Americart Shopping Cart Service at:

No, I don't receive any kickbacks from Americart and I don't work for them.

They just have a great price without imposing any uncontrolled outside advertising on you or taking a percentage of your sales.

Works very well with MS FrontPage.  I recommend this service to all of my customers.  Everyone has been 110% pleased.
Paul RiskoCommented:
I have some comments on Americart. I am not saying at all, not to use Americart. I would just like to point out some stuff. The cart cost $250 per year..nice price, if you look at it over the long term 3-5 years...your cost is $750 to $1250. There are some Rock'en carts out there for $1250.

I use PDG cart. I don't work for them. The cart cost $750..a one time fee (with no added fees and free minor upgrades). Yes, unlike Am.cart you have to customize the buttons and links yourself. I wouldn't say any cart is "Easy" to set up. I've set up a few different ones. Just check out your options. The coolest cart I've seen cost $1250. Plus a tech support fee.

As far a Cust. sup. goes. PDG is good...but could be better. Relative to other carts I've set up, PDG is very professional.

Thanks for listening.

mmm...The original question was about a service company accepting credit card transactions.  I doubt if a cart system is actually what is required or needed.  The person needs their own cc transaction processing system.  
isenbergAuthor Commented:
Sorry for the long delay... I guess you've answered what I thought I was asking... I would like to share points on this. How is it done? Please, comments only! Thanks for the interest in my question.
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