If you are on the brink of launching your own e-Commerce business, there are so many moving parts to consider. One of the most critical parts is determining how you will accept and process credit card payments. Accepting card payments is one of the most essential ways to bring revenue and grow your business as most customers still prefer to use credit cards to pay for goods and services online.

But where do you start?  It is no secret that more customers are cautious about who they do business with and to who they relinquish their cards to make their purchases online. They want to ensure that their sensitive card information will be kept safe from bad actors. The only way you can ease their worries is to make certain that you choose the right payment solution and provider. 

Three Types Of Payment Processors

Before we begin, when it comes to existing solutions, know that there are three types of payment processors: “simplified credit card processors”, “all-in-one solutions”, and “merchant account + payment gateway.”

Let’s go over each one.

Simplified Credit Card Processors

The advantage of going with these types of services is that you don’t have to worry about a merchant service account or even a payment gateway. This means you don’t have to worry about paying as much in fees or having to manage vendors.

They don’t charge setup or monthly fees. Rates are fair. And it is simple. The customer is only required to enter their credit card information and the payment is subsequently processed. 

Although these types of processors are very intuitive, do know that you will not have access to any additional support. If you were to run into problems with your credit card processing, you will be directed to self-service articles and perhaps e-mail.

All-In-One Solutions

This solution combines a merchant account and gateway into one simple solution. It makes the setup process a lot easier. You can take all major credit cards. For basic accounts, there are no monthly or setup fees. If you are interested in added features on certain services, know that there will be a monthly fee. 

Merchant Account + Payment Gateway

The conventional way to accept credit and debit card payments online has always been a combination of a merchant account and a payment gateway. Merchant accounts are a type of business bank account that allows you to accept credit card payments. 

The way an online payment gateway works is that it connects your store and your merchant account. It enables the processing of payments between all key players involved, including your bank and the card issuer’s bank. 

One thing to keep in mind is that payment gateways and merchant accounts do have fees. Simply take the time to shop around as some do not require a setup fee and other transaction fees can be more competitive. 

Another aspect to keep in mind is that you will need to fill out an application to apply for both a payment gateway and a merchant account. To do that, you will also have to gather some essential business documentation. Consult with your merchant account provider to determine which legal and financial documentation is required. Once your application and all documentation have been submitted, you will then have to wait a few days while an underwriter examines your application and documentation. 

Once approved, you will then need to connect your payment gateway to your merchant account. Then the payment gateway will need to be connected to your store. Payment gateways typically offer more customer support since their providers tend to be larger companies.  

What To Look For In A Payment Processor?

When you are ready to go out and look for the best payment processor for your business, you will need to go armed and ready with some background information. Here are some questions you should ask your potential provider:

1. Do you charge separate fees for your payment gateway?

Some providers charge fees to use their payment gateways on a “per transaction basis.” If there is a “standard transaction fee,” then you need to pay a gateway fee for every transaction.

2. What are the contract terms?

One of the most important aspects of choosing the best processor for your business is to look closely at their contract terms. Most of them require you to stay locked into a contract for one or even two years. Find out what options you have if you need to switch to another processor. Will you have to pay an early termination fee?

3. Is there a monthly minimum processing requirement?

If your monthly transaction volume drops at any given month, will you be charged a monthly minimum fee? This can add up quickly over time, especially if your business is just starting out and the sales are just not coming in.  

You Have Options

When you are just starting out, the idea of finding the best, most affordable payment services provider can seem daunting. Don’t be intimidated. The good news is that there are plenty of providers to meet your business needs, regardless of what stage you are in. 

By taking in the above tips, you will already have a head start to determine what to look for in the best payment processor for your e-Commerce site. 

Posted in eCommerce