In this fast-moving era, who doesn’t love ease and convenience? Customers are increasingly finding that online shopping provides them with both. As a business owner, you may want to know how to enter this lucrative world by accepting credit card payments online.
A Word of Caution
Before we dive into different types of credit card processors, please remember that the processor you choose is more than just a name on a contract or the monthly bill you pay. In fact, it is vital that you take the time to find the credit card processor that best meets your business’ overall needs.
A high-quality vendor will help you to eliminate the likelihood that you will be a victim of fraud as well as reduce chargebacks and assist you in handling disputes. Even if it costs you a little bit of time to find the best provider, it’s an investment worth making.
Merchant Account Payment Gateway Combination
Traditionally, a merchant account plus a payment gateway has been the way that businesses accept credit cards online. This combines a special business bank account for accepting payments with a gateway that connects your store to your merchant account. Once you have set it up, you can process customer payments and facilitate interactions between your bank and the customer’s financial institution just as you would with a traditional point-of-sale solution.
Keep in mind that with these combinations, you will need to apply for both an account and a gateway separately, and the process with some providers can take several days. Once everything is approved, you must configure your online store with API keys and tokens and connect it to your gateway.
There are all-in-one solutions that allow you to combine your merchant account and your gateway into one entity. PayPal is probably the most well-known, but there are others. These accounts accept all major credit cards and usually have low to mid-level transaction rates. Basic accounts are often free, although you will need to pay for premium add-on services.
In addition, you probably will not find that these types of accounts are equipped with the same level of customer service. In fact, all you might get is an email address or a library of articles to consult if you run into problems processing a card. Again, research your processors to determine which one offers the best combination of pricing, service, and ease of use before getting started.
Online technology and smartphones are everywhere, and online shopping is now becoming an expectation, even for small businesses. Start letting your customers make online payments, and you could tap into a whole new revenue stream.