Complete package of web site is commonly refer to as, e-commerce solution. The journey to successful e-commerce trading begins with nice looking and customer friendly website design by experts in the field.
E-commerce solution providers are professionals, specialized in creative web sites, rich in content and search engine friendly. Depending on clients demand, e-commerce solution providers have the capacity to research the market for existing competitors, and analyze their performance. Outcome of the research findings, will form basis of ground-work preparation for entry of the solution providers’ client into e-commerce market with ease.
E-commerce Solution is a complete web store set-up that encompasses:
Website Design of web shop that give a pleasant look and feel window for visiting customers.
Like in any organized establishment, the itemize keyword phrases above may be categorized as departments in a standard Payment Service Providers company. E-payment providers, provides most of the services except Shipping service, which is usually contracted to shipping companies as third-party partners. The idea behind provision of complete, e-commerce solution service is to make the PSP website a One Stop Solution Web shop service where customers can shuttle between the PSP and his third-party websites conveniently.
There are other e-commerce solution providers that provides all the solution services except payment gateways and shipping services. For instance it’s not all websites that are commercialize. Non-profit making organizations, Government, Clubs and so on, do host websites to publicize their aims and objectives. Websites of these group do not require payment gateway and shipping applications facilities. Non-profit making websites owners may prefer to patronize web hosting companies that offer e-solution service for cost effectiveness purpose.
E-commerce merchants are manufacturers and Service providers that hosted world-wide web site to promote their business beyond their business boundaries. Small, medium and large-scale entrepreneurs may decide to extend their products or services outside their business territory. The financial benefits of reaching out to consumers over the internet for patronage of goods and services is worthy of the effort.
Hosting business on websites gives merchants an edge over their counterparts that solely relied on the Brick and Mortar shops in the locality. Business hosted on the internet is an automated process that is available to customers any day, anytime and anywhere. Consumers connects their PC, laptop or WAP enable hand-held devices to the internet to reach e-commerce merchants web sites.
Unlike in local stores, where patronage is limited to consumers within the locality, online merchants enjoy global consumers patronage. Another advantage to the credit of e-commerce merchants, is customers convenience to purchases online from the comfort of their home, office or while on the move.
E-commerce merchandising have continue to grows, in spite of the threat pose by internet fraud activities. Over the years, e-commerce merchant and online consumers shares burden safe and secure transactions online. However, e-commerce payment process procedure and CPI DSS rules adequately put in place, secured payment and guaranteed security of consumers card data. The payment process is capable of identifying genuine customers from impersonators, online or off-line and give credibility to online transactions.
Being a successful online merchant depend on the managerial ability and security consciousness. Products and service quality also count in e-commerce business. The boom in online trading by business entrepreneurs in USA, Europe, and Asia in countries, were the result of strict compliance with regulatory rules and standard practice. Exportation of goods and services is one of the yard stick of Gross Domestic Products (GDP) index of any country.
This emphasize the significant of e-commerce merchandising. Governments of the developed and emerging economy countries, provides incentives and adequate support to encourage entrepreneurs, engaged in export driven businesses. In e-commerce business, products and service quality is paramount. Consumers will not settle for anything less than quality standard. Where there is compromise in quality expectation, consumers have the right to return and press for refund of their money.
Every country have quality standard specification for imported products. Merchants are therefore expected to offer products and services that meet standard specification set by quality control body of their country.
Pricing also count in e-commerce business. It’s one aspect brings out the best of market competitiveness in e-commerce merchandising. Online consumers are mindful of the costs of their purchases. They compare prices of goods or services online by browsing different web stores for same product or service, before deciding which merchant web store’s to patronize.
One of online merchants strategies in the price war, is to attract customers with incentives like, discount, coupon and seasons or periodic gifts. E-commerce Solutions offer more insight to exploitable strategy that merchants explore to remain on top of their online businesses.
E-commerce payment system is electronic payment process that enable customer pay into merchant’s account in business transaction. Electronic cards are used to make payments in what is call, Card Present transactions in real
stores using Point of Sales (PoS) machines. In online transaction known as, Card not Present transactions, customers use either their electronic cards or non-card payment options to pay for their purchase at check-out point.
The ATM card used in cashing money locally, is also used to pay for goods or services. Visa card and MasterCard that are the most popular electronic cards are customized to perform dual role of money withdrawal and electronic payment at local level or across the border.
In e-commerce payment transactions, not all merchants accept both credit and debit cards for payment. Merchants are at liberty to choose either of the debit or credit cards, or combine the two brands if suitable for their business need.
