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Chapter 14. Payment Acceptance and Proce... > Processing an Online Credit Card Ord...

Processing an Online Credit Card Order

Credit card orders can be processed with payment software, which does much of the work but lacks the human interaction that can make a merchant feel more in control of the transaction. Or the merchant can simply receive a credit card number, punch it in to a credit card processing machine, and wait for verification of the number. But that doesn't ensure that the card user is authorized (for more on that sticky subject, see Chapter 15).

In a totally electronic set-up, the online order form is secured using SSL technology which then transfers the customer's order information to a payment server. This server can be your own, a payment processor's, or your hosting company's. The payment server sends the information to a clearinghouse, which checks the information with the issuing institution. If the card information is authenticated, it is returned to the server, which logs the sale. It can also be set up to send an invoice and verification to the customer via a returned screen on the site or email.


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