Online Shopping Cart Definition

Merchant Account Online Shopping Cart Explained:

What is an Online Shopping Cart? Contrary to popular belief among merchants, an online shopping cart does not process credit card payments. Instead, shopping cart software serves three other main purposes. First, it allows merchants to set up and manage online sales processes such as adding products, inventory management, order fulfillment and customer data collection. Second, it acts as the ordering interface for the customer, allowing him/her to add/remove products from the shopping cart and checkout. And lastly, it communicates the payment information to the payment gateway which encrypts the data and sends it to the banks for authorization.

Shopping carts come in two forms:

Self hosted software – This type of shopping cart is a dedicated piece of software that is hosted on the retailer’s own server. There are several varieties of licensed carts that range from open source free carts to proprietary packages that can cost thousands of dollars. Merchants who choose to host their own shopping carts are also responsible for securing their server and software against data theft which is a costly ongoing task. Generally, self hosted shopping carts are only advisable for mid-to-large online retailers that have someone dedicated to maintaining the security of the website.

3rd Party Hosted Software – Also known as an Application Service Provider (ASP), this type is shopping cart is hosted on the ASP’s secured servers and integrated with the retailers website using code snippets, Javascript, and/or API connections. Generally, third-party hosted shopping cart companies include a packaged payment gateway and assume the risk of information security, which eliminates the liability for the merchant. These types of services are usually easy to set up and are best for new and low-volume merchants.

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Why I'm Qualified to Write About Credit Card Processing and Merchant Account Services

I'm a former credit card processing sales director who left the industry because I didn't like how it takes advantage of small business owners. It feeds like a leech on businesses and thrives by imposing fees that are nearly impossible to comprehend. Seeing a need for change, I left and built this website help business owners better understand the industry, research merchant services providers, and get refunds of excessive merchant account fees. My experience of working "behind the curtain" in the industry, and using that knowledge for good, has resulted in millions of dollars returned to hard-working small business owners as well as enterprise-level companies.

From the time that I starting working in the merchant services industry to when I left to create this website, I've been on the pulse of payments for nearly 15 years. It didn't seem fair to keep this "insider" knowledge to myself. To lift the fog, I've reviewed hundreds of companies, read thousands of user reviews, and learned the pricing tricks of every provider. If you have questions about credit card processing, you can find the answers on this website.

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