In payment transaction over the internet, PayPal is most popular non-card payment account across the world. With PayPal account, you’re not requested to fill your card details each time you’re buying or paying for services. Your PayPal account is confirmed through your registered e-mail account.
All payment service providers integrated e-card and non-card payment options,in their payment gateway system for optimum benefit of clients business and convenient of online shoppers. Account to Account transfer method of payment
is popular in Germany according to report, just to avoid online fraud associated with e-payment cards.
All the enumerated payment options above, are mostly associated with Business to Consumer (B-2-C) related transactions. In Business to Business (B-2-B) transactions that usually involve large money, Account to Account
transfer, Bank Cheque, Electronic Fund transfer (EFT) and Mail order, Telephone order (Mo/To) are preferable options to settle payments.
But cards usage in e-commerce payment transactions have only serve the interest of residents and indigenes of developed countries in cross-boarder trade. Africa continent and some other countries in parts of the world, are not
enjoying the full benefit of cross-boarder trade economy. Part of factors responsible for this is, the large-scale online payment scam and other financial fraudulent practice traceable to Africa and other affected countries.
Activities of internet fraudsters, constitute great concern to merchants who have been at the receiving end of consequences of e-commerce payment practice. Losses incurred by entrepreneurs and merchants in e-commerce business have cause them to shun patronage from indigenes and residence of countries identify as high risk countries.
By PCI DSS rules that regulate the operation of e-commerce payment transactions, merchants have absolute control to determine, genuine costumers base on, authentication and verification results receive. However, some payment service providers device alternative payment methods to bridge the pariah situation caused by the merchants hostility towards countries identified as high risk countries.
Indirect Online Payment
Some Payment Service Providers, aside from marketing cards and non-card payment, introduced offshore payment services to high risk countries. The non-card payment process, required interested persons to register as either;
consumer members or merchant members with the service provider. The idea is to open unique accounts in the name or business of participating members in the stable of the service providers.
consumer accounts become active as soon as the accounts are funded, while that of the merchants becomes active, when they started receiving orders from members. This system have taken root in African countries. And these service
providers are forming buck of PSP taking part in the cashless economy policy wind, blowing across the continent. Not forgetting recently the mobile money rave, that’s threatening even the e-commerce payment method. Mobile
payment in itself is another topic that’s opening the golf of electronic payment options revolution world-wide.
E-commerce Merchant Account is business account that enable merchants accept payments through cashless instrument like, Visa card, MasterCard and other related e-cards. Non-card payment option like PayPal, is use solely in card not present transactions, to compliment merchants e-payment options.
These cards are readily available on request at banks. In real stores, customers use their cards to pay into merchant accounts via Point of Sales machines. While in online transactions, buyers make payments with their cards, PayPal account or use other payment option available on the payment gateway, at the Check-out page of merchant web stores.
E-commerce merchants adopt multiple e-payment options, to accommodate customers that may not have assess to all brand of electronic cards. It also ensure inclusion of those consumers that prefer using non-card payment options online for more security. It is also common knowledge that, having multiple payment options on merchants payment gateway, is a strategy for market boost for increase in return on investment.
Merchant Account Issuers
Apart from the banking industry, known as Issuing Banks, other authorized as partner in e-payment are the Payment Service Providers. Issuing banks deal solely with Visa and MasterCard as producer of these cards.
Payment Service Providers are commissioned as agents, after thorough assessment of the PSP’s gateway infrastructures and certified by the banking regulation body. For secure e-commerce payment transactions, merchant web stores and their payment gateway interface must comply strictly, with e-payment standard, as prescribed in (PCI DSS) by, Security Standards Council.
Payment Service Providers offer non-card payment service to e-commerce merchants as option to card payment. They provide the payment gateway that make possible, transfer of money from buyers account to merchants accounts.
Another growing phenomenon in the electronic payment market is Mobile Payment or mobile money. Mobile money not only fascilitate payment into merchant account, but also, made possible, a whole lots of business transactions
such as,money transfer, utility bill settlement, credit recharge and lots more.
Internet security does not stop at merchants and e-payment solution providers alone. Government and all stake-holders in the use of cyber space are concerned about safety of vital data information for all that use the web. This explain why, PC and laptop comes with either McAfee or Norton protection software.
Hacking and phishing public and private sensitive information have become an organized crime across the world. The dimension assumed by the under world internet criminal is compelling that, governments are coming together to form bilateral relations on security matter to fight the scourge.
