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Electronic Payment Systems

CREDIT CARD TERMINAL (c) Igabriela | Dreamstime.comOne of the fundamental issues that any business, whether traditional or online, faces is that it must ensure it is able to take payments from customers with the least amount of fuss. It is no accident that retailers in the high street offer customers every available means of paying for the goods they have chosen. On the Internet this is no different. Any business wishing to make the most of E-Commerce and the move to a virtual market place must also offer convenient payments methods for visitors to the virtual shop.

In order to be able to transact online there must be some system in place which allows customers to input their order and payment details, and also allows the e-business to check authentication (the person's identity), as well as actually receiving the payment. For any payment processing to take place, the e-business must have a merchant bank account. A merchant account is a bank account which allows businesses to accept credit card payments, and as most e-businesses wish to accept credit card payments online, they will need an Internet Merchant Account. There are quite a few different types of merchant accounts. Some demand that the customer's signature must be collected, others don't, for example purchasing goods over the telephone.

There are two types of payment systems that an e-business (or traditional business for that matter) must consider:

  • payments in - payments received from customers
  • payments out - payments made to suppliers.

Next: Payments In