To use an online payment platform, merchants must have a payment provider. Payment providers serve as the intermediary between merchants and banks, providing a secure way to collect payments. If you are in charge of handling online transactions for your business and want to choose the best option for your company, here we prepared some tips on what you have to consider when picking a payment provider for your e-commerce store.
1. Payment Processor Features
There are so many choices of payment processors to choose from, but it’s vital to find the one that best meets the needs of your business. Check if these features are supported:
- Accepting different means of payments like credit cards, debit cards, and PayPal.
- Fulfilling multiple roles in a transaction like processing transactions and providing authorization for companies with logos and branding on their site. Stripe is an example of this type of processor.
- Performing some basic reporting tasks for analyzing sales performance that can be easily integrated into your business software like QuickBooks or Xero.
2. Payment Processor Implementation
As with software, integration is an important factor in choosing a payment processor, since it greatly affects how merchants manage and process their payments. With this feature, you can easily integrate online payment methods and their settings into your website and create a seamless experience for your customers.
If you are operating a traditional brick-and-mortar business, the payment processor will also need to support all of the necessary features for processing and accepting payments in people like point-of-sale terminals and cash registers. Only then will it be useful on your site.
3. Security Measures
Payment security is always important, as you never want to risk your customer’s information or money on an unreliable platform. Therefore, the payment processor should provide a level of security that exceeds what is required by PCI or other standards.
4. Merchant Account Fee
When choosing an online payment processor, it’s important to understand what the fee structure is and if it suits your financial needs. The standard terms are set by PayPal, but there can be additional fees for things like accepting certain bank cards or requiring a minimum transaction amount.
A quick scan of the payment providers will tell you whether they are scalable and can handle your business’ requirements easily and smoothly.
5. Customer Service and Support
Customer service is the best way to resolve any issue, which can be a time-consuming process. Therefore, it’s important to choose a payment processor that has fast and helpful support team members. Some processors even have an available live chat feature so you don’t even have to wait for email responses that may take several days.
And if you want every bit of your customer’s information in one place, consider using aggregators, which incorporate all payments into one account. It is important not to forget about the maintenance of the platform as well.
6. Transaction Fees
Think carefully about your payment needs before choosing a payment platform. For example, if you plan to accept only credit cards and a low number of transactions, then it makes more sense to get a paid account with zero fee as opposed to a free account that charges you approximately 1% per transaction.
However, if you will be offering more services than credit cards, then consider an account with higher fees because it can be used over multiple platforms. Some merchants outsource their payments in bulk so they can get better deals on the fees they pay.
7. Management and Reporting
Having a payment processor is essential for e-commerce businesses, and it’s vital to have full control over your transactions. If you want to keep track of all your payments, set up full reporting for your products so you can calculate revenues, manage orders and inventory, and generate reports like sales per store or store sales by category.
The more options you have for managing your business, the better off you will be as it will greatly help with customers’ experience on your site. Also when choosing a payment provider to think about how easy it is to get help from the support team whenever necessary.
8. Online Merchant Account
Setting up your merchant account with a payment processor is fundamental to any e-commerce business, and there are numerous providers.
However, if you don’t have time to look at every provider, here are the three most popular that are used by millions of merchants: PayPal (owned by eBay), Stripe (digital money account providers), and Braintree (credit card payments).
Most online merchants choose one of these payment providers to process their transactions. Other choices such as Authorize.net or WorldPay are suitable for medium-sized businesses that want an easy option for managing small payments.
9. Type of Account
With online payments, it is advisable to choose an account type that suits your business and allows you to collect payments through all devices. The platform of the payment processor should offer the same features for all types of accounts. The most common types, without going into much detail, are:
- Standard account – usually comes with 50 or 100 transactions per month.
- Unlimited account – lets you process a high volume of transactions.
- Enterprise account – is the most secure option and suitable for large businesses with a team managing their accounts or multiple banks servicing the same client.
10. Third-Party Integration
With the popularity of third-party integrations, it is advised that you check whether the payment processor allows this type of integration into your existing website. This is crucial for streamlining the workflow of your business and making things easier and more manageable. The two main types are:
- Direct integrations – allows you to accept payments and manage transactions on your website directly through a single interface. Some examples include Stripe and Authorize.net (accept credit cards), PayPal (accept cash and credit cards), etc.
- API Integration – allows you to integrate payment processors into your software or mobile application with the help of APIs.
11. Mobile Optimization
Any business needs to think about responsive design and make the website mobile ready. Therefore, if you have an e-commerce website, you need to select a payment processor that is optimized for mobile payments as well.
The best way to handle this is by using a third-party service where your customer receives a payment button or link on their phones, and then when they click on it, they are redirected to the e-commerce site where they can complete the transaction easily and quickly.
If you are looking for an easy solution to accept your business payments through a third-party service, then you should try a payment processor. The main advantage of using these services is that they are capable of handling high volumes of transactions, and they have several additional features that will make your life easier.
They also provide better security and lower fees and are available for worldwide businesses. However, it’s important to choose one that fits the needs of your business; otherwise, you may end up paying more than necessary in the long run.