While governments are doing their best to put the situation under control, internet users also need to be at alert while they use the internet. Antivirus software are designed to forewarn web users of suspicious web sites. But you’re left with the option to; either heed the warning or access the site if you thrust the source. For security purpose, it is wise to pulse and consider the next move in suspicious situation. Be sure you’re in the right website before sign-in to a website.
Hand-held devices used for internet browsing equally need antivirus applications, install in them. Current trend assume by hand-held devices particularly, the smart phones, iPad, iPod and other sophisticated mobile device have made it imperative to have them protected from internet attack.
All that are discuss so far, relates to protection of PC, laptop or hand-held mobile device from malicious attacks that could damage files.
Password Safe and Form Filler
Personal information and card data equally need optimum protection from hackers and phishing websites if you mistakenly found yourself in one. If you’re a heavy subscriber or affiliate of many websites, which necessitate your
signing-in for access privilege then, you need “Password Protect and Form Filler” software on your browsing system.
Keeping passwords list in your office or at home is old fashion and unsecured. You’re often warned about the danger of leaving personal information exposed. When least expected, you might discover your e-mail address or other
documents have been penetrated and vital information stolen.
Having password protective device installed on your browsers, give you easy and secure log-in protection. You can apply it to multiple websites simultaneously. All you need is a Master Password. You can search google for
the application to download to your system. As usual, some information are required after download. And one of those information is your Master Password.
Your master password is all you need to cram in your brain, to use the software. The installation process is simple enough. The software operate on copy and paste basis. The following steps will help to start saving your User Name and Password into the software: At first visit to say, Yahoo! mail website, you’re requested to log-in.
Fill your Username and Password in the fields, and click, sign-in. As you click to access your e-mail box, a pop-up will ask, if “you want the software to save the sign-in information“? Click the Yes or the affirmative button. Simultaneously, another pop-up will ask you to enter your Master Password. Enter the master password code and click the sign-in button and you are taken to your mail box.
Next, to be sure that you get the setting correctly, log-out from your mail-box and log-in again. If the installation is okay, immediately you enter Yahoo! mail page again, the Master Password automatically pop-up for you to enter it and have access to your e-mail box.
Go through the same steps to save username and password in other websites that you subscribe to. In the same way, you can fill web form at the respective site and save for future use.
Please note! when you enter a familiar website that you’ve save already, but you’re taken through the username and password entry process again, you should PULSE to investigate the site. You may have enter a PHISHING website trap. Open another Tab or Window, enter the website URL i.e. (www.website.com) manually, into a blank browser to access the website again see what happen. If the site open correctly by asking for Master Password, it confirm that the former one is a phishing site that wanted to steal your personal data.
Security of cardholders personal information and card data from unauthorize
persons, is key to successful operation of “e-commerce payment system”. Serious
emphasis is therefore placed on security of payment gateway infrastructure by
Card Issuing Banks. To archive it’s objectives, Payment Card Industry (PCI), a
body of Card Issuing Banks, met and decided to put in place; standard security
routing process that, payment gateway system must comply with.
It also agreed that the process be updated annually for compliance. A 6-step rule
called: Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), was then
outlined, that payment gateway system must satisfied as condition for
operation recognition. The rules it is believe will minimize or eliminate, e-
commerce payment fraud and provide protection for businesses involve in e-
commerce payment system.
PCI DSS rules below, is an adaptation extract from Visa Inc. web site and is
purely for appreciation of efforts of stakeholders in tackling e-payment fraud.
PCI DSS Regulations
Build and Maintain a Secure Network
Install and maintain a firewall configuration, with personalized password for
the protection of cardholders data and other security parameters
Protect Cardholders Data
Where necessary, cardholder data, stored in payment gateway server must be
protected. The data must also be encrypted in transmission across open
Maintain a Vulnerability Management Program
Install anti-virus software and ensure it’s regular update. Develop and
maintain secure systems and payment gateway applications.
Implement Strong Access Control Measures
Access to cardholder data (online or offline) must be on need-to-know basis. And
personnel with access to the data must be assigned unique ID and Password.
Regularly Monitor and Test Networks
Track and monitor all access to network resources and cardholder data. Develop
routing test on your security systems and processes.
Maintain an Information Security Policy
Put in place policy that will regularly address issues relating to information
security which must be adhere to by your personnel and associates in the
Cardholders and web surfers equally have responsibility to cover their tracks as
they log-in or fill sensitive forms online. Installation of antivirus software is
essential for the protection of web browser to avoid falling victim of fraudsters
that phish the internet. Antivirus protection prevent unwanted internet
intruders from accessing personal data and important information.
Pay securely for those purchases or services online and off-line electronically. There is no better alternative to “e-commerce payment”. Ask yourself!
