Processing Credit Cards Online

i want to set up an e-commerce site, but the problem i have now is about collecting credit card online. i don’t have a merchant account, i would like to have all payments be in US dollars. i checked out paypal and worldpay. you must become a member for paypal, and they don’t have it here in taiwan; worldpay is too expence. does anyone have any suggestions?

Wendy you can try InternetSecure. I’ve been using them for about a year and a half now and have found them reliable. Customer service is both friendly and useful. You don’t need a merchant account, though your company will have to have some easy to implement safety features. You can have everything done in US dollars but it will cost more than Canadian.

Other third party processors that come to mind: (steep rates!) (if you have a US account)


My Taipei Baby
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Mucha Man,

Just requested rates from the site you recommended, but I’m way too impatient. Are they pretty reasonable? Like under 5%? Any trouble with chargebacks?


My Taipei Baby
Resources for pregnancy and parenting young children in Taipei

If you want your own merchant account, one of the big players is Card Service International. I’ve done business with them before. Otherwise, if you go through a 3rd party net service, you will be using their merchant account for a fee, although more convenient if you don’t want to deal with the setup fees and maintenance associated with having your own merchant account. If you do decide to get your own merchant account, many of the online services will let you input your own merchant account when doing online processing for things like Web stores.

As for PayPal, I don’t know why you couldn’t use it if your amounts are in US Dollars. Why do you need PayPal in Taiwan? Are you customers in Taiwan?

The discount rate is I believe 4.25% of the total of every transaction, but I’ve have to check to be sure. It depends on the plan you have and the credit card used. On top of that you have a per transaction fee. This is anywhere from $.50 to $1.50 US. On top of this you have a monthly fee to use their credit card processing software. They have different plans though, depending on how many transactions you anticipate per month.

Getting your own merchant account is a lot of hassle (as you’ve discovered) and likely won’t save you any money unless you do a lot of transactions (hundreds) per month. We actually had a merchant account but choose to use a third party service (InternetSecure). Also be aware that merchant accounts and your webhost’s credit card processing software may not be compatable. Verisign for example won’t let you use a merchant account from a Canadian bank. But if you’re a Canadian business it’s almost impossible to get merchant account with a US bank. Which takes us to:

A word of advise. If you’re serious about starting a business you shouldn’t be so impatient. The more thorough research you do now the better off your company will be in the future. Lots of unpleasant eventualities can pop up in the cyber world. No haste, be patient, as Lee, Deng-huei used to say.

Thanks for the info on the rates Mucha Man. Sorry, I didn’t mean I was rushing you… I meant that I was impatient about getting a reply from them because I was surprised to they didn’t have the rates on their site.

Actually using a third party processor already but looking for a better deal than what I’ve got currently.

My Taipei Baby
Resources for pregnancy and parenting young children in Taipei

I know you weren’t rushing me. Oh as for chargebacks I’ve only had two in a year and a half. IS claims to have many precautions to avoid chargebacks. They seem to work. We get a lot of failed transactions (because of incorrect address, cc number, telephone number, wrong address, etc.). Some of these may be legitimate customers and some not. We always contact these people and advise them on what may have gone wrong. 80% will try again and succeed. There is no charge for failed transactions.

thank you for your replies, i will check into the websites. the reason why i am trying not to consider paypal is because they are not that widely used and it is a hassle to become a member first. also i want to market to the taiwan market and paypal won’t work.
also, is there anything i should be aware of before i start my online biz?

Paypal are huge in the states - sure it isn’t used for big companies but then again u’r not if worldpay is too expensive for 'ya.

Becoming a Paypal member takes a few minutes - it
would take a lot longer to get a worldpay or any other account.

Another free one to use would be - it would cost more than using Paypal but they might
have better Chinese language support if that is
what u’r really after.

Hey folks, so glad I found this discussion although it appears that I’m a little late to the party…

We’ll soon be offering new products and services on and are trying to figure out how to accept payments from people in so many different places, our main focus being in China and Taiwan.

Besides the huge headache of opening up a merchant account for online credit card processing – and I still can’t figure out how Chinese mailing addresses can be matched for verification – we’re also looking at alternative ways for us to receive payments.

