I have a potential client that wants an online registration form, and then would like the applicant to be able to pay online. So no shopping cart needed. This is my first experience with creating a site with e-commerce. I code everything by hand using HTML and CSS and have designed only small sites.
It seems that my client is in the process of selecting a vendor for a merchant account. Do all merchant accounts have a means to incorporate their 'sell button' into a website. I've read up on Paypal, and that's seems pretty easy. Just include their code in the HTML, and get the user gets sent to their site for the transaction. But I don't know if my client will choose Paypal.
Am I responsible for finding a 'gateway' to use - that also seems like something my client will be getting on their own as well.
So I'm a little lost as to the process here. My client say she has questions for me about putting the online payment on the site. Well, I have questions too. I don't know what to tell her at this point. And would like to know what is involved, so I know if I can even do it. And if I need to tell them to go only with certain Merchant accounts / gateways that provide a way to do it.
Any guidance is appreciated. I did read the articles at the beginning of this forum - did help with background about Merchant accounts, but am still unclear how it is done in the code. I know this is probably confusing, I'm confused. Thank you for any assistance, guidance, opinions, pointers in the right direction, and so on.
OPINION: I think you should be honest with your client and explain that you need to fully understand how the Merchant Account of choice will be integrated into a website. Ask to be involved in a direct conversation with a representative for the vendor; maybe speak with several she is considering - I am sure she would be reassured if you could help with the decision-making process.
Emphasize the importance and critical impact this has on her business and she will appreciate your dedication. That is the correct way to treat your clients; with honesty and a sincere concern for their success.
I am honest with them. My answer to her questions is "I don't know". So I'm trying to find out the answers. Guess what I'm asking is... do all Merchant Accounts provide an easy and secure way to place a payment (from a website). Kind of like Pay Pal. Or do some require 3rd party shopping cart software to make the transaction happen? So when I client asks me to set up a payment button, I ask who they have for a Merchant Account vendor. Then depending on who they say, I know if the coding is simple or involves more than I can handle as a small timer.
So, perhaps I need to research each possible vendor (hopefully there are not too many) to determine how to create that "gateway" to them. And then if that is something I'm comfortable coding into the website. I would like have a good idea of what's involved, so when I'm asked about designing a site, I'm able to say if I am or not able to do the simple payment. Or that I can do it, but you have to use x, y, or z for a Merchant account vendor.
Maybe this is common sense, or just a dumb question, or I'm just not expressing my thoughts/question very well. I just don't want to say that I can do something (it seems simple enough), unless I'm sure I can.
I agree with everything @ParkinT said about honesty with your client.
However, if she's as new to this as you are, you may be able to help her make the decision. Have a look at a couple of the Merchant Acoount providers that she's considering. If one or two of them have clear and easy ways to integrate with the web site, then point this out to her as an advantage. She isn't going to want to pick a provider, only to find that it's less than ideal for her needs, so she'll probably welcome a little guidance.
Thank you. I did find some info that helped as well - not sure how I missed it before. Here's the link in case it helps anyone else - discusses gateways and more regarding ecommerce: http://www.ecommerce-guide.com/solutions/secure_pay/article.php/3869546/Buyers-Guide--Choosing-a-Payment-Gateway-Provider.htm
I also viewed several Vendors and seems many of them provide Simple Checkout options (ie Buy Now buttons). Some don't. Anyhow, I advised my (potential) client that if I created her site that she would need a gateway with a Simple type checkout. She seemed happy with that. And I also sent her the link above for reference info as well.
The solution seems so simple now. Guess I needed a little support to get me headed in the right direction. Thanks ParkinT and TechnoBear.
Glad we could help. Somehow, it's often much easier to see the solution to someone else's problem than your own.
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