Merchant Tips: Before Launch
There are five steps to start using Skipjack to process credit card payments:
- Choose the right payment application
- Get a merchant account
- Payment-enable your application
- Review the Skipjack Merchant User Guide
- Test and launch your application
1. Choosing the Right Payment Application
There are many applications available to you to process credit card payments. Shopping carts, Virtual Point of Sale (VPOS) solutions, wireless applications and more. To identify the right payment application, you may want to consider the following questions:
(a) What products/services will I be selling?
(b) Will the product catalog be available online for ordering, or are the orders to be taken by phone, fax or email?
(c) Is real-time credit card processing required?
(d) Will the customer's credit card be present at the time of ordering?
(e) What type of device will I be using to process the credit card transaction (e.g. PC, Palm Pilot, cellular phone, other)?
Skipjack has many existing payment applications available to meet your needs. If we do not have exactly the right application for you, Skipjack can easily connect to any application of your choice. Contact us to find out how we can help.
2. Getting a Merchant Account
In order to accept credit card payments with your application, you must obtain a merchant account for each credit card you want to accept.
Your merchant account will be specially coded based on the type of credit cards you will be accepting. Swiped Card (or Card Present) Accounts are appropriate when the consumer and the merchant are physically at the same location at the time of the transaction (i.e. the credit card is "present") and the sales slip can be signed by the purchaser. Mail Order/Telephone Order (MOTO) or Card Not Present (or Internet-based) merchant accounts are ones in which the merchant and the shopper are not in the same physical location, and there is no possibility of obtaining a card swipe or customer signature. If you have a traditional (card present) merchant account, it is unlikely you will be able to use it for processing orders over the Internet, since banks typically assign a higher level of risk to Internet-based merchant accounts (and therefore charge higher fees).
You can obtain a merchant account from either a bank or from a merchant account provider (MAP). Shopping around for a merchant account can be beneficial, since rates vary by institution (and sometimes even WITHIN the same institution). If you require assistance in this process, please contact us at sales@Skipjack.com. As a payment processor, Skipjack has relationships with several leading merchant account providers. If you would like us to recommend one to you, please fill out our New Merchant Account Information Form and we will determine which merchant account provider is right for you.
Once approved, you will obtain a Merchant Account and will be assigned a Merchant number (Merchant ID). This number will be your unique identifier to ensure that your transactions are processed and money from sales are deposited into the correct account.
3. Payment-Enabling Your Application
Your developer is the person who actually builds your Internet application, and does all of the coding required to ensure that it interfaces properly with the Skipjack Payment Gateway. Work closely with the developer to give him/her a good understanding of how you want your application to function. Skipjack technical support staff is available to your developer during integration and testing should they have any questions, and they will also be available to you once your application is "up and running".
If you would like assistance in choosing a developer in your region, we have many development partners that are knowledgeable about integrating the Skipjack gateway into a wide variety of application types. Since they are Skipjack Partners, you can be confident that they'll be able to meet your needs. Contact us to find out more.
If your needs cannot be met by your developer, the Skipjack Professional Services division has the skills to help you with even the most advanced application. Find out more about Skipjack Professional Services.
4. Reviewing the Skipjack Merchant User Guide
Many resources are available to you to help you learn and use the Skipjack Transaction Network. While your developer is building your application, we advise that you spend some time reviewing the Skipjack Merchant User Guide (and/or the Skipjack Merchant User Quick Guide). This will help you get the most out of the service, and ensure that you're ready to go when your application launches.
And don't forget, if you ever have any questions about any aspect of our service, we're always here to help.
Download the Skipjack Merchant User Guide
Download the Skipjack Merchant User Quick Guide
5. Testing and Launching Your Application
Once your application is complete, testing can begin. Your developer has access to a "development environment" within Skipjack that will allow them to make sure your application works as it should, even before your merchant account process is completed. Testing is a critical step in the process, and care should be taken that all aspects of your application are working properly.
When your merchant account application is approved and returned to you, your developer will enter the appropriate Skipjack information in your application, and you will be ready to start processing credit card transactions. We strongly recommend that you run another series of tests to make sure that (a) all relevant credit cards are being processed correctly, and (b) the money is being deposited into the correct bank account(s).
Once you are satisfied that the application is working as it should, you are ready to start taking advantage of the power of Skipjack transaction processing!