Why must you have to carry huge money around, when you’ve your credit/debit card or your mobile phone on you that can serve as wallet?
Your ATM card, Visa card, MasterCard or your mobile phone is all you need as your cash wallet any day, anywhere, at anytime of the day, to settle your purchases or pay for service bills.
But as easy as it sound, e-commerce payment process have systemic procedure outlined for merchants or their representatives to follow in arriving at whether to approve a transaction or not. It’s one of the most challenging aspect of e-commerce solutions. Unscrupulous elements across the world, have continue to devise means to impersonate people to commit fraud online. “Phishing”, “Skimming” and “Shoulder surfing” are some of the antics of these criminals in getting at their victims. It was also established by security operatives that, fraudsters collaborate with inside source in e-payment system to compromise customers information to commit internet fraud. Personal identity and card data of victims are the targeted information by fraudsters.
Some countries protect their citizen and residents of their countries by law to guaranty safety of their bank accounts. For instance, country like US, provide consumers right law, for residents to context questionable bill deductions from their accounts. For instance, if in a card dispute, a card holder contested strange charges on his or her account within stipulated time frame by law and win, the merchant concern will bear the brunt.
The rules regulating electronic payment, put onus of prove of transactions that warrant charges on cardholders accounts. Where he fails to prove the transaction, his business suffer what’s call Charge-back penalty.
To protect merchants against electronic payment crime activities, Payment Card Issuers (PCI), adopted standard procedure for e-commerce payment process. The procedure for payment, using credit or debit card follows a routing circle. I’ll use Visa card payment process as illustration:
Swiping or inserting payment cards through, Point of Sales (PoS) machine and entry of item’s cost by merchant at store outlet and send the detail electronically to the merchant bank for sales authorization. Where payment is done online, card holder is required to fill payment form, that include; personal information, card data and payment option on the merchant’s web site check-out page. The required field includes; card holder’s name, home address, billing/shipping address, e-mail address, card number, expiration date, and CVV2. Contact phone number may also be required. The data form is send after filling by clicking the appropriate submission command button. The merchant, on receiving the form at his end, proceed to send the receive data, electronically, to the merchant’s bank for processing.
The Merchant’s bank in turn, send the authorization request electronically through an intermediary (VisaNet), to the card issuer for confirmation. VisaNet, a subsidiary of Visa Inc., function as clearing-h
ouse, perform: authorization, clearing and settlement services in e-payment transactions between e-commerce merchants and cardholders.
The card issuer reply back its response to the authorization request to VisaNet. VisaNet returns the response back to the merchant bank. And finally, the merchant bank send the authorization response back to the merchant for appropriate action.
These are some of the stages that every e-commerce payment process pass through to validate a transaction. Personal information and card data transmitted are reconciled with existing card holder’s data in database of card issuer server. If all the information supply by card-holder tally with that in the database, the card issuer returns a valid confirmation for the merchant to accept the transaction. If on the other hand, the data submit or part of it, is inconsistent with that in the data bank, the issuer bank returns an invalid confirmation. Which means the transaction should be decline for possible case of fraud and to avoid charge back penalty.
Geographical location of online customers is important to e-commerce merchants. To protect business fraud, merchants monitor the destination of customers in Card not Present transactions. GeoLocator is software brands, install on e-commerce merchant web site interface, to highlight countries and states where online customers are transacting from. Geolocator software track the Internet Protocol (IP) address of Internet Service Provider use by online customer to connect merchant website. IP address are coordinat
ed numbers traceable to Internet Service Providers , who in turn, assign the IPs to internet subscribers as they connect to internet for browsing. When server IP is identify, the operation base of ISP shows on merchant’s web screen which translate to the location of online customer. As one arrive at a web site equipped with GeoLocator software, the site will indicate the country and state of the visitor.
E-commerce merchant request for phone number of their customers purposely to verify if it tally with the address submitted as residence by online customers. Usually, fixed phone lines are preferred over mobile line. Reason? Fixed land line are commonly used at home or office with unique code definition for each state as against GSM line with borderless limit. GSM line can be use any part of a country without restriction. This makes it prone to being abuse for fraudulent use.
Correlation of all the information highlighted above i.e, card verification, geographical location and phone line destination of online customers help merchants determine the genuine status or otherwise of online customers. An inconsistent phone number with the IP address of customer’s ISP is an indication of potential fraud at play. For instance, an online customer using Nigeria base ISP but submit an US phone line and US address as his residence/billing address, will certainly raise suspicion to any merchant. The result? Declined transaction.