What’s Involved in Setting up Online Credit Card Processing?

Being able to accept credit cards has become essential in the business world, but there are many companies that still don’t do so. Part of the reason for this is because of misunderstandings or misinformation about what’s required for setting up credit card processing and online credit card processing. Many companies don’t know what’s involved with the set-up process and, because of this, assume it’s complicated and costly—when the opposite is actually true.

Starting a business? Download "The merchant services survival handbook" to  learn how to process payments.

Picking a System

The first step in setting up an online credit card processing system is to choose a system. This is the most time-consuming part of the process. Before looking for a system, you first need to sit down and figure out what you actually need the system to do. Obviously, you need it to process credit cards, but do you want it to be able to process gift cards or prepaid credit cards?

Next, you need to figure out how much volume you’re expecting on your website just to have an understanding of the fees that you could have to pay for credit card transactions. Different credit card processing companies will have different rates, but it’s good to get a basic understanding of the price point you could be looking at.

Once you’ve figured out how your online store works and what you’re looking for, you’re able to go looking for a system. Different companies will have different features to offer you, but it’s important that any system you pick is able to do what you know you need done (which is why knowing what you need is always the first step).

The best payment processor will have been in business for a number of years, understands what you need, and can help you achieve your goals. It’ll also be flexible in terms of its contract because processors know you’re always seeking to grow your business.

Gateway Providers

On top of an online credit card processing company, you’ll also need a gateway provider. This is where many people get confused. Don’t despair or get overwhelmed.

A gateway provider is a company that authorizes credit card payments. Many times, your online credit card processing company you’ve hired will also provide you with a gateway provider because it’s part of its offered services. Before you sign any contract with an online credit card processing company, inquire about gateway providers and what (if anything) you have to do. If they don’t provide you one, they may offer recommendations.

Security Concerns

Once you have a system and a gateway provider, your online store is ready to process credit cards. The biggest concern with any online store is, of course, credit card fraud. Your system and gateway provider will do everything they can to stop it from happening. This is why it’s so imperative that you choose a good credit card processing company and gateway company—security is paramount for your business and your customers. Make sure you always review the security processes of your processing company and gateway company before you sign with them. You want them to be the best you can get.

While there are important steps that need to be taken to set up online credit card processing, it’s not too complicated or lengthy of a process. Every business has the ability to process online credit cards, and it’s something they should move on quickly because it’s estimated that, by 2019, Canadians will be spending $39 billion on online shopping.


Text Size

Emily Moore

With seven years of experience in the industry, Emily is the Merchant Boarding and Underwriting Specialist for BNA Smart Payment Systems. She also has experience in credit risk management, fraud and chargeback analysis, and in-depth knowledge of chargeback mitigation. At BNA, she is responsible for reviewing, investigating, and resolving irregular transactions; identifying and analyzing trends; exchanging knowledge of trends with peers and supervisors; and keeping records of past fraudulent activities. With a solid understanding of current fraud trends and software applications, Emily has a methodical approach to problem solving, great attention to detail, and the ability to recognize patterns. As a fitness enthusiast, Emily enjoys CrossFit and playing sports to keep active. She also loves the outdoors and spending time up north.

Find Emily Moore on:

Subscribe to our blog