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The term electronic commerce (or e-commerce) is the most common name for the practice of doing business over the Internet. You may have heard other terms such as Internet Business, Online Business, E-business, Internet Commerce, Web Commerce, and etc. These names all refer to selling products and services to customers using a Web store (or cyberstore).

To build your electronic commerce solution, there are several basic products/services that you need to create a Web store: a catalog builder with shopping cart features, a Web hosting company such as Cinema Tech, a payment processing service for real-time credit card transactions, and a merchant account to transfer funds. Once you have created your Web store and have placed it online, you can see the operational aspects of the electronic commerce process in action.

A consumer places an order on your Web Store using SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) encryption.
The consumer’s payment information is sent to a payment-processing center, and then forwarded to a merchant bank or third-party processor.
The merchant bank transfers the payment information to the cardholder’s (consumer’s) bank for authorization.
The cardholder’s bank sends an authorization to your Web Store by way of the merchant bank and payment-processing center.
Finally, an order confirmation is sent to the consumer.

The above process takes approximately 20-30 seconds to complete. If the transaction is approved, funds are usually transferred to your merchant bank account within 48-72 hours.
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