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3 Tips For Choosing A Payment Gateway: Collecting Money Online

As a consumer, when you check out of your local convenience store, you may swipe your credit card through a point-of-sale device and your gas, coffee, and donut are paid. But what if you are the retailer and your business is online? It’s not like you have a card-swiping device at every customer’s PC! There must be a way for you to process that information. Essentially, that is the job that a payment gateway does for online retailers. Roy Banks, president of http://Authorize.net, a leader in the payment gateway industry, describes his company’s function as “the digital version of a hardware point of sale terminal.”

What is a Payment Gateway?

Payment gateways allow online merchants such as eStore owners or auction sellers to accept credit card payments over the internet. They authorize the cardholder’s credit—that is, they check to ensure that the customer has enough money on their credit card to cover the charges. They then place a hold on that amount so the buyer can’t turn around and spend that same money elsewhere before it gets transferred to the retailer’s merchant account. Banks describes this as “the technology…necessary to consummate a payment transaction.”

A Payment Gateway is NOT a Merchant Account

Many people confuse merchant accounts with payment gateways but they are not the same. Merchant account services act, for the most part, as a liaison between your business bank account and the payment gateway. When a customer orders a product from your online business their card is processed via the payment gateway. The money is then moved over to the merchant account service. The merchant account service then moves those newly captured funds to your business bank account.

3 Tips for choosing a Payment Gateway:

1.  Is it PCI-compliant?

That means that the company’s security has been audited by a third party and found to be up to industry standards. Since payment gateways store all your customers’ credit card information (sparing you the stress), it also means you can sleep better at night, knowing your customers’ valuable information is safe and sound.

2.  Good customer support

Enough said.

3.  Lastly, it is important that the payment gateway you choose be integrated to the third-party solutions you are planning to use

That means things like store front platforms and shopping carts—you want them to be compatible with your gateway.

Payment gateways will not only allow you to collect the monies from your sales, many also offer an array of security features, some of which will help you avoid becoming a victim of fraudulent orders! In the end, they will make your ecommerce business a less-stressful, more pleasant experience—for both you and your customers.

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Signs That a Website Is Fraudulent

Signs That a Website Is Fraudulent

Cybercrime is on the rise, so it is more important than ever to protect yourself from fraudulent websites. There are a number of things to look out for in order to keep you and your family safe from the many online scams being run.

What Is a Fraudulent Website?

A fraudulent website can be defined as one that is fake, set up in order to run some sort of scam or phish for sensitive private information, with a view to defrauding site visitors or even stealing their identities.

Fortunately, there are a number of telltale signs to watch out for.

Signs That a Website Is Suspicious

1. The domain name

Fraudulent sites will usually use a domain name similar to a reputable company or brand name. There have been many scam sites based around Amazon.com, for example. They might include a brand name in the URL, such as AdidasBargains.com, but not be affiliated with the company in any way.

2. No contact information posted prominently

Honest websites have nothing to hide, so you will usually see some form of contact information posted at the site prominently, such as name, address, phone and email. Google requires this data to be obvious in order to include a site in their search engine results pages. If you don’t see a physical location as well as virtual contact data, steer clear.

3. Spelling and grammatical errors

Sometimes the URL looks legitimate apart from a spelling error. In other cases, the content at the site will be badly written. A lot of scam sites try to pose as American or Canadian companies in order to make consumers feel a false sense of security. Poor mechanics is a sign of overseas cybercriminals trying to con you.

4. Check the WHOIS registration for the domain

Not all of the data is completely visible; some pay more for secure accounts. In general, however, Network Solutions is the best place to see who owns the domain and where it is being administered from. Go to https://www.networksolutions.com/whois/index.jsp and put in the URL of the site you suspect. Check to see the location where it has been registered and the creation date to see how long it has been registered for. Scam sites are usually made on the fly and disappear just as quickly.

5. Try the phone number listed

WHOIS should list a phone number. Call it to see if it works. If it is an answer machine, the number is not in service, or no one ever answers during business hours, it is more than likely a scam. It might also be a website hosting service where the domain is parked, in which case there will be no way to contact actual staff for the site. Again, steer clear.

6. Look for the “s” in https://

This shows it is a secure site. If there is no “s”, then the site is not secure and others can access your sensitive information. Google will not list sites that do not have https:// certification.

7. Run a Google search

See if the site has any reviews or if people are complaining it is a scam. Also, see if it shows up in search engine results.

8. Check the links on Google

If it is a legitimate site, it will usually have links pointing to it from other websites. If the only thing that shows up is the domain name, steer clear.

9. Beware phishing emails

These will often look like they come from PayPal or your bank, but there will be something off about the URL and it won’t always look identical to the usual log-in page.

Go to https://www.usa.gov/online-safety to learn more about safety and report any scam site you come across.

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