Since online consumer spending is growing exponentially, being able to accept online credit card payments is a must. In 2020 alone,
in online shopping, which is up 44% from the previous year.
While there's still hesitation around online shopping due to security and fraud concerns, growth of online sales is expected to continue
. For merchants, this means it's imperative to find the best credit card payment system (and accompanying payment processor). This way, you cease the opportunity to offer more customers the ability to easily buy from you online.
Questions to Ask Before Accepting Online Credit Card Payments
There's many factors to keep in mind when selecting both your credit card payment system and payment processor, namely your provider's fees and the contracts' terms and conditions. But more importantly, you'll need to assess how you'll sell your products. To better understand what you will need, start by thinking about these 4 points.
- Determine if you are selling products or services from your website. If you don't have a website or feel overwhelmed at the idea of managing a website yourself, consider hiring someone to help you create or manage your website.
- Choose appropriate service providers. No matter what you're selling, choose service providers that are suitable for your industry. Most solutions tend to be marketed for all merchants, but in the end, you'll need to spend more in order to have them customized for your specific purpose.
- Get clear on your budget. There will be a variety of costs - from start-up costs, maintenance fees, to payment processing costs. Costs will also be based on your website, the amount of products and your sales volume. It's best to forecast your expenses and plan your budget.
- Prioritize security. Security should be your top concern - you want to protect your client's personal information at all costs, therefore choose a payment processor that is payment card industry (PCI) compliant.
Types of Payment Processors
With the previous suggestions in mind, you'll be better equipped to find a payment processor. According to BigCommerce.com
, here are 2 types of payment processors to consider:
Merchant Account and Payment Gateway:
- Merchant account and payment gateway
- Payment Service Provider
Merchants can open a merchant account and choose a payment gateway in order to facilitate payment. To be succinct, a merchant account holds funds that were processed by a payment gateway. A payment gateway is the technology that