Canadian Online Payment Processing
I talk to people every day that are looking for the magic secret to making an explosively popular and lucrative website. My answer is always the same - understand how it all works and then interject your business into the ocean of ecommerce. You can either jump in and drown, or learn how to swim before you ever get in the water. The only thing standing between you and a comfortable living on internet based income is hard work.
I can still remember what it was like first learning how to start a business and sell online. I would spend days researching a subject that I thought I needed to know only to find out that it would not work for me because I am Canadian, or because of a technical or software based conflict. I remember vividly trying to learn how to program a website using HTML with absolutely no background experience at all. If I could do it all again, knowing what I know now, I could literally build a hundred successful online businesses in the time it took me just to learn where to start the whole process.
Having started from nothing and without any previous affiliation with computers I had to learn basically every lesson the hard way. Around every turn was a new problem that would puzzle me for days on end. Posting questions to forums and reading technical manuals until all hours of the night was just regular business around my home. Worst of all was the catch 22 situations Canadians encounter when trying to start a new business online.
A new Canadian ebusiness will need to develop a website, and a place to host that website so that others can see it on the internet. They will also need bank accounts for the business both on and offline as well as a host of software applications such as databases, shopping carts and tracking software. As a new business develops online it will likely encounter each of these requirements at some point.
You must know in advance which programs you will need - both now and in the future in order to make sure that these specific programs will support each other. If you were to build an entire webstore using a webstore building program that you found online, you could potentially put hundreds of even thousands of hours into developing and building the webstore - only to find out that the webstore does not offer a full solution to Canadian companies.
This is actually a very common problem that new Canadian ebusinesses make. If you search for something online in Canada, the vast majority of the information that the search engine returns to you will be from American sources. This is because of our proximity to the USA, combined with our culture similarities and the fact that US based information and services online outnumbers Canadian information 10:1.
Ecommerce and more accurately Canadian ecommerce differs from American ecommerce greatly when it comes to areas like transaction processing.
If you want to sell online, you will eventually need to learn about payment processing and merchant accounts since you need a way to accept money from your customers. What you may not know is that getting a merchant account for a Canadian business is much like applying for a mortgage in terms of complexity. Merchant accounts are not just doled out in Canada like they are in the liberal US banking climate. In order to have an ecommerce website that is reaching its maximum potential you will need to accept credit card payments in a secure and professional manner.
Ecommerce and more accurately Canadian ecommerce differs from American ecommerce greatly when it comes to areas like transaction processing. If you want to sell online, you will eventually need to learn about payment processing and merchant accounts since you need a way to accept money from your customers. What you may not know is that getting a merchant account for a Canadian business is much like applying for a mortgage in terms of complexity. Merchant accounts are not just doled out in Canada like they are in the liberal US banking climate. In order to have an ecommerce website that is reaching its maximum potential you will need to accept credit card payments in a secure and professional manner.
In order to accept credit card payments you will require a merchant account, which is a bank account dedicated for the purpose of receiving and storing transacted payments, and well as a payment gateway which is the software engine that allows someone to type a few magical numbers into their computer a thousand miles away and have money show up in your bank account. In addition to these two items you will also likely require a shopping cart software which will allow customers to browse your store and select items. All of these programs must be compatible with one another for the whole equation to work.
Since the vast majority of shopping cart software, merchant account providers and payment gateway engines are not compatible with Canadian companies, it is easy to see how so many people waste so much time trying to understand how a new Canadian ebusiness is ever supposed to get off the ground.
All of this information does not even scratch the surface of what you need to know to be able to sell online. This is one random obstacle that you will need to cross at one point or another. Search engine optimisation alone is complicated enough to keep you reading for the rest of your natural born life in attempts to completely understand it. If you do not understand search engine optimisation then the simple fact is that you will never realize the full potential of your new online business because no one will ever find it.