Building Your Own Online Payment System 101

When it comes to online payment processing, there are a host of different packages to choose from. For the entrepreneur with the true Do It Yourself spirit, however, there’s something to be said about coming up with your own system to accept payments. Perhaps it’s a sense of accomplishment. Either that or you’re sick of paying fees to third party services every time a payment is processed. That works, too.

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Make your own payment system and save money on fees. All you need is time and the drive

But whatever your reasons are, if you feel motivated and have the time and energy for it, setting up your online payment system in-house can be a rewarding project that could end up saving you money. So sit back, and check out this introduction to the process; class is in session and the subject is How To Build A Shopping Cart Plugin. At the very least, you can get inkling as to what’s involved in doing it yourself, and deciding if you want to go through the trouble.

Setting Up A Secure Server

Let’s get one thing straight up front; most right-thinking online shoppers treat security very seriously, and get understandably rattled and hesitant if the site seems to be even the least bit sketchy. So if you’re going the DIY route, you better make sure, before anything else, you set up a secure server.

A secure server is a computer that employs the kind of encryption that increases the difficulty of stealing confidential data. The technology employed is called Secure Socket Layer, or SSL. Apply for an SSL certificate online.


With your SSL certificate in hand, you need to register your website with a digital authentication service. VeriSign is one of the more well-known, thus implicitly trusted, services. When you have a digital certificate, it means that your site is validated as the correct destination for customer information. This helps allay those security fears by showing potential customers that you’re site is really what it’s supposed to be, and that their information is properly encrypted. It’s a critical component for online payment acceptance.

Let’s Go Shopping

Okay, you have an authenticated secure server. Great! Now, you need to grab some shopping software so that customers can select goods and services from your site and add them to the online cart. While you can try to create your own cart, perhaps it’s a better idea to go with a known, recognizable quantity, such as Shopify, Zen Cart, or Magento.

With this software in place, a customer can pick out what they want and when they’re ready, they access a checkout link that in turn brings them to your secure server, which is where they enter that sensitive payment information.

Show Me The Money

We’re coming down the home stretch now! Now you need a system for processing credit/debit card payments and an accompanying Internet merchant account set up with a bank. With this system in place, you can make sure that your customers’ credit card information is valid.

As far as these two items go, there are many choices out there, including Flagship Merchant Services, Merchant One, and Credit Card In many cases, the credit card processing provider also has Internet merchant account capability.

Putting Your Online Payment System Together

Assemble these components and you’re good to go. Now all that’s left is deciding whether to save money and use time, or use money and save time. Your actual results may vary. Good luck with your online payment system!

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Born and raised in the Boston area, I was rocketed to New Hampshire, where under the Granite State's yellow sun and lack of income tax, I have gained the powers of super-sarcasm, brilliant creativity, and slightly disturbing sense of humor.

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