Guide to Credit Card Processing for Ecommerce

ecommerce credit card processing

The edge you need in your ecommerce business might be right under your nose. That’s right, your ecommerce credit card processing is a powerful tool. It’s also an incredibly versatile tool with tons of beneficial features.


So why do so many ecommerce business owners not take advantage of this tool? The same reason owners don’t invest time in learning other things that would benefit their business — they are very busy running their business!


Knowing that, why not give us a couple of minutes here and we promise to give you quick takeaways you can use as soon as today to make your credit card processing a real asset.


3 Fast Actions You Can Begin With Today

If you are not already using these practices for ecommerce credit card processing, please take action to turn that around.


#1 Focus on payment security to reduce chargebacks, fraud, and increase customer trust — which increases sales.


#2 Integrate your payment platform and its data into other business systems to increase operational efficiency.


#3 Are you overpaying in processing fees? If so, change providers if possible or try to renegotiate rates.


All three of those actions have potential for saving your business money and time, as well as giving it a revenue boost. Not just in the short term, but for years to come.


Now, we will lay out a clear understanding of how ecommerce credit card processing works. The more you know, the more you can utilize payment tools.


How Ecommerce Credit Card Processing Works

No complicated explanation needed to explain payment processing. It’s just a few steps that happen behind the scenes in mere seconds.

  • Customer enters credit card details
  • Merchant’s payment platform sends encrypted data to payment gateway
  • Gateway communicates with payment processor
  • Processor routes to card network (Visa, Mastercard, etc.) and issuing bank for authorization
  • Approved transactions get settled into merchant’s account


Simple enough and all this happens without you, the ecommerce merchant, lifting a finger, right? Many of your online sales likely happen while you sleep. It’s that simple and hands-off.


However, that doesn’t mean you can’t control how some of these ecommerce credit card processing aspects affect your bottom line.


Online Payment Gateways And Ecommerce Payment Solutions

Online payment gateways can be confusing to ecommerce shop owners. But, that’s why choosing the best processing company is so crucial. 

Let us contrast two different scenarios. 


One, you are getting hit with lots of chargebacks because your online payment gateway isn’t optimized to reduce chargebacks. Two, you don’t have those struggles because your gateway is doing what it is intended to do – prevent suspect transactions from going through. 


The likely culprit of scenario number one is your payment provider not setting up your ecommerce payment solutions correctly. Or they didn’t spend time explaining those solutions and settings to you. Settings such as those on your payment gateway that could be adjusted to restrict certain types of transactions.


See, a company providing you with ecommerce credit card processing should be on your side, making maximum effort to ensure your payment platform tools are a benefit to your store, not a detriment or hassle. 


Choosing a company you can trust to guide you on payment solutions is incredibly important. 

National Processing is in business to help you prosper. We guarantee the lowest rates with our $500 Guarantee, and our customer service is unmatched. Sign up to put our $500 Guarantee to the test.


Secure Online Payments: Is Your Website Secure? 

We wouldn’t have enough space to list all the damage a business would suffer due to an unsecure website. 


Your customers need to know they are protected when making a purchase on your website. Especially new customers who are seeing your site for the first time. They may be learning about your business for the first time ever. Trust is hard to build and easy to lose.


Imagine going into a store down the street and getting a bad vibe about the place. This makes it unlikely you will stick around for long, and super-unlikely you will buy anything, right?


Try to remember that idea in relation to your website. Ask yourself — if a complete stranger landed on your home page or a product page, would they feel comfortable that your online shop is a legitimate, trustworthy business?


If not, work on that trust factor because…


Ecommerce credit card processing is naturally more risky than face-to-face purchases since the credit card is not present for ecommerce purchases (merchant can’t see the shopper or the card). Use the following to build trust and enhance website / checkout security:

  • Clear, concise messaging (aka wording)
  • Tokenization
  • Fraud filters
  • Fast-loading pages
  • PCI DSS standards to protect customer data
  • Optimize checkout experience (mobile-friendly, saved payment info, simple instructions, etc.)


Shore up your trust, and sales will increase. But so will your credit card processing fees unless you…


Understand Ecommerce Credit Card Processing Fees

When a tiny piece of each ecommerce sale goes toward processing fees, you must find ways to minimize those fees. Why? Those “tiny pieces” add up if you ignore them.


When you know how processors earn their money, you can often reduce your fees. It’s best to learn this before you choose a provider – so choose wisely and slowly. If you already have a provider, don’t hesitate to ask your account rep about ways to lower the fees.


