Are you setting up an online store? Have you yet decided what the best payment method for your business will be? Don’t know where to start? No problem, Foundry has come up with some key features you will need to consider to come to an informed decision.
A payment gateway is the ecommerce application service provider that authorises and processes credit or debit card payments for e-businesses, e-shops and/or online retailers. Choosing the right payment gateway provider is important for:
Foundry have created a list of key things to consider to make the decision process easier.
Ip, dip, doo…
Hostess with the mostest
You can have payments completed on your site, or off your site:
Some payment gateways enable customers to complete payments whilst staying on your website’s URL.Customers type in their details into a form on a page served from your site, these are then communicated directly with your secure payment gateway provider. Paypal and World Pay are therefore a popular choice of payment gateway because they provide a smooth customer experience by users remaining on the company site to complete payments. Such gateways also allow you to have the design of your payment page inkeeping with the rest of the site to strengthen and reinforce your company identity.
Alternatively, you can choose a payment gateway that redirects a customer away from your site to checkout on a different URL: Your site does not host the payment form. Although this option often limits the design of payment form, it is extremely secure. With this type of gateway you eradicate your exposure to payment details, contributing to you meeting the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard
Some payment providers offer just a payment gateway; you get the technology that sits between your website and the payment networks, but have to have a merchant account for money to pass into. A merchant count is a special type of bank account that collects card payment details.
With other payment providers you get a combined payment gateway and merchant account. This is usually the better option for smaller companies as it involves less setup and monthly fees.
You will find that most payment gateways are quite specific in the functionality they provide. It is therefore important that you find a payment gateway that has the features you need. Your choice may consider factors such as:
Money makes the world go round.
Fees for payment gateways vary, some charging per transaction, some using a monthly fee system, some fees are based on a percentage of transaction amounts, the list goes on and on. To find what suits you, and the best deal, you could take a look at a site that compares fees.
The sign up fee for a payment gateway or merchant account is a key factor to consider when choosing the gateway right for your site and business. If just starting out you may opt for a payment gateway with no sign up fee. However, if expecting to sell a large volume of products for instance, then choosing a gateway with a sign-up fee can be more effective in the long run; sometimes you do get what you pay for.
Transaction fees are also worth consideration. With higher charges eating into your profit, you may opt for a low transaction fee. However, despite some of the well-known and popular gateways tending to have higher transactions fees, it is worth considering paying the extra for the benefit of creating trust with your customers.
For the bumps along the road to success
It’s worth checking out the levels of customer support provided. Do you want contact with an actual human being if things go wrong? Then opt for a payment gateway that offers a telephone support service.
Don’t sign your life away.
The key thing is to make sure you know what you’re signing up to. You don’t want to get locked into a contract for years and end up unhappy with their service. Some providers offer rolling monthly contracts which allow for more flexibility.
To offer, or not to offer.
PayPal is typically the first gateway clients ask to use. There seems to be an assumtion that it is neccessary and equated to success. Indeed, it has the benefits of, and is often chosen for its ease, and because a lot of potential customers already have an account. However, despite these benefits, PayPal should not be considered as the only option, as its simplicity comes at a literal cost. The charge per transaction for PayPal is 3.4%+ 20p. This over charge is apparent when comparing this fee to the 2.5% gateways such as Visa and Master Card offer. This cost must be considered before automatically opting for PayPal because of the big name it has created for itself.
Opt for mobile optimisation
As we have previously mentioned, in today’s world customers shop online using a variety of devices. Therefore, ensure your payment gateway presents an attractive and functioning site no matter what device it is being viewed on.
When selecting a payment gateway think about your future goals as a site and business. Do you aspire to open up your platform to multiple sellers in the future? If so, you might consider choosing a payment gateway that will support long-term goals so that you don’t have to switch later on. There would therefore be an easy transition to expanding.
Foundry recommend that you keep these factors in mind when researching which payment gateway to select. How about drawing up a table to help you compare the key features each provider offers?
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Foundry hope these tips are helpful in your decision of which payment gateway is best for your eCommerce store. Why not follow us on Twitter for more handy web design advice?
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