Conducting e-commerce on the web can be a tricky business for small businesses. Consumers expect their web-based credit card transactions to be secure, but sending credit card information by non-secure email or a conventional web form leaves the risk of successful monitoring by criminals. Other sensitive or confidential information is also at risk. To address this serious security issue, Netscape Communications Corporation developed an Internet communications protocol called Secure Sockets Layer, commonly referred to as SSL. SSL encrypts the data exchanged between your browser and the server where the web page resides. It is now the industry-standard method for protecting web communications. If you accept payment by credit card, you should be protecting your client's confidential information using SSL.
The new e-commerce solution provided by genealogyPro is called SecureForm. It is ideal for professional genealogists, researchers and similar service providers who accept payment by credit card. It is an economical alternative to expensive real-time credit card processing systems. Unless you are handling a very large quantity of orders, these systems are not very practical and erode profits. SecureForm costs you a one-time set-up fee plus a small annual maintenance charge. There are no transaction or processing fees. There is nothing else to buy ... but you must already have a Merchant Account to accept credit card payments. Click here for pricing details.
SecureForm employs SSL when the user submits their credit card information via a web form, and also when the vendor receives the information via a password-protected web page. There is no mechanism to check for credit card fraud or real-time processing. The actual charge against the credit card is done offline in a manner already established by the Merchant Account Agreement ... e.g. telephone or POS (Point-of-sale) terminal. Your Merchant Account must already be set up. genealogyPro does not provide this service. If you do not have a Merchant Account, see your financial institution for details.
genealogyPro uses the digital certificate of its web hosting service, Webkeepers Inc..
How it works
When you invoice your client for a service that you provided, typically by email, you include the amount owing and direct them to your online secure payment form. This form prompts your client for all the necessary information for credit card payment. When the form is submitted, you receive an email indicating that you have received an order and directing you to the SecureForm Administrator - a server based program that allows you to view the order securely with your browser. No sensitive information is sent via email.
Communications between the SecureForm Administrator and your browser is protected using SSL. Payment details on the server are protected from unauthorized viewing by a double password system. After you login, you can view, print and save the order information. You then delete the information from the server - a strongly advised practice. Even though the process is secure, it is even more secure when there is no information to view. Your clients deserve this level of protection.
The actual charge against the credit card is done offline in a manner already established by your merchant account agreement.
A demo of SecureForm is available for you to try. It is a little different than the normal version (see note below), but serves well to demonstrate how everything works. To test drive SecureForm, you need to enter sample data as though you were making a payment to the vendor. Visit the ''SecureForm Payment Demo' form by clicking here. Enter some test data, press 'Submit'. Then proceed to the SecureForm Administrator.
To access the SecureForm Administrator, enter the email address 'firstname.lastname@example.org' with password 'tempass' (use all lower case). After you have logged in, you will see the test data that you submitted. Note the closed lock icon at the bottom of your browser, like this ... This indicates that the page is being viewed securely with SSL.
Feel free to give the 'Secure Online Credit Card Payment Demo' and 'SecureForm Administrator' a good workout. If you have any questions or concerns, please email
NOTE: For demonstration purposes, the demo only has one username and password ... the real version is double-password protected. With the real system, when you receive a credit card payment you are notified by email to visit the SecureForm Administrator to retrieve the details. This feature is disabled for the demo.