General questions about e-commerce

I would like to open an online shop. What steps do I need to take?

In order to sell your products and services on the Internet you will need to set up the following as a minimum (see also our three-step guide):

  • Web shop – you can either use a standard shop system (Magento, Prestashop, WooCommerce, etc.) or develop your own web shop. The company customweb GmbH offers plug-ins to integrate payment modules for typical commercial web shop systems. Otherwise, you will need to engage a developer to implement the payment module for you (see our Technical Implementation Guide).
  • Payment methods – you need to sign merchant service agreements (also known as acceptance contracts) with financial institutions (i.e. acquirers) to integrate the payment methods that you want to offer to your customers. The acquiring banks are responsible for disbursing the funds they collect. On our website you will find a list of the payment methods we support as well as the contact details of companies who provide merchant service agreements in Switzerland and abroad.
  • Payment Service Provider (PSP) – e.g. Datatrans. The PSP takes care of the secure technical processing of transactions and is not directly involved in the cash flow. We explain the online payment procedure in detail here.

If you would like a PSP offer from Datatrans Ltd, please complete our contact form.

Parties involved in e-commerce

What is an issuer?
The issuer is the card-issuing bank that offers the credit card to the customer.

What is an acquirer?
An acquirer enables the merchant to support credit cards as a payment method and process the payment reliably.

The acquirer also acts as a merchant bank, controlling the flow of funds between the customer and the merchant.

What is a payment service provider?
A payment service provider (PSP) acts as a technical link between the web shops (merchants) on the one hand and the financial institutions (acquirers) on the other.

The PSP handles the technical aspects of its merchants’ payments, maintaining connections to various payment-method providers and a variety of shop systems.

As a payment service provider, Datatrans is not involved in the actual flow of funds between the customer (cardholder) and the merchant.

Which are the most common payment methods by country?

Switzerland:Mastercard, Visa, PostFinance, Invoice, PayPal
Germany:Sepa ELV, PayPal, Sofortüberweisung, MasterCard, Visa
Austria:MasterCard, Visa, PayPal, Sofortüberweisung