We are looking for a Merchant Card Services Company. Are there any websites that you know of comparing the major service providers, and who would you recomend? We would like to create our own cart system, I know some companies will not let you use anything other then their cart system.
Is there a resource site for the creation of cart systems? The main thing we need to know is how to transfer the information to the MCS server.
We have used most major open source cart systems and found them lacking in a number of ways. Mostly we want to make our own cart because we will have more customization options and be able to make the cart look like its part of the website, rather then something created by someone else.
Also each of our clients wants different features, some need something simple while others want more advanced options. I really think creating a custom cart system is the way for us to go.
Regarding your first question - most merchant account providers should be able to give you the flexibility to use whatever shopping cart you want as they typically will supply just the merchant account & payment gateway part of the solution.
There are a lot of considerations to keep in mind when selecting a merchant account provider. Here is a short list of questions to ask when interviewing any merchant processor:
* Expertise of the MAP with respect to Internet Processing
* List of Payment Gateway Options supported by the MAP
* What Total Setup / Monthly / Transaction Costs apply?
* Monthly Minimums - are there any and how much?
* Annual Fee - is there any annual fee?
* Early Termination fee - is there any termination fee or minimum contract length?
* Fraud Scrubbing & Detection - is this included in the service? If not, what options are available?
* Chargeback Processing - how is this handled?
* Risk Management - get as many specifics as possible on how risk issues are handled with examples if possible.
The main thing to keep in mind with any shopping cart system is to build the session control engine that tracks user sessions.
You will also need to determine whether you want an HTML-driven or database-driven shopping cart system.
Once those parts are done, you need to have a means of handling the order processing with the gateway(s) that you will be using and to store the order information and generate the necessary reports.
I think that the best analogy for the development of a custom cart would be this - it takes 10% of the time to get it 90% developed... and 90% of the time to perfect and fine tune the last 10%.
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