I need some advice about taking payment information from customers on my ecommerce website


I have developed an ecommerce website everything is done apart from the bit that collects credit card info and processes the payment. This for me is the most difficult as I dont really know where to start. Your help on how to get started very cheaply would be appreciated. I understand I need a payment gateway and internet merchant account. Is there a free/cheap way of getting access to this?

Some general advice will be appreciated.
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Seems obvious I know but why not use google checkout or paypal? Theyre "Free" in the sense of no overheads (percentage fees applies on transactions) and generally quick to setup. They are also internationally recognised and trusted so your customers remain confident in  the security. Even if you dont like them, setting up with your bank can take weeks, both of these you can take payments same day though there is a lot of validation to go through, but as this is all only visible to you and not your customers its ok.

binaryevoConnect With a Mentor Commented:
You have so many options when it comes to payment processing.  It really all depends on your needs and budget.  Some ISO providers have a higher monthly bill charge and lower per transaction fee and others any combination of fees, monthly burns and feature sets.  I would recommend paypal just from a sheer implementation perspective and the fact that paypal is truly a virtual bank.  You can move / receive monies and so forth.  Their API's are very easy to follow and can be found at the following link:  https://cms.paypal.com/us/cgi-bin/?cmd=_render-content&content_ID=developer/howto_api_reference

Paypal can provide both the merchant account and the gateway so its a one stop shop per say...
jazz__manAuthor Commented:
Sorry, I meant to split points among the the 3 posts. Sorry.
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