Frequently Asked Questions –
Online Shopping Cart

What is an Online Shopping Cart?
A software program that is integrated with the Online Payment Gateway of an Internet merchant’s website for the purpose of transmitting data from online credit card transactions to the credit card acquirer.  The transaction amount is then authorized by the bank, and the transaction is settled just as when transaction data is entered into a Virtual Terminal.

What makes a Shopping Cart different from a Virtual Terminal?
A Shopping Cart does not require the merchant to enter data manually since the data is already entered online into the cart by the customer and transmitted automatically to the bank.  A Virtual Terminal requires/allows data to be entered manually by the merchant.

Does the Merchant Account Processor supply a Shopping Cart with the Merchant Account, and does the Merchant need one?
No and No.  In most cases, the processors do not supply Shopping Carts with the merchant accounts they provide.  They only supply the Online Payment Gateway with the merchant account so the merchant can process orders online.  If the merchant does not sell numerous different products, or if they are just providing a service for a fee, then they probably do not need the extra convenience of a shopping cart.  In that case, the merchant can use a Online Virtual Terminal to enter orders manually in their online terminal separate from their website.

For instance, once the merchant retrieves cardholders’ (customers’) credit card information from a secure form on their website, they then enter it manually in their online terminal.  If they would like customers to enter their credit card information themselves but do not feel the need for a Shopping Cart, they can even have a hyperlink “Pay” button, similar to a “PayPal” button, which directly links to the their Virtual Terminal for customers to still take advantage of real-time processing without the integration of a Shopping Cart.  If they merchant chooses to use a Shopping Cart Program or Software Package that they already have setup, the Processor lets them know whether or not it’s compatible with the Online Payment Gateway the Processor supplies with their account.

Does the Merchant’s Shopping Cart Software have to be compatible with the Processor’s Payment Gateway?
Yes.  If the merchant will be using a Shopping Cart with their website, the Shopping Cart Software they use must be compatible with the Processor’s Payment Gateway in order for the Cart to integrate into it and function properly.  There are usually over 100 popular Shopping Cart Technologies that are compatible with any given Online Payment Gateway, so there is usually not a problem with Integrating the Shopping Cart and Payment Gateway together.  If there is, then we have technical staff on hand to assist the merchant.