How does a merchant account integrate with my company’s website?

The three main integration methods for e-commerce processing are API, Hosted Sales Page and Virtual Terminal.

  1. API is direct integration from the merchant side to the acquiring bank’s processing system. This requires more complex programming on the part of the merchant and allows the customer to stay on the merchant’ site throughout the purchasing experience. Merchants must ensure SSL security and PCI compliance for their websites. Fortunately, most e-commerce merchants utilize a gateway to plug in the merchant account to their websites. This makes the technical side of things much easier on the merchant’s side. Most mainstream providers offer plugins to the more popular shopping carts, so if a gateway is not being offered, a plugin could still make things much easier. Performance Card Service is an NMI Gateway partner and will set up a gateway account on your behalf to plug in your MID and get you processing. We can also issue MID details directly to you in case you use a different gateway, such as
  2. Hosted Sales Page (or hosted payment page) integration occurs when customers are redirected to a secure page that is hosted by the processor to input their credit card details and process the transaction. The benefits are that the processor ensures PCI compliance and all security. Some merchants like this setup since very little technical development is required on their part. Some merchants do not like this because they want the customer to stay on their websites for the duration of the transaction.
  3. Virtual Terminal (VT) is available on a case-by-case basis. Most acquiring banks require merchants to have at least 6 months of good processing history before they are considered for virtual terminal access. Please let us know upfront if VT access is a requirement for your business so we can determine the best way to proceed. A virtual terminal is often used for MO/TO or phone order merchants. This is so the merchant can manually enter the transactions into its PC portal anywhere it is connected to the internet. Since a virtual terminal can also come with more risk on the processor’s side, merchants need to show a strong application page to be approved for a VT.

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