Building Customer Trust with Secure E-Commerce by VIP PowerNet Web Hosting

Written by Paras Shah

Continued from page 1

Securing Information Using SSL

Atrepparttar core of any e-commerce operation isrepparttar 149164 financial transaction between Web site and consumer. One ofrepparttar 149165 most common methods for accepting payment from your customers is acceptingrepparttar 149166 submission of credit card information online. But by accepting your customers’ credit card information through your Web site, you are also acceptingrepparttar 149167 responsibility forrepparttar 149168 security of that information.

The standard protocol for securing communications onrepparttar 149169 Web is Secure Sockets Layer (SSL). Developed by Netscape Communications Corporation,repparttar 149170 SSL security protocol provides data encryption, server authentication, message integrity and client authentication for TCP/IP connections, allowing client/server applications to communicate in a way that prevents eavesdropping, tampering or message forgery.

SSL is built into all major web-browsing software, so simply installing a digital certificate onrepparttar 149171 server side ofrepparttar 149172 communication will turn onrepparttar 149173 browser’s SSL capabilities. The protocol is available in both 40-bit and 128-bit strengths, referring torepparttar 149174 length ofrepparttar 149175 “session key” generated by each encrypted transaction.

In order to establish an SSL session with a customer’s browser, your server has to be able to generate a public key and a private key and have them authenticated by a certificate authority, such as VeriSign (, Thawte (, Tucows ( or InstantSSL ( Your Web host may include an arrangement with one if these authorities, or may allow you to use its certificate.

Processing Transactions

Once your customer is willing and able to give you his or her credit card information, you still have to make arrangements to be able to processrepparttar 149176 transaction and receive your payment. Obviously, credit card processing is a complicated process, and a number of organizations can be involved, from both your bank andrepparttar 149177 user’s bank to a credit card processing company andrepparttar 149178 credit card communications network.

Your involvement inrepparttar 149179 processing operation will vary according to how much ofrepparttar 149180 responsibility you want to outsource. It can be as simple as employing a “buy button” solution hosted by a third party provider, where all you have to do is include a piece of HTML code on your site andrepparttar 149181 processing company will send you a check. But keep in mind thatrepparttar 149182 more responsibility you take on yourself,repparttar 149183 smaller percentage of your profits you'll have to hand over to service providers.

In a more hands-on solution, many ofrepparttar 149184 storefront-building software solutions include tools and ongoing support services to handle payment processing functions. Your Web host may have already set up this sort of pre-arranged processing option. For storefronts not equipped to provide payment processing, there are service providers, such as IBill ( or CCBill (, designed to do just that. These providers charge a scaling service that can reach as high as 15 percent, for their services. And these charges can be avoided by setting up your own merchant account.

If you decide to handle most ofrepparttar 149185 processing yourself, saving many ofrepparttar 149186 fees associated with outsourced payment processing, you’ll have to enable your Web server and applications to send and receive information fromrepparttar 149187 credit card network. In order to do this, you’ll have to obtain your own merchant ID and terminal ID, numbers that will identify you andrepparttar 149188 source of your transactions. These IDs can be obtained from a merchant bank by applying for a merchant account enabled to receive payments by credit card. The merchant bank will have relationships with acquiring banks that can handle both credit card processing and Internet payments. Oncerepparttar 149189 merchant bank supplies you with merchant and terminal IDs, you’ll use these numbers to configure your payment software or provide them to your outsourced processor.

There are plenty of responsibilities beyond security involved in running an e-commerce Web site, not including managingrepparttar 149190 supply chain relationships and inventory and, of course, fulfilling your customers’ orders. But, when dealing withrepparttar 149191 sensitive data involved in processing customers’ credit card information, there can be no question that earningrepparttar 149192 trust of your customers through a comprehensive and responsible approach to security should be a primary concern.

Please refer following web sites for useful resources related to web site hosting:

Paras Shah Chief Technology Officer VIP PowerNet, Inc. Phone: (713)787-6501 Email:

What do customers really want?

Written by Alex Lekas

Continued from page 1

Few service providers are equipped to fully do either #1 or #2, let alone both. That’srepparttar reason so many providers have more partners than organically developed features. Partnerships allow companies to offer additional products and services at a fraction ofrepparttar 148889 cost of in-house development thereby making enhancements affordable forrepparttar 148890 customer.

As torepparttar 148891 second point,repparttar 148892 SME marketplace remainsrepparttar 148893 key battleground because of its size. Ofrepparttar 148894 millions of small businesses inrepparttar 148895 US, there is a sizeable percentage with no web presence and among companies that are online, plenty have sites that are little more than digital brochures. As those businesses grasprepparttar 148896 value of having an online component, service providers grapple to introduce features that are relevant, features that reflect whatrepparttar 148897 customer wants.

The struggle to create value isrepparttar 148898 key torepparttar 148899 question being posed here. Economic signs say this should be a good year. Companies are spending more on IT, particularly on hosted applications that improve office efficiency. That efficiency, however, means fewer jobs so people pushed out ofrepparttar 148900 corporate world have turned to self-employment. That, in turn, means more businesses with online components that demand servicing as they, like their former bosses, try to do a lot for relatively little. Companies that can offer bolt-on products that improve productivity certainly provide one thing customers want.

Bottom line is, customers want service, however providers choose to define that. There isrepparttar 148901 personal tough that regionally-based companies can offer through their closer connection to customers. There isrepparttar 148902 feature-focused approach, giving people what their businesses need in order to be successful. There isrepparttar 148903 value-based proposition and its ever-lowering prices. There is alsorepparttar 148904 reverse –repparttar 148905 premium provider – which charges more but hasrepparttar 148906 burden of proving its worth. And there isrepparttar 148907 universal imperative of being accessible to customers, ready to listen to them, willing to respond to concerns, and able to implement necessary changes that answerrepparttar 148908 question that drives their business.

Alex Lekas is the VP / Marketing & Corporate Communications for AIT, a web hosting and ecommerce services company that powers 191,488 business sites on the Internet.

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