To make money online, you must incorporate eCommerce functionality in your website so you can accept online payments. This includes a shopping cart, checkout and payment gateway. You will also need to be concerned with security.
Transport Layer Security (TLS) and its predecessor, Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), (pronounced as separate letters) are protocols that provide security for communications over networks such as the Internet. They do this by encrypting the data as it travels over the Internet.
Encryption is an area that is undergoing constant development effort in order to bolster online data integrity.
This video, from the Wall Street Journal, explains how encryption works and how it can be bypassed.
To accept payment over the Internet, a website is required to have a current SSL or TLS Certificate.
Many hosting services offer access to shared certificates for free as part of a hosting package, and a shared certificate is usually adequate for most online retailers.
Large businesses may prefer their own certificate; but in doing so, they will assume the responsibility for keeping it up-to-date since all certificates have an expiration date. It’s important to keep your certificate up to date so that browsers continue to recognise its validity and don’t serve up an error message to your customers.
In a shared certificate environment, the host bears the responsibility. If you have a dedicated certificate, renew it through your certificate vendor.
In its simplest form, a shopping cart is a series of scripts that keep track of items a visitor selects to buy from your site before they proceed to a checkout. They are a front-end script – in other words, they do not handle the whole financial transaction – there are other pieces of software (checkouts and payment gateways) that work with your shopping cart to deliver the end-to-end transaction.
Once a buyer has added to its shopping cart, it will click on a checkout button that takes the buyer to the Checkout Page, where they can review their order, edit or make changes to the quantities of individual items, fill in or review Billing and Shipping information and select a payment method to complete the order.
A PAYMENT GATEWAY:
A payment gateway is the intermediary between you shopping cart and financial institutions including your bank account and the issuer of the credit card. It checks for validity, encrypts transaction details, ensures they are sent to the correct destination and then decrypts the responses which are sent back to the shopping cart.
Paypal is free and simple to setup and install, although you might find the charges on the high side depending upon your bank’s equivalent charges. If you’re testing the Internet in an eCommerce environment, it’s a very easy way to accept payments quickly through your website.
READ: More about Digital Strategy.