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Home / Tips and Tricks / How to Accept Credit Card Payments on Your Website – CloudSavvy IT

How to Accept Credit Card Payments on Your Website – CloudSavvy IT

Shutterstock / Sarawut Chainawarat

If you are starting an online business, it is very important to be able to sell products and accept payments through your website. Fortunately, there are many services that make it easy to do this, both for new and existing websites.

Do I need a “merchant account”

A Merchant account is a special type of credit account opened with a real bank. This allows you to take payments directly, without an intermediary such as PayPal. Generally, you don’t have direct access to the money, it’s just where they end up before they are transferred to your company’s primary bank account after verification.

Each time you take your debit card to a brick-and-mortar store, it will usually be linked to someone’s merchant account behind the credit card terminal and your card, CVV, and PIN information will be used to transfer the money.

Due to the high potential for online fraud with these accounts, they are more difficult to obtain, especially for online storefronts that are less reliable than in-person transactions. You need good credit and documentation about your business. When you have all that, you can get merchant accounts with major banks such as Wells Fargo and Chase, as well as accounts from other providers.

If you plan to accept payments online, you still have one payment gateway, which handles all the back-end logic of talking to the customer’s bank and executing the transfer. There are many of these services that link your merchant account to a credit card form, but the most notable (and reliable) are PayPal and Stripe.

However, both PayPal and Stripe are large enough themselves not to require you to have a real merchant account with a real bank – they both have their own account balance and allow you to link it directly to your business or personal accounts. payouts.

So the answer is: no, you don’t need a merchant account. You will still pay fees anyway, and especially for online stores, the extra effort is not worth it if both PayPal and Stripe don’t require it. And if you opt for an all-in-one solution, you don’t have to worry about this at all.

Online Stores: Shopify & SquareSpace

If you haven’t built your website yet and want to set up an online store, the easiest option is to go for a fully integrated ecommerce solution like Shopify or SquareSpace. Both allow you to create fantastic websites using the built-in editors without having to code it yourself or pay anyone for it.

For example, with Shopify, you can design your page, edit the layout, and manage your list of available products. When a customer visits your site, they can browse your catalog, add things to their cart and checkout with their payment and shipping information. You can then view the current orders from the admin panel. This makes them perfect for small businesses looking to sell products.

Shopify and SquareSpace both use PayPal by default, but can be configured to use other payment gateways such as Stripe.

You can also use Shopify on your own website. You still manage products and orders on Shopify, but you can embed the buy button on your own custom page, including sites built with tools like WordPress. The customer gets the shopping cart in the sidebar and on the checkout pages as usual.


If you’d rather not use Shopify, the next best option is Stripe, which is very similar to PayPal and has excellent developer support.

They are a bit more complicated to set up, but allow you to create completely custom payment flows. You can read their docs for more information, but the gist of it is creating an API to handle checkout sessions, custom checkout page, success page, and cancellation page.

It allows you to create payment flows that never leave your website and look great with forms on your own page, despite not having to process credit card information yourself.

Stripe is one of the most popular payment processors out there, so it’s definitely worth a look if you’re trying to integrate functionality into your site and don’t mind doing a bit of coding.


PayPal is one of the most popular online payment gateways and also functions as a full payment system, with accounts able to store PayPal balance and accept transactions.

Integrating it on your website is quite easy. Customers can then purchase items directly with PayPal, or with their debit / credit card through PayPal.

If you just want to add a simple button to sell a single product or service at a fixed price, you can create a smart button using their editor. You can then copy the HTML code and add it where you want to your site.

If you want to sell multiple products, you must use the PayPal JavaScript SDK to add the buttons yourself. To do this, you need a customer ID for a PayPal app, which you can create from the Developer Dashboard.

Next, you need to add the PayPal SDK as a script, replacing YOUR_CLIENT_ID with your app’s ID.


Next, you need to create the order, provide an OnApprove callback function, and display the button in a container on the site:

    createOrder: function(data, actions) {
      // This function sets up the details of the transaction, including the amount and line item details.
      return actions.order.create({
        purchase_units: [{
          amount: {
            value: '0.01'
    onApprove: function(data, actions) {
      // This function captures the funds from the transaction.
      return actions.order.capture().then(function(details) {
        // This function shows a transaction success message to your buyer.
        alert('Transaction completed by ' + details.payer.name.given_name);
  //This function displays Smart Payment Buttons on your web page.

This of course only takes care of the payment. For example, if you are selling a digital product, you will need to call one of your own APIs or services to verify the product and deliver it to the customer.

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