One of the bigger headaches in today’s web world is the mishmash of the online payment marketplace. You have merchant service providers and payment gateway providers and shopping cart hosting companies and shopping cart software companies and security certificate companies and financial institutions, and of course, the various issues that can occur at the user/buyer end as well, relative to browser and operating system issues. Mailservers can be involved for the emailing of receipts or invoices; spam protection companies can be involved because of mailservers being used to send, or terminology in the receipt/invoice. Making a change in any of these things on the merchant end is almost NEVER as clean as you think it will be.
For anyone selling or planning to sell anything online through their own web site, this is important to remember, because there’s been an acceleration of changes on the merchant side because of the various well-publicized and not so well publicized security issues and lapses of the past few years, and this is going to continue. You are VERY LIKELY going to have to SPEND MORE MONEY on this part of your web site going forward as security standards continue to evolve. How much money is hard to say at this point – actual events will force changes which will generate costs which will show up in your budget eventually. AND these changes greatly impact the shopping cart software companies as well – do not be surprised to find out that a change caused by your merchant account forces you into a new shopping cart solution. There are a lot of moving parts, and we suspect that some of the lower end cost shopping carts of today will not be able to keep up.
All these changes do not make it easier to set up a shopping environment on a web site, either. A change in a payment gateway, for example, may necessitate a change in the online shopping cart application, may require changes in certificate certificates, may require restructuring how the export of transactions can occur, etc. Don’t be surprised at extra cost up and down the process as it impacts other related items.
Bottom line – make sure your future web site budgets have some flexibility for change in this arena if your web site provides online purchasing, because you’re probably going to need it.