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The e-commerce.

OS commerce compatiable merchant accounts in the UK?

Timmy Wimmy

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I have several customers who I run hosting/websites for. Whenever any of them want ecommerce software (currently only two) I always install oscommerce for them. Without exception they are always happy with it and as payment methods they use COD and cheque payments and I usually help them configure the PayPal IPN as this is normally good enough for their needs.


I have a meeting scheduled with a potential customer next week and I have a feeling that I'm going to try and talk them out of using one of the expensive commercial ecommerce packages and into using oscommerce or something similar if they dont like osc. I think that my main problem in convincing them is going to be my lack of knowledge on the workings of merchant accounts, to the best of my knowledge the customer is still in the process of registering their business/domain and I dont believe that they have a bank account yet. What I need to know is are there any UK banks that provide merchant services (online and offline as the customer is setting up a bricks+mortar store as well) for which there are OSC payment modules availiable. Or, is there a standard for this kind of thing where all banks use the same standard and there is a payment module for this?


I am not very familiar with this as I don't actually run a store for myself (it's something im considering) and I take all my own payments through my paypal business account (which, for the record, I've never had any problems with). I don't have my own merchant account so I need some information so I can speak confidently to my customer about this and talk them out of shelling out some silly fee for something they don't need.


Any help and advice on the matter would be much appreciated!

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there are many different options to choose from but what your customer will need is


- an internet merchant ID through his bank or other merchant service provider

- a payment gateway to process the credit/debit card payments


For payment processing i would recommend protx (protx.com), it integrates well with oscommerce, and their rates are pretty reasonable.


the customer will have charges for the ID set up which his bank inform him of and then he will have a charge per transaction, which will also depend on volume of sales, on top of this he will have a monthly charge from protx.



I know that paypal have an offering of website payments pro, which will do all of the above but you would have to investigate this further.


hope this helps

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There's lots of options open. All the main UK bank (e.g. LloydsTSB, natwest, hsbc, barclays) can provide both physical and internet merchant accounts. Once you have the merchant account you can either use the banks' own online gateway (natwest stremline, hsbc e-secure, barclay's epdq) or a separate gateway (e.g. Protx, secpay or others).


There are modules for all these (and probably others) for osCommerce are available in the contributions - each have different requirements and levels of difficult to setup.


It's probably worth having a look through to support threads of them to see how well supported / troublesome each module is - the only other deciding factor is the fees.



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Protx is cheap for a processor - there's been some reliability issues recently as they went through a server upgrade byt things have settled back down now (hopefully). Don't forget to add on the actual merchant account fees too! There's 2 modules for protx: form & direct - form is a bit like the standard paypal module where customers leave your site whilst direct they never leave your site and all the processing is hidden - I support the direct module so any probs let me know!



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