I took a run through the Paypal website and found this section about International Accounts but have no idea what they mean when they say, “In addition to the U.S., PayPal is now available in the following countries…”, which includes Taiwan and China as well. … page=_home

Anyone every figure that one out?

Also, have any of you ever considered using Western Union QuickPay?

It also seems feasible, just wondering what you guys thought about it.

By the way, Mucha Man, does InternetSecure require billing address verification and if so, how do they deal with credit card billing addresses that are in Chinese (either complex or simplified characters)?

Has that ever been a problem with you?

Also, with InternetSecure, are you able to login to an online account and check the transaction history of your customers’ credit card payments?

Their demo page didn’t seem to be working, so I wasn’t able to verify.

This is one of the things I like about Paypal’s platform, but like Jennifer, I also think it (Paypal) is a hassle to use.

Btw, just want to thank you guys for posting such useful information, I can’t tell you what a headache it’s been trying to figure out the best setup for us to receive payments given the size of our company (small in operations, large in # of countries we expect to operate in), having this forum/channel is very helpful.

We’ve had customers from Taiwan and the mainland and it’s never been a problem. Before customers had to use romanized Chinese but now IS has a new system which allow customers to do the whole transaction in Chinese, English, French, Spanish or Portuguese. When a customer logs onto the IS site from your website they have the choice of doing the rest of the transaction in one of these languages. I don’t know if the Chinese is simplified or traditional characters.

Yes, address verification is required. And it is a very useful security feature.

I’m not sure what you mean here. If you mean can you see the person’s credit and payment history, god no. In fact, merchants are never shown the credit card numbers of their customers. They simply get a confirmed or declined receipt. Of course you get the person’s address and phone number and email address but not access to the person’s credit history. Why would you want that anyways?

IS system is very simple to use and you can change your product prices at any time by logging onto the merchant account page and going to your product list. In the merchant account area you can also see exactly how many customers you have had, what they have purchased, and who they are.

For records, a summary of your fund report would show the following (for example) for every two week period:

Number of Transactions: 14
Currency: Canadian
Payment Received: 94.45
Gross: 329.45
Transaction Fees: 16.50
Credit Card Discount Fee: 13.97
Holdback: 33.00
Monthly Fees: 0.00
Signup Fees: 0.00
Miscellaneous Fees: 37.45
Chargebacks: 0.00
Amount Transferred: 322.98

Customer service is also very good.

Mucha Man… thank you so much, this is great to know! My mistake in the wording of the question, what I meant to ask was, can you logon to your account to check the transaction history of payments, who paid you, for what, when, and how much, etc. which you subsequently answered… not customer credit history.

You’re awesome, thanks!

I’m almost sold on InternetSecure except the part about it being more expensive to use US instead of Canadian dollars, but I’ll contact the company and ask them for more info. You wouldn’t happen to know of an equivalent company that primary operates in US dollars?

As a side note, did your company ever consider using Western Union Quick Pay (local currency cash payments)?

It seems like a very useful service as they have depots in so many locations worldwide (check out the number of locations they have in China). Any initial thoughts?

If you don’t expect too many transactions, you can look into c2it, a PayPal-like service run by Citibank. Downside is that people who want to send you money need to register.

No personal experience with it so I can’t say too much more…

I’m using and have no complaints. I don’t know if you can do transactions in different languages but I get checks on a timely basis (2x a month or you can have direct deposit), all the questions I had were answered in their faq online, the rates are good for a small op like mine.


It’s rather expensive if you want to set up a merchant account, if you don’t plan on doing a whole lot of business then maybe paypal could benefit you.

Hi, sorry it took so long to reply.

Sorry, I don’t know of an equivalent company that operates in US dollars though why is this such a concern? No matter what you charge them in, customers are billed in their local currency with the exchange rate listed on their credit card bill next to the amount of purchase. Of course many people want to know how much the purchase is before they get the bill so you can always list the approximate price in US dollars on your site (that’s what we do). Just remember to change it frequently to reflect the changing rates. Also, you can post a link to an online currency converter like so people can check right there and then the exchange rate.

As for Western Union Quick Pay, I’ve never checked it out. If I have time I’ll try to and let you know what I think.