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May 20, 2022

How to Benefit From a Distance Selling Contract?

Today, consumers have the choice between going to a physical store to make purchases or ordering directly on the Internet.
Indeed, the number of online shoppers is skyrocketing. A survey made in 2020 shows that 78.3% of Internet users in France are online buyers i.e. more than 40 million people (Médiamétrie, Observatoire des usages internet T1, 2020).
So how can you meet the needs of increasingly connected consumers when you are a professional ? How to make sure your online payment solution is i) safe, ii) secure, iii) up to date ?
The Distance Selling Contract is a payment solution that can be on-boarded on all e-commerce sites.

I - The Distance Selling Contract: Description, Operating Process and Advantages

A - What Is a Distance Selling Contract (aka DSC)?

A Distance Selling Contract is a contract established between a merchant and a credit or a payment institution.

What is the purpose ?

To allow sellers using their already-existing on-line sale site to accept credit card payments from customers.

Access to a Distance Selling Contract is a two-step process.

Step one is receiving an identification number given by the payment institution you had chosen.

Step two is subscribing to a payment solution with a service provider who accepts such identification number. Our partner Verifone provides such a service.

Once implemented, a payment page will be shown to your customers as the last phase of their purchase process. They will have to enter their bank details to finalise their transaction.

The money sent will securely pass through the credit or payment institution and be immediately redirected to your bank account.

The Distance Selling Contract acts just like a payment terminal (ETP) in a physical point of sale, but is 100% virtual, taking the form of a digital payment interface.

B - What Are Online Sales and Purchases Benefits?

Distance Selling is popular in many countries. France is the second largest e-retail market in Europe, just behind the United Kingdom. This method appeals to consumers for its convenience, as it offers choosing, ordering, tracking and delivering of purchases in a seamless manner. Distance selling favours the use of bank cards, the most common means of payment used by the French.

II - The Distance Selling Contract: the Steps to Follow

A - Choose a Payment Service Provider

The first step in obtaining a Distance Selling Contract is to get in touch with an establishment authorised to provide this kind of services.

The first provider that comes in mind is a traditional bank, but it is quite possible to benefit from a DSC in many other establishments. Payment institutions for example offer a range of customer collection solutions including Distance Selling Contracts. They are 100% digital and provide online quality services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

B - Compare Rates and Services on the Internet

Before entering into a Distance Selling Contract, find the service provider which offer suits you in terms of services and rates.

Each Payment Service Provider has its own price grid. However, there are common factors to consider such as

  • What is the set-up fee (fixed fee) ;
  • What is the monthly subscription fee ;
  • How much is charged a transaction (usually a percentage of the sale amount).

Olkypay offers Distance Selling Services that are compatible with a large range of e-commerce softwares (including Magento, Prestashop, Web & Solutions, Wordpress, WooCommerce...).

Various payment solutions are also available to suit most companies’ needs. The rates are displayed with no hidden costs on the Olkypay website.

III - How Is Distance Selling Regulated?

A - Information and Documents Required by Law

Once the Payment Service Provider chosen, the subscriber will have to prepare documents describing the company's activity, as well as technical data about the sale site, such as its URL, operating system, etc.

In addition, information will have to be displayed on the sale site to the attention of consumers:

  • Name and contact details of the distance seller
  • General Terms and Conditions of Sale (GTCS)
  • Main characteristics of goods or services proposed
  • Terms of payment
  • Selling price, all taxes included
  • Information about the supply of goods or services (delivery method, shipping time and costs)
  • Waiver or Return Policy (either legal or proposed on the seller’s own initiative)
  • Period of validity if the offer is a service

From a payment perspective, a business account is mandatory to enter into a Distance Selling Contract. This account will be exclusively used for business activities and will be linked to the payment solution.

You can sign up for a business account and a Distance Selling Contract in a few minutes by visiting olky.eu. A Distance Selling ID Number will then be provided after receipt and review of the requested documents.

B - Consumer rights

Concluding a Distance Selling Contract encompasses compliance with law on consumer rights.

These rights include in France a waiver period, a return policy or a request for refund. The seller may also suffer penalties for late delivery or non-conformity.

According to business standards, a secure payment protocol must exist, a legal guarantee of conformity must be provided and an order form and a notice of receipt must be issued.

In summary, the necessary steps to operate online sales in a safe way are

  • be registered and have a professional bank account ;
  • find a Payment Service Provider proposing Distance Selling Contracts such as Olkypay;
  • select a service provider such as Verifone that offers distance selling solutions ;
  • go through the whole process of customizing your goods or services offer including putting in place the digital payment interface and displaying all regulatory information.

In any case, take the time to thoroughfully review and compare providers services and pricing.