To utilize our ecommerce templates you should understand about ecommerce merchant accounts or shopping cart credit card processing.

A payment gateway is a separate e-commerce service that authorizes payments for online retailers and acts as an intermediary between the merchants’ shopping cart and all the financial networks involved with the transaction. This includes the customers’ credit card issuer and personal merchant account.

Another function of credit card processing payment gateways is transaction encryption. A payment gateway uses SSL 128-bit encoding technology to encrypt and decrypt all the data being sent through it. This keeps the data safe from potential wrong-doing.

You may get a shopping cart merchant account from a merchant bank or a merchant service provider in your local area. A merchant account provider is typically a separate company from the payment gateway. Some merchant account providers have their own payment gateways so they may offer a payment gateway and a merchant account in one package An e-commerce merchant account is basically a service for which e-commerce merchants apply, and after approval use online credit card processing services in their store front shopping carts. Information about mobile device ecommerce see: mobile e-commerce.

Another option is a third party credit card processor which is a payment gateway and merchant account together. These companies execute the shopping cart credit card processing on your behalf without requiring you to have your own merchant account. They usually perform the total of the transaction process i.e. the authorization, billing, reporting, and settlement.

Third Party Merchant Account:

Using the third party merchant account type of service, the merchant outsource's the payment processing part of the transaction cycle to a third party. This means you will not need to create merchant account, as they offer both the merchant account and the payment gateway. They handle all aspects of the transaction for you but require certain fees and percentages. All you have to do is to sign-up and you are ready to accept credit cards on your website. PayPal, Google Checkout, 2Checkout are a few third-party service providers.

The main benefits and shortcomings of operating a third party merchant account are:

  • There is no need to pay for an expensive real merchant account, fancy processing software, customer service fees, and monthly gateway fees to accept credit cards on the web.
  • The merchant does not have to worry about purchasing and installing SSL certificates and payment gateways, as all sensitive personal information is hosted on the third-party provider’s server and the provider is responsible for handling it securely.
  • One of the best things that the merchants can get from these third party companies is the ability to run an affiliate program for their own business, because it will help them promote their website. Plus, the merchants work for their own payment history that will help to apply easily for a real merchant account in future.
  • Another benefit of using a third party credit card processor over establishing a merchant account is that you pay a percentage of the sales, and only when you actually sell your product.
  • It is relatively fast and easy to establish a 3rd party merchant account, which makes it attractive for any start-up.
  • Another advantage of using a 3rd party payment solution is that you share fraud and charge back risks with the 3rd party company.
  • However, the transaction fee is much higher when you use a third party payment company as compared to when using your own merchant account.
  • With a third party solution, your processor has a complete control over your payment processing activities which results in a limited merchant account control.

Self-directed Merchant Account:

A Merchant account enables a seller to accept payments directly to his own merchant/bank account through a gateway. As a rule, such model suggests that payment details are entered on the seller’s website, however it is not compulsory. It’s up to the seller to decide which model to use. Hosted solution, which is when the payment details are entered on the website of the gateway, is used when the seller chooses not to deal with the PCI compliance.

To have your own dedicated merchant account you will need a bank or a merchant account provider that will allow you to have a merchant account and a payment gateway to work with it. Afterwards the process is rather simple – when the customers select the items to be purchased, they are taken to the check-out page which is SSL-secured on the server hosting the merchant’s website. Then the merchant’s payment gateway gathers the transaction information, encrypts it and sends it to the card issuer for authorization. The authorization response is routed back to the merchant through the gateway and the transaction is completed. The examples of real merchant account providers are RBS Worldpay, PayQuake, Worldpay, and others. These companies offer complex solutions from a 3rd party payment processing to opening a real merchant account. In the second case they also offer gateway services. Some companies like Authorize.net are working as a gateway only and help you in creating a merchant account.

The main benefits and shortcomings of operating a self-directed merchant account are:

  • Having your own real merchant account associates your business with a certain amount of professionalism. It shows you are more established, your business is credible and it is committed to providing a complete shopping service to its customers. Plus the merchants are provided with their own payment descriptors, which help buyers recognize and identify the seller’s charge on the financial statement.
  • You benefit having lower processing costs, these fees when charged by the merchant account company are substantially lower than the high percentage charged by the third party processor.
  • You choose your own bank for creating a merchant account and negotiating reasonable processing fees.
  • Setting up a dedicated merchant account solution is a much more involving process, requiring a certain level of technical knowledge. Moreover, once the account is set up, it requires certain maintenance and constant attention.
  • You bear full liability for possible risks including fraud and charge back ratios. Exceeding the charge back level may result in high penalties and even account termination.
  • Note that the initial costs of opening your own merchant account is usually higher than when you use a third party merchant.



Control every facet of your store, from merchandising to promotions and more. There are no limits to creativity with Magento. Expand Your Market Reach more customers by creating targeted micro-sites using Magento's multi-store retailing functionality. Magento's SEO features and user experience will attract and convert more qualified customers, leading to business growth. Competitive, Low Cost of Ownership Magento's commercial open source business model yields a product that is superior for a fraction of the cost.



osCommerce Online Merchant is an Open Source online shop e-commerce solution that is available for free under the GNU General Public License. It features a rich set of out-of-the-box online shopping cart functionality that allows store owners to setup, run, and maintain online stores with minimum effort and with no costs, fees, or limitations involved. With over 8 years of operation, osCommerce has built a showcase of over 14,100 online shops that have been voluntarily added to the live shops section, and powers many thousands of more online shops worldwide.



In our opinion OpenCart is the easiest full-feature e-commerce package to implement. The system has an easy to use menu driven interface and is truly a turn-key "out of the box" online ecommerce solution. You simply install OpenCart, select your template, add products and you're ready to start accepting orders. Choose a professional template design below and you will be up and running in no time. The Administration back-end software is intuitive and easy to understand so adding products, shipping types, payment types is straight forward.


Joomla! VirtueMart

A VirtueMart Store is a combination of Joomla! and a VirtueMart template design available here. After installing Joomla!, it can take just minutes to set up the VirtueMart Store Template and then you are ready to start adding your products to create the live product offering. Be sure to checkout the full working demos of all VirtueMart Templates and you will be convinced this is the online shop package for you.


for Wordpress

WooCommerce is an ecommerce shopping theme that is designed to allow selling products and services from Wordpress websites. A plain, skillfully built framework will offer you easy installation, integration of Bootstrap devive responsive functionality, plenty of widgets and shortcodes, as well as the most secure method to modify the design theme capabilities.


Zen Cart

Zen Cart is free, user-friendly, open source shopping cart software. The ecommerce web site design program is being developed by group of like-minded shop owners, programmers, designers, and consultants that think ecommerce web design could be and should be done differently.


Search by Type or Code Feature

Popular and Recent

Browse All By Subject

Code Feature

Subscribe to our Newsletter