Secure Payment System

If you're planning to sell products directly from your Web site, you almost certainly must have a secure ordering system.

You might start with a plain order form for customers to print and fax to you, but you won't get many sales that way. If you're serious about taking orders on-line, a secure ordering system is a must.


Ease of use for customers:

  • It is secure, so customers can be assured that their credit card details are protected as they are sent from their browser to your Web site.
  • It has a "shopping cart", so that customers can browse your site and collect products from various pages. In fact, they can even visit other Web sites and come back without losing the contents of their shopping cart!
  • You can also create individual order forms for products, for times when you would like to sell just one product instead of giving them a full shopping cart.
  • The ordering process is straightforward, without requiring customers to "log in" or "sign up"!

Wide range of products:

  • Create an unlimited number of products, so that you can keep expanding your product range.
  • Sell electronic products, such as e-books, software and other downloadable products. After the order is complete, the customer can download their electronic products immediately, and the system automatically includes help for downloading PDF and ZIP files.


  • It handles GST calculations for Australian customers, and generates tax invoices for customers to print and keep.
  • Export your orders from the Web site into, say, Microsoft Excel, for further processing on your own computer.

Ease of installation:

  • It runs entirely on our server, so you can attach it to your Web site without worrying about whether your Web host can host the software.
  • It uses our own secure server, so you don't have the expense of getting your own secure server software or secure certificate.
  • It integrates smoothly into your Web site, without requiring any re-design or re-formatting of your Web pages. You simply insert some simple buttons at the point where you would like people to buy.

"I'm thrilled with the shopping cart facility. Setting up online shop was very simple and since the shop opened, I've been averaging $1,000 per week in sales! Thanks for making it easy for me to make money while I sleep!"
--- Domonique Bertolucci, Director & Principal Coach, Success Strategies,

Automatic payment:

  • Optionally, you can link the system to a "real-time payment gateway", so that the money goes into the bank automatically, which saves you time and effort. Our system uses the Camtech gateway, which works with most Australian banks.
  • If you use the MYOB accounting package, customers can pay their MYOB invoices on-line by credit card.

Automatic follow-up:

  • You can also send automatic follow-up messages to customers. This means that you can automate your customer service, build loyalty and sell more to them in the future.

Affiliate program:

  • Your affiliates have access to other markets, so you automatically extend your own personal marketing reach.
  • Affiliates have a financial incentive to promote your site, so they are more likely to do so.
  • You don't have to employ a sales force yourself, so you can save time, money and the hassles of being an employer.
  • You only pay when they make a sale, so you're paying out of money that you have already received, improving your cash flow.

Our e-commerce system is part of our Web site plug-ins package. Find out more about it here.

How does it work?

Displaying products

When somebody comes to your Web site, they go to a page promoting one of your products - for example:

  • Strong benefit-oriented headline
  • Description of the product
  • Benefits of using it
  • Photographs of the product
  • Photographs of people using the product
  • Testimonial comments from other customers
  • Price
  • Bonuses for ordering by a certain date
  • Money-back guarantee

If this is a single product that's not related to other products on your site, you might have an "Order Now" button that takes them directly to an order form:

Picture 1

Alternatively, if you would like them to look for other products as well, you use an "Add to Cart" button, which adds it to their shopping cart:

Picture 2

Order form

Either way, when they have finished selecting their products, they go through a three-step order process:

Picture 3

The customer first fills in the order form, including all the information for their order (e.g. name, contact details, shipping address, quantity of each product, shipping options, credit card details).

They then go to a confirmation page, which repeats most of the information the customer entered, and also calculates the total amount of their order. So it adds up the quantities, adds the appropriate postage and handling fee and includes or excludes GST.

If the customer is ready to order, they click a "Confirm" button to confirm the order. They can also print this page and fax it or mail it to you if they don't feel comfortable sending their order over the Internet.

The Web site then accepts the order and displays a tax invoice, which the customer prints and keeps for their records. It also sends them a confirmation message by e-mail. If their order includes downloadable products, such as e-books or software, it also automatically includes instructions for them to download these to their computer.

This step also sends you, the Web site owner, the details of their order for further processing (for example, for you to ship the product to the customer). If you're using a payment gateway, it also processes the credit card transaction automatically and transfers funds into your account.

As you can see, the process is easy to follow and doesn't have any unnecessary steps like forcing the customer to "register" before making a purchase. It makes sense every step of the way, just like it does in the supermarket when the customer wheels their shopping cart to the checkout.

Our e-commerce system is part of our Web site plug-ins package. Find out more about it here.

Affiliate program

If you're planning to actively sell products from your Web site, you will find it extremely useful to have an "affiliate program".

This is simply a way of allowing other people to refer people to your site, and you pay them a commission on any sales that result from those referrals.

  • You can create as many affiliates as you like (though we recommend that you start with a few key affiliates who you think will sell well for you), so that you extend your marketing reach in many directions.
  • Assign affiliate commissions to each product or service you offer, so that you can tailor the commission based on the profitability of the product.
  • Display a summary of unpaid commissions at the end of each month, so that it's easy for you to write cheques to your affiliates.

Our affiliate program is built in to this system.

How much does it cost?

Our e-commerce system is part of our Web site plug-ins package. Find out more about it here.

Taking credit card payments

You have three options for taking payments.

1. Manual processing

With our standard e-commerce system, customers can pay by credit card, but you have to process these payments manually, using an existing credit card merchant facility.

Apply to your bank to become a credit card merchant. This allows your customers to pay you by credit card. Depending on the merchant agreement you sign with your bank, you may or may not be allowed to accept telephone, mail and fax credit card orders. Be sure that your bank allows you to take Internet orders.

2. PayPal

The second option is to use PayPal, an internationally-recognised system for taking credit card payments. With this option, you don't require your own merchant account; you use PayPal instead. They charge a reasonable merchant fee, and the money is paid directly into your PayPal account (from which you can transfer it into your regular bank account at any time).

3. Payment gateway

The third - and most professional - option is to use a "payment gateway", which allows you to have payments made directly into your bank account. This is optional, and many of our clients don't use it because of the extra cost (about $300 per year to a payment gateway company, and some fees to your bank).

You still have to get a merchant account with your bank, and you also get a payment gateway, which takes the customer's credit card, completes the transaction and puts the money in your bank account.

We work with a company called Camtech that provides the appropriate facilities for you. Using Camtech, all your credit card transactions take place automatically on the Internet, and the money is deposited into an Australian bank account, without any intervention on your part.

Camtech works with most Australian banks. All transactions are in Australian dollars.

View the presentation below for an overview of the steps that take place when somebody makes a credit card order on your Web site (Use the ">" button to advance to the next slide).

Here's a more detailed explanation of what happens in each step (If you want to follow this on the presentation above, use the "|<<" button to "rewind" it to the start):

  1. Your customer fills in the order form and clicks a button to confirm their order.
  2. The Web site extracts the credit card information and the payment amount, and sends it to Camtech for processing.
  3. Camtech contacts the banking network, which checks the customer's bank account to ensure the credit card is active and the account has sufficient funds for the transaction.
  4. The banking network transfers money from the customer's credit card account to your merchant account.
  5. The banking network replies to Camtech, confirming that the transaction is complete.
  6. Camtech notifies the Web site.
  7. The Web site creates a new page as a receipt and tax invoice for the customer.
  8. The Web site sends you, the merchant, an e-mail message containing the details of the order. You take whatever action is required - for example, shipping the order to them.

Our e-commerce system is part of our Web site plug-ins package. Find out more about it here.

First Step Communications Pty Ltd
8 Windich Place, Leederville WA 6007, Australia
Help Desk / Support:
    Phone 02 8006 2481 within Australia, +61 2 8006 2481 from outside Australia
    Phone 02 8005 5746 within Australia, +61 2 8005 5746 from outside Australia

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