If you were to Google for billing card companies, you’d find out that there are thousands of places out there. Most of these companies have set up a merchant account for their own companies, but added the right to accept payments for other hyde. So any person with a merchant account, who pays the extra fees to accept other company’s payments, can sell their services online.
As with anything else, online or offline, be sure you know who you are doing business with. Be advised that I have only dealt with CCNow and PayPal. The other companies I talk about I have not used myself, but they are popular on the Internet. Still check them out well to be sure they offer the services you need.
Of course, you could always set up your own merchant account, but unless you are doing a lot of sales, I wouldn’t suggest going this route. When you set up a merchant account you have to pay a set-up fee, annual fee and a fee per transaction. They will also charge a fee if you want a credit card machine. You have to sell a lot of items that are making you a lot of money, to make this profitable. A company may also require you to sign up with Verisign to ensure your site’s security. If you live in an area with a Sam’s Club, I would suggest checking them out. They have the lowest fees of any merchant account company that I have been able to find. Costco also has good prices.
The above companies have the cart on their site and you send people to them during the buying process. You can also download shopping cart software onto your server for your visitors to use. Be sure to check with your hosting company to be sure the software you want to download will work on their server. The following link lists free shopping cart software. However, know that you often get what you pay for, and that technical support may be poor or nonexistent with this free software. So check out Online Orders http://www.onlineorders.net/links/Free/ . They have a section on their site that, as of this writing, lists thirty-nine free shopping carts.
Many billing companies also offer a shopping cart, usually for free. For example, I use PayPal on my site and they have a free shopping cart that works in conjunction with their billing service. The purchase process is easy and I can even change the look of their shopping cart to be similar to my site.
Some website hosting companies also offer billing services and shopping carts. You may want to go this route so that everything for your website is done through one company. However, if your hosting company doesn’t do a very good job hosting your site, I don’t think you’d want to trust them with your billing and shopping cart service.