Six Steps to Secure Internet Payment Processing
Understanding the payment process is an important piece of the online retail puzzle. It is one of the components of a successful online retail system that causes confusion, but it's also the way we have to do business to be able to minimize customer confusion, delays in orders and keep accurate sales records. The following is a step-by-step description of how payment processing works:
1. Consumer enters the payment and shipping information at the merchant's Web site to initiate the purchase process. (The consumer can either use an SSL-based browser or secure CyberCash Wallet.) Merchant receives the purchase request and returns a summary of the order including item selected, price, credit card number, shipping address, and order number.
2. Consumer verifies the information and clicks the "Pay" Button to send the packet of information back to the merchant.
3. Merchant receives the packet of information, strips the order information, and forwards the payment information digitally signed and encrypted to the Payment server. The Merchant cannot see the Consumer's credit card information.
4. The Payment server receives the packet, moves the transaction behind its firewall and off the Internet, unwraps the packet within a hardware-based encryption system (the same ones the banks use to handle PINs as they are shipped from an ATM network), reformats the transaction, and forwards it to the merchant's bank over dedicated lines.
5. The Merchant's bank forwards the authorization request to the issuing bank via the card associations or directly to American Express or Discover. The approval or denial code is sent back to the Payment server.
6. Payment server returns the approval or denial code to the merchant,who passes it on to the consumer. Steps 1-6 take approximately 8 seconds to complete.
The entire process typically takes 8-12 seconds, and no one but you and the banks ever sees the customer's credit card number.
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