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Pay and Download, Set-Up

I'm building a web site for a friend's business. He wants to sell information which will be downloadable after payment. Although I have built a few websites, I have never dabbled in e-commerce.
1. Does he need an online CC partner or can he do it through his bank?
2. If there are only two products, is a shopping cart necessary?
3. How do I set up giving the customer access to the download after payment is received?

gunny2913
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Ujak
Asked:
Ujak
1 Solution
 
duzCommented:
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coreybryantCommented:
Well you do need a merchant account & a payment gateway.  Think of the payment gateway similar to the POS terminal in the grocery store.  Usually banks outsource merchant accounts to another company.  There are a few banks that do it themselves (like Chase) but they have a partnership with First Data to accomplish this.

The LinkPoint payment gateway is probably one of the strongest out there.  It is owned by the First Data Corporation.  First Data has been doing electronic money transfers since 1871 and they were the first processor of both VISA┬« and MasterCard┬« bank-issued credit cards in 1976.  First Data processed 12.2 billion transactions in North America alone in 2003.

Authorize.net is probably the most advertised electronic gateway.  A lot of people think they can sign up with them and immediately start to accept credit cards.  They do not release you need a merchant account as well.  Authorize.net even uses the First Data platform to help facilitate transaction processing.

Verisign also has a payment gateway.  Verisign is probably the most recognized name because they also offer other services and products for the internet (i.e. SSL certificates, domain registration, hosting, etc).  You do not need to purchase everything from Verisign to have a successful e-commerce business.

I would recommend a shopping cart only because you can secure your downloads.  For example, the one that we use has the downloads on a folder that is not accessible by the web.  This way, the person cannot access it unless they are signed on via the cart.  And then you might want to limit your downloads as well.  

-Corey
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