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At the moment, we have only installed and set up one payment option, COD , which
is the Cash on Delivery option, which could also be used for posting a cheque, or
making a payment using a credit card over the telephone. This is a useful payment
option, but it is very limiting to have only this, and Doug wants to be able to
take payments automatically and from as many people as possible, as easily as
possible. In order to do this we need to install and configure a number of other
payment gateways.
Before we install and set up these gateways let's first look at how they work, and also
which ones are available to us.
How Payment Gateways Work
Payment gateways, or payment processors, handle the payment process for us
working directly with banks and credit card providers to obtain the funds. The exact
method of each gateway varies, so here I will explain the basic details of how the
PayPal payment gateway works.
The customer places an order on the website.
The website creates the order and takes the customer to PayPal's website; in
the background the website tells PayPal information such as the contents of
the shopping cart, total cost, and the order's ID number.
The customer either logs into their PayPal account to pay (which uses
either funds from the customer's PayPal account or their bank account) or
they enter their credit or debit card details. Credit card info is stored by the
gateway and is never known to the store, which is good, as it provides added
security to customers.
PayPal verifies the details and charges the card or account.
The customer is then returned to our website; if there is a problem with the
payment or they cancel the order they will be taken to a "cancelled page", and
if the payment is made, they will be taken to a "thank you" page.
PayPal independently (so regardless of if the customer goes back to our site)
sends a special command to our website containing information such as the
amount paid, the order ID, and some authentication method to prove it really
is PayPal.
The website then checks the amount paid against the amount for the order; if
they match then the order status is updated to paid.
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