Below are various fees you could pay while using ecommerce credit card processing:

  • Flat-rate fee on each purchase
  • Percentage fee of each purchase amount 
  • Monthly/annual fees
  • PCI compliance fees
  • Chargeback fees
  • Equipment rental fees or buying equipment


The fees that trip up most merchants? Transaction fees. How companies handle these fees varies from provider to provider. 


At National Processing, we feel the fairest and least expensive way to charge these fees is by using “interchange plus,” which is simply: Interchange Fee + Processor Markup = Total Cost to Merchant.


Do note that the industry you’re in can impact these transaction fees. 

And if you’re in a high-risk business, it may be tough to even get approved for ecommerce credit card processing.


If you are approved in high-risk situations, your rates are likely higher than lower-risk businesses. Either way, an increase in sales volume can make up for ecommerce transaction fees.


Ecommerce Payment Solutions That Boost Revenue

If you run an online-only business with no physical store, it can be tough to get a feel for your customer base. Luckily, you don’t need a “feel.” You have data!

Thirty years ago, if a couple owned a hardware store, they would see the same local customers weekly, sometimes daily. They learned what their most important customers (the regulars) wanted. And they worked at learning the needs of new people who stopped by for the first time.


Today, online, you don’t have that face-to-face advantage. So it’s important that you use new tools to get the same feel for your customer base. That knowledge is waiting inside your ecommerce payment platform data. Use it to monitor:

  • Sales trends
  • Payment volume
  • Average order amounts
  • Conversion rates
  • Abandoned cart rates
  • Top-selling items and least popular items
  • Seasonal sales patterns
  • Referrals
  • Time spent on web pages
  • Bounce rates


Get the idea?

There is untold treasure lying in your credit card transaction metrics. Does it take time to sort through the data in order to utilize it? Yes. But that is time well spent – or, more precisely, time well invested.


Easy-to-understand data reports via payment platforms reduce effort analyzing data.


By the way, depending on what your ecommerce store is selling, the above list of data points could be merely scratching the surface of useful insights. See the scenario below.

ecommerce credit card processing

Prime Example

Let’s say Linda and Trey sell lawn mower parts and garden supplies online. They could dig into ecommerce credit card processing data such as:

  • What date do sales drop off due to cold weather?
  • Which warm-weather states keep buying year-round?
  • What percentage of sales are to landscapers versus homeowners?
  • What items are often bought at the same time? (can inform package deals)


You could take that example in many directions by simply asking yourself questions about how your customers interact with your website, your marketing, your product pages, discount offers, and checkout. Then, ponder those questions to figure out what kind of data you want to look closer at inside your payment platform.


Ecommerce Credit Card Processing Wrap-Up

One last thing to take action on is to offer alternative payment methods to credit cards.
Today’s shoppers are excited to try new payment technologies as they are released. Proof is in shopper uptake for Apple Pay, Google Pay, QR codes, mobile wallets, and even Buy Now, Pay Later.


Credit cards are a staple of taking payments and will be around for a long time. Yet it’s smart business to keep up with payment innovations so your business has an edge by staying abreast of the cutting edge of payment methods.


Thanks for reading. For more info, the following FAQs cover bonus ecommerce credit card processing insights.


FAQ Ecommerce Credit Card Processing

Can you get out of a credit card processing contract?

Yes. National Processing allows this if you find a documented lower rate and even gives you $500. 


How to choose the best online payment gateway?

Check for transparent fee structure, easy integration with your ecommerce platform, reachable support, and tools for scaling your business.


Is payment data truly helpful for an ecommerce business?

Yes. Imagine an NFL coach who never watched an opponent’s game film or looked at opponent statistics. His team would be ill-prepared to have success because they would not be able to see trends, opportunities, and strengths/weaknesses that could be leveraged and adjusted to. Payment data prepares your business for success by giving you access to actionable insights.

Picture of Shane McLendon

Shane McLendon

Job Title, Author

Customer focused

If we can't beat your current rates, we'll give you $500!*

We happily accept merchants processing any amount. Price guarantee for merchants processing $10,000 or more per month. Free terminals and other promotions depend on processing volume, credit and qualifications.

Customer focused

If we can't beat your current rates, we'll give you $500!*

We happily accept merchants processing any amount. Price guarantee for merchants processing $10,000 or more per month. Free terminals and other promotions depend on processing volume, credit and qualifications.