PCI DSS Compliance for level 4 Merchants

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Mountain Media Supports Local Charities by Giving-Away their Popular Web Payment Software to Capital Region Organizations Seeking to Collect Donations Online

Web Payment Software - An affordable, easy to use system for accepting payments online.
Web Payment Software - An affordable, easy to use system for accepting payments online.
Saratoga Springs-based software company hopes to help local charitable organizations expand their funding by providing them with much-needed technology to accept credit card payments on their existing websites in order to collect donations, organize membership drives and allow online event registration.

Saratoga Springs, NY (PRWEB) March 10, 2011

Mountain Media (http://www.mountainmedia.com), a national ecommerce solution provider focused on search-engine friendly ecommerce products and services and headquartered here in the Capital Region, announced today that they are launching an initiative to help support local charities. By offering free setup of their popular “Web Payment Software” for the collection and processing of online donations and online event registrations, Mountain Media hopes to help local charitable organizations expand their funding by providing them with the much-needed technology to accept credit card payments on their existing websites.

Web Payment Software (http://www.web-payment-software.com) serves as a payment gateway, virtual terminal and also includes the ability for merchant-generated website “payment pages” giving charities and organizations a long-awaited alternative to Paypal. The software’s flexibility provides merchants and organizations an affordable way to accept credit cards over the Internet on their existing website whether its usage is for traditional web payments, donations, membership drives, or registering for events and conferences.

The first local charity to take advantage of this offer is Peak Season Century (http://www.peakseasoncentury.com) of Lake George. This annual cycle ride benefits the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS), and last year over 80% of registration fees were donated directly to LLS to fight blood cancers. “When we heard about Mountain Media’s offer, we jumped at the chance to increase our event registrations and reduce the costs associated with taking credit card payments online.” Said Michael Kramer, vice president of the organization. “We anticipate a savings of almost 40% by utilizing Web Payment Software compared with our previous online event registration solution and that savings to us means more money can go to our cause”.

Mountain Media’s online payment solutions can save businesses and organizations up to 67% when compared to competing online payment systems, online donation software and online event registration solutions.

“Although we serve a national market, Mountain Media is dedicated to supporting our local community,” stated James Curley, CEO of Mountain Media, the creators of Web Payment Software. “After launching the latest version of our online payment software, we wanted to give back to the community by offering local charities the opportunity to use it for free to collect their online donations. In an economy where nonprofits and charitable organizations struggle to increase donations, the key to maintaining a steady influx of donor-dollars seems to be by offering as many options as possible when it comes to methods for individuals to make their donation. The easier it is for an individual to give, the more likely they will be to do so and so, we would welcome any local organization to contact us to take advantage of this offer”.

For additional information on Web Payment Software or to sign up today, visit http://www.web-payment-software.com.

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Top 10 Must-Have Ecommerce Features

If you’re an online merchant, you already understand the importance of having a professional looking website. But do you know which ecommerce features are essential to making your website successful at selling and managing your product?

To help you navigate the sea of competing ecommerce platforms and identify the best solution for your business, I’ve compiled this list of top ten must-have ecommerce features that you should be looking for (and asking questions about) as you seek a suitable shopping cart to serve your online store.

1. Search-engine Friendliness
You’ll want your shopping cart solution to provide you with control over your own title tags, meta descriptions and keywords so that you can easily optimize at-will for the search engines. You’ll also want your solution to automatically generate keyword-rich URLS based on your product and category names and to generate page code that is XHTML 1.0 strict compliant.

2. PCI Compliant Hosting & Security
Because your website will need to accept online payments, you must find a provider who can host your website in a PCI (Payment Card Industry) compliant environment. If you don’t know anything about PCI Compliance, you’ll need to understand your role in complying with the DSS (Data Security Standards). Currently, the card industry mandates that any merchant, organization or software that processes, stores or disseminates credit card data must be PCI DSS compliant or they risk hefty fines and/or losing the ability to process credit cards altogether thus putting your entire business in jeopardy. Although there is a lot more involved with PCI compliance than just hosting your site in a compliant environment, this is your first step.

3. Up-selling & Cross-selling Features
Up-selling is offering customers a product that is of greater value than the product they are currently considering or adding options/features to the product they are buying in an attempt to increase their spend. Cross-selling refers to selling items that are complementary to the item they are purchasing. Be sure to make these techniques a part of your product marketing plan both online and off. Any suitable shopping cart technology will offer automated features that can accomplish these marketing techniques for you with some simple set-up. Make sure that your shopping cart solution offers these valuable recommendation tools.

4. Product Review Feature
Product reviews are a very powerful product marketing tool. In fact, research shows that even bad reviews help to sell more product than not showing reviews for a product at all. You’ll want an ecommerce solution that lets you enable customers to post reviews of the products that you sell. You can always review the posts before you choose to display them or choose to display reviews automatically on the website.

5. Flexible Pricing Management
You’ll want to find a shopping cart that offers flexible pricing features and allows you to set-up multiple pricing options to accommodate things like promotional pricing for any product, customer, order, or time frame, wholesale or retail pricing (or both) displayed to your customers via the same catalog interface and which allows you to set-up affiliate pricing, accepts coupon codes, allows for quantity-based pricing and has tax-exempt support.

6. Robust Catalog Management
Identify a solution that allows you to get your store started quickly by offering a bulk import/export of your catalog. You’ll find that this feature will support you throughout the life-cycle of your business and not just at start-up. Make sure that the solution also offers product cloning to simplify catalog additions, automatic resizing of your product images and has some strong inventory management capabilities such as letting you set minimum quantities and identify backordered items.

7. Solid Analytics & Reporting
Look for a solution that integrates with Google Analytics to demonstrate real-time site and search ranking data and that offers a variety of other product performance reporting capabilities, which you’ll need to accurately monitor your business. Be sure that you can export and save these reports.

8. Integrated Shipping
You’ll want your shopping cart solution to integrate with the major shipping providers such as USPS, UPS and Fedex and you’ll want the ability to markup shipping rate-quotes by a percentage or by a flat amount so that you have the option to charge transparent handling fees.

9. Product Feed Support
You’ll want your shopping cart solution to have a product feed feature that will allow you to easily create a feed of your products that you can then upload to shopping comparison sites (aka “shopping engines”) such as Shopzilla, Shopping.com, Google Product Search, etc. and that will allow you to create multiple product feeds for each comparison engine.

10. Gift Certificate/Wishlist Features
Gift Certificate and Wishlist are two website features that play a major role in holiday sales conversions (according to a Demandware study). 64 percent of those surveyed said gift certificates equaled 25 percent of their online purchases and half of those surveyed said they shopped using someone else’s wishlist. So, be sure to utilize these features on your site and do not consider an ecommerce solution that does not boast a robust online gift certificate and wishlist feature-set.

Making an informed decision when choosing a solution for your ecommerce website can be the difference between a successful online business and one that fails within the first year, as 50 percent of new ecommerce businesses do. So, while evaluating your options thoroughly will take some time and effort, the investment in researching your provider’s ecommerce features carefully will be well worth it as your online business develops.

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