You need an SSL certificate if you are accepting credit card payments online through a merchant account. Even the authorities like credit card associations and networks make it a necessity for you to have an SSL certificate. This is because there is a transmission of critical information like card number, card holder’s name, card expiration date, CVV code etc. Getting an SSL certificate involved is an important aspect of making your website PCI compliant (A set of rules that have to be followed for accepting credit card payments). Moreover, an informed customer knows about website security and before making any purchase from your website, he / she confirms if your shopping cart is secure. You might lose out on potential customers if you have not secured your website with an SSL certificate.