by Marc Parham
How do you collect money or donations online? The internet has become the main way that most people pay for products and services. If you do not provide a way to do this on your website you will miss out on a lot of business.
This article will discuss the basic about adding this function to your website.
You must have a website to provide the ability for your customers to pay you online. If you do not have a website and have questions about setting one up read the article “How to create and website and host it for free”.
Online Payment Services
There are many online payment services. If your business has the ability to take credit cards, most likely the company that handles the transactions has online merchant services. Contact them to find out their fees and how to set up your site to accept payments. For those of you who do not have existing services I recommend using the PayPal online merchant service.
What is PayPal?
PayPal is one of the most widely used online payment services on the internet. They provide the ability to provide secure transactions through a “portal” on your website. A portal is simply a door or window on your website that users will go through to make the transaction. Once the transaction is completed they will be returned to your website. PayPal charges a small fee for every transaction they process but it is worth it. They manage the entire process in a secure safe environment.
How PayPal Works?
You will have to create an account on the PayPal site. This will become a holding account for all transactions. In order to setup the account you will have to provide the banking information for your business account. Most people will setup a special account with their back just for these types of transactions. Your bank account is directly linked to the PayPal account. When someone pays for something on PayPal the money goes into your PayPal account (minus the fees) and you then will transfer the money into your bank account.
PayPal merchant features will give you the ability to create price identifiers for each of your products and services. You will use these identifiers to create the shopping cart environment that you have used on most sites like Amazon and other shopping sites. Your customers will simply select the products, enter their billing and shipping information and complete the transaction. You will be notified directly via email about the transaction. This email will contain the transaction status and where you will need to ship the product. You can even let PayPal calculate the shipping fees.
Adding PayPal to your site?
Paypal is a very easy to use service. It will allow you to easily create the HTML text to add the product buttons and shopping cart information to your site. Now if you had no idea what the term HTML means, you might consider asking someone with website experience to help you add these features to your site. It can get a little tricky for first time users, especially if you don’t know anything about HTML or website setup. Hopefully after the first time you will be able to do it yourself.