fourjays 15:11 12 Jan 2005

I am starting an online shop for my Mothers hand-made cards. We have a very low budget, and I am aware of the need for secure websites. I searched the internet about SSL connections/certificates (I don't really understand it too well). I discovered that companies such as Verisign charge around £400 per year for SSL. However, one of the first items shown up in a Google search for 'SSL' is this: click here

It appears to be an open source and free SSL. I have a few questions about this;

a) Has anyone had any experience with this?
b) Will it be secure as are other services such as Verisign.
c) Would it be easy to install on my web hosting account with Lycos?
d) Is it needed for my online shop (click here)

Thanks for the advice.

  fourjays 15:52 12 Jan 2005


  fourjays 18:07 12 Jan 2005

Its already set up to use paypal. I was just wondering if it would be worth using SSL at all (make the customers feel safer), and if so, would that thing be ok, etc.

  Talented Monkey 20:04 12 Jan 2005

By saying you are uncertain about SSLs etc, I don’t think that going down the path of DIY card processing is for you. Essentially SSL is a protocol that sends your communications over the Internet in an encrypted form. SSL also safeguards the information that it will only send it to and from the intended server, ie it cant be read by anyone hacking in.
Heres what you want from your webpage, someone orders items, hits checkout, and confirms, the amount and some other info is sent to these 3rd party processing companies where their own webpage is displayed , they handle the nitty gritty of processing , take a small fee as a percentage of transaction in payment, send money straight into your own bank account Even the largest companies use their banks or likes or World Pay to handle all card processing in this way.
Speak to your bank and ask them about their internet merchant account, and see if they can offer you a good deal for card processing. Other than that why not try World Pay click here but you might find the charges a little bit high if you are selling only a few low unit priced items.
Only other way I can think of is have a SSL installed for you, all this means is your web hosting company will set it up so that you can create a web page that will be encrypted. Then you can take peoples card details, then use your own terminal to key in their numbers. I assume you already have this facility. Only draw back with this is people like to know their payment has been made instantly, you will be able to still send a payment notification, not an receipt, then after you have processed the number get back to them with email etc saying payment now complete. Try one of my favourite hosing companies, webattention click here They offer sahred SSL in hosting package or your own personal SSL ordered and installed for only £69 a year.
Ok I hope this gives you a little bit more of an understanding and help.

  fourjays 21:14 12 Jan 2005

Yes, that helps a lot. I just want to be able to give customers a bit more choice in the way they pay, as I know that there are many more who do not have paypal, than those who do. Can you recommend other service like Paypal and WorldPay that I could use to give the customers a better choice of ways to pay?

  Talented Monkey 22:27 12 Jan 2005

Another alternative similar to paypal is Nochex, click here they have come on in leaps and bounds since I last looked at them. If you take out a seller account Nochex will allow customers to your site to pay up to £100 instantly without having to register only drawback with NOCHEX is they only take UK registered cards only.

If people find out they have to register with likes of paypal and have to wait for a couple of days for the account to be set up, odds are they will just leave your site and go elsewhere, it is critical to any business to use instant credit card processing to stand a chance.

Therefore you will be looking at WorldPay or your bank. sure use nochex and paypal along side for the odd visitor who trades that way.

  fourjays 22:42 12 Jan 2005

Yes, I think that is a valid point. You may or may not know the answer to this question (you seem to understand e-commerce quite well), what kind of charges would the bank make for an Internet Merchant Account? Also, is Worldpay free except for the transaction fees?

  fourjays 22:59 12 Jan 2005

With an IMA from the bank, would it be easy to add support for this to oscommerce?

  Talented Monkey 01:15 13 Jan 2005

Ok im proberbly going to confuse you a bit more now, ive deliberately tried to keep things simple for you but see how we go now, as I describe to you in more detail what is involved. To recap : To take card orders online and process them, you will need two things. A merchant Account and gateway interface software.

Come to think of it, obtaining a merchant account can be frustrating, many banks are still looking at internet trading as alien technology, its getting better but not a lot, I know that Barclays, Lloyds HSBC Natwest, and Royal Bank of Scotland offer good IMAs I have heard some good things about Royal bank of Scotland from some people, reasonable fees and good service. Basically it’s the merchant account is the part of the equation that does all the card processing,

Once you have your merchant account apply for gateways software. The software interface between your website and card processing “merchant account” is know as “gateway” software which deals with all the talking between your websites server and the card processing server. This is the part of the process that will also take you to an SSl encrypted page Some are better than others, I would stick with one of following, as ive heard some nasty things about some lesser known gateway software, nothing malicious but mainly bugs, an example such as a customer orders 40.50 of goods and gets charge 405.00 etc anyway heres some leading gateway providers.

World pay you know off, Protox click here Secpay click here Barclaycard click here Secure trading click here

The bank in question might even provide its own gateway software which is cheaper, you will have to apply a small fee for both the gateway and the merchant account. Its basiclly down to you to make a list of expenses and charges. Protex and secpay are best two I think

Reason for only mentioning WorldPay, everyone has come across them if they do regular internet transactions, and World Pay also offer merchant accounts with slightly laxer restrictions on who has them.

Anyway I hope this Is enough until next bit!

  Talented Monkey 01:38 13 Jan 2005

As for your questios, shoudlnt be too difficult to incorporate in your exisiting OScommerce, it all depends on your level of expertise, essentially it will jsut involve passing the shopping cart data to the gateway webpages. I notice that barclays do a complete soloution, and as i am reading it, i might be gettin tis rong being 1am, but from what i can see they will do everything for you, including incorprate it into your site. how much that will cost i havnt a clue. i ahvnt been able to find out much for others apart from phone numbers.

i posted the link in wrong place, jsut to confuse you again, take a look at Barcalycard the link will take you to relevent page. click here

As for merchant accoutn charges, it can vary greatly, most seem to ask you for details then come back with a quote by looks of it.

Anyway no doubt yu will ahve a few more questions later. im off to bed!

  fourjays 09:43 13 Jan 2005

I have tried many times to make payments via Paypal without registering, but it always requires the email login, which requires registration. :s

If there is a way, please let me know.

IMA does sound very complicated. My Dad has a meeting with the bank soon, and said he will ask about it. Some of those Gateways you mentioned are already built into oscommerce, which would make it easier.

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