Washington State University

FAQ

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 What is e-commerce?

Electronic commerce, often referred to as e-commerce, eCommerce, or e-business, is the buying and selling of products or services through an electronic medium, such as the internet. It requires programming within the seller’s web site along with payment processing abilities.
 
How can I accept credit card orders on my web site?
The basic elements of accepting online orders via credit card are: 1) a credit card merchant account with a bank; 2) a method by which to collect orders and credit card information (either by way of an order form or a shopping cart system); 3) Transport Layer Security (TLS) Encryption - to provide your customers a secure method to transmit their credit card and ordering information to you.
What is a credit card merchant account?
A credit card merchant account allows your “business” to accept credit cards for payment of goods and services.  A customer provides his or her credit card number when you make a sale.  You submit the credit card number, expiration date and amount of the sale to your merchant account provider (typically a bank).  Within 3-5 days the funds are electronically deposited into your business bank account.
Who needs a credit card merchant account?
Any WSU department with a business requirement for accepting credit card payments needs a merchant account. A separate merchant account is necessary when credit card payments are accepted via third party software. The department must recognize that fees will be charged against their revenue and that after initial setups costs, the department may be paying between 2 to 5 percent of their revenue to Visa/MC and/or WSU’s financial institution.
 
How do I obtain a credit card merchant account?
First confirm whether you do or do not need to be an approved service center. Once that is determined, please visit ecommerce.wsu.edu and click on the Forms section. Complete the Request to Process ePayments Questionnaire and submit it to Karen Kellerman at karenk@wsu.edu.
 
What does it cost to have a credit card merchant account?
Cost normally depends on the size and frequency of your transactions. A WSU department should plan on paying between 2% - 5% of their sales for bank & interchange fees. Often the fees are a flat rate of 15 cents a transaction to the bank, and a percentage and flat rate to VISA/MC depending on the type of card accepted. If you are using a stand-alone credit card terminal, there are monthly equipment rental fees.
 
What are my responsibilities as a credit card merchant account holder?
At a minimum you will need to:
·         Assist customers with payments.
·         Activate settlement of daily transactions.
·         Provide deposit coding to General Accounting. 
·         Reconcile daily settlements.
·         Prepare documentation for refunds as they arise.
·         Review monthly interchange statement and approve fee payments.
·         Ensure PCI-DSS Compliance of your operation.
·         Adopt and implement procedures to comply with WSU’s data security standards.
 
What is 'Real-time' credit card processing?
Real-time credit card processing allows your web order pages to immediately submit your customer's credit card information via the Internet to your merchant account bank for authorization.  Real-time authorization assures that each transaction is approved before your customer receives the product or service.

 

E-Commerce, PO Box 641025, Pullman, WA 99164-1025, Contact Us