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Need to streamline checkout but not touch credit card info

2:08 pm on Jun 30, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I have a pre-existing website that I am happy with and for a few years I have been using paypal buttons to sell an ebook that I wrote. The problem is that I have a huge conversion drop-off from people clicking the paypal button on my site and actually completing the order on paypal.com. I assume that if I keep the transaction on my site I will be able to make more sales. However I do not feel comfortable building a full e-commerce solution on my site and being responsible for credit card information especially as security breaches are becoming publicized.

How can I create a better e-commerce solution while still avoiding being responsible for credit card information?
4:32 pm on June 30, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Hi. Have you tried to find out why they are dropping off? Are you sure it is paypal? Are the connections getting broken? Perhaps they are trying to pay with a credit card, but have a Paypal account and Paypal won't let them pay with that credit card since it is not registering with them . I think your best bet is to try to contact people who abandoned the cart to get a sense why.
4:34 pm on June 30, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Welcome aboard cattie,you don't have to store CC info - but may still need to be PCI compliant with the solution I'm about to suggest. It's also costs a little bit of money.

You set up your own merchant account with a gateway. Some merchant accounts have gateways, such as First Data/Linkpoint, some do not, such as [many lenders] and Authorize.net (gateway.)

You then install an SSL cert on your site for secure checkout. What you do is what's called a silent post to the gateway - one of the methods used to do this is with curl, supported by most programming languages. You post to your script which uses curl to post to the gateway and listen for a response (approved, declined, etc.) and return a response to your user.

There are two main advantages to this. The first is your users never leave your site, this is why it's nick'ed "silent post." The second is of course all credit card info is stored at the gateway - it is not your responsibility.

You may still need to be PCI compliant at some level though. Many sites aren't and get away with it.

All that being said, you can do the same thing with payPal - it just requires a qualified programmer to connect the dots for you and may cost you a lot less than a strong ecommerce solution.
6:51 pm on July 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Thanks for the responses. I am trying to side step PCI compliance and the responsibilities that come with it.

Would it be a good idea if I used shopify or yahoo small biz? That way they could handle the credit card and pci issues.

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