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In the Payment Gateways section of the Store add-on docs (https://exp-resso.com/docs/payment_gateways.html) it says that the off-site gateways require just one simple payment tag and that No extra configuration is necessary.

What does that actually mean in practice? Can anyone describe the process that a customer would go through in such a scenario? Is the customer taken to an external site during the payment process? If so, at what point in the process? Do customers select items, colors etc. and then get taken to an external site to pay, and finally land back on the original site?

Thanks for any advice or experience with this. :-)

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Absolutely. Essentially all you need to add is the payment_method parameter in the checkout tag, enter in your details for the payment gateway via the Control Panel and you're ready to start accepting payments.

In practice, the exact customer journey is completely up to you however. You may wish to design a one-page checkout or you may have various options and steps along the way you wish to add to collect extra information pertaining to the order. Single or multi-step checkouts can both be accommodated. Products (and their variations) will always be listed and chosen on your domain.

With regards to the payment process, again it depends on which payment gateway you select. There are a large number that ship as standard with Store. Some of these are "on-site" and some are "off-site" payment processors. "Off-site" is the easiest (and probably the recommended way) of handling payment processing as you then shift the burden of PCI-DSS compliance on to the payment gateway who will provide end-to-end security of the transaction and pass the user back to the site once the payment has been made for order confirmation.

"On-site" essentially means that you're taking a users' payment details on your actual website so it's completely down to you to ensure that security is provided by way of an encrypted transaction. It's highly recommended that you never store any payment information on your own site or servers but if you do then you need to ensure that you're fully PCI-DSS compliant (and that's no small feat).

So the easiest way to get up and running is to choose an off-site payment gateway, sign up for an account, enter in your account details via the Control Panel, and then set the payment_method to the corresponding gateway on the Checkout tag. Your products are listed as regular Channel entries with whatever custom fields you wish to add in the usual way to working with ExpressionEngine.

  • Thanks Ian. "off-site" payment processors ... pass the user back to the site once the payment has been made for order confirmation. OK, that's what I assumed but wanted to confirm. I'm actually keen to try out Stripe, as it's just become available in my country. I'm assuming it's still important to have an SSL cert with Stripe, even though customer data is not collected? – ralph.m Jan 6 '14 at 11:44
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    Stripe is one of the easiest as the sign-up process is pretty instant rather than having to be vetted and verified which is the process most payment gateways follow. It's also fairly unique in that it allows you to actually take payment "on-site" but the processing is handled via JavaScript so you'll still be PCI-DSS compliant and can accept payments on-site. And yes, an SSL certificate is always still recommended for added security and mostly for user confidence. Most are now trained to look for the green bar on ecommerce sites. – Ian Jan 6 '14 at 12:05
  • Most are now trained to look for the green bar on ecommerce sites. Indeed, yes. I wouldn't buy from one without that. Thanks for your time. :) – ralph.m Jan 6 '14 at 12:47

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