Running your own online store can be a daunting task and when it comes to dealing with your customers’ sensitive banking information, there is no room for error. If you want to take some of stress off of selling online, you can do just that by investing in the right software for your business and it all begins with a payment gateway. Before you jump into the deep end, however, it’s a good idea to find out as much as possible about these payment options so that you can invest in the best option for your business.
What is a payment gateway?
Basically, a payment gateway is an application specifically meant for eCommerce websites that authorize payments on behalf of the business owners. It acts as the facilitator for the transfer of this information, and in order to ensure that no unauthorized third party is able to access any of the information, this app will encrypt it in a way that makes it near impossible to do so. This payment gateway makes paying for goods on a website easy and secure for both parties, which is why it is worth considering.
When you’re setting up your payment gateway, it is not necessary to understand exactly how these systems work – after all, they can be very complex and technically oriented. The important part is that you understand how they can work for you and your customers. It is also just as important that you know how to pick one of the best options on the market.
How will my customers use the payment gateway?
The good news is that using one of these apps could not be simpler. The customer will simply place the order as they usually would on a website and then checkout by adding in their preferred payment option. The gateway software will then do the rest of the work by encrypting that information before sending it over to the payment processor.
The programmer automatically redirects the customer to that payment processes where the payment will be finalized. Once the payment is verified the purchase will then be complete. The customer will receive a message on their end saying that the payment has gone through successfully before they are redirected again to the website.
Which provider should I choose?
One of the most important facets you need to consider when choosing a provider is whether they have a sound reputation. These days, customers can share their experiences with others very easily via the platform of the internet so there are few places where a company can hide if they don’t provide good customer service. Take the time to look potential companies up online to see what existing customers have to say about them.
Which forms of payment are accepted?
When you open an online store, you need to consider what types of payments your customers will most likely make. Some customers, for example, prefer to pay via eWallets, such as Paypal, because they feel more secure in doing so. Others, however, might prefer to use debit or credit cards.
The type of payment gateway you use will need to support the type of payments your customers prefer to make, otherwise you could end up losing a lot of business. When looking up reviews, you should keep in mind that companies are rarely going to receive only good ones. This is because, inevitable, regardless of how competent a company, something will go wrong. Look for how the companies deal with these complaints – that should tell you more about the type of experience you are going to have with them than anything else.
Do you need any special features?
The type of features you’ll be looking for in a payment gateway will depend on the type of services you are providing. If you’re looking for one-off payments only, you’ll likely only require a basic package, but if you want to set up recurring payments, you’ll need something a little more eloquent. Make sure you know what you’re looking for in a payment gateway so that you can recognise a good package when you see one.
What type of business are you running?
Believe it or not, there are certain types of businesses that will find it harder to procure the services of a payment gateway company. Certain companies are considered to be high risk because of the nature of what they are selling – these include gambling, travel and adult content websites – and it is likely you’ll need to find a company that specifically supports these types of businesses.
Keep in mind that ultimately, your safety and the safety of your customers should be a priority and if that requires more specialist support then it is worth the investment.
What are additional tips for choosing the best payment gateway?
Choosing the best payment gateway isn’t always simple because you need to consider your own specific needs, as well as the needs of your customers but there are a few things that everyone should consider. Firstly, some companies charge annual fees, while others will require a percentage of each transaction – it’s up to you to decide which one will suit your financial situation best.
Secondly, you’ll need to consider what type of support you want as some companies will be at your beck and call, while others will not. It’s likely the former will end up costing more but you’ll find it easier to cope in the event an issue should arise. Lastly, consider how many steps your customer will need to complete before the payment is finalized – the lengthier and more complex this process is, the more likely they won’t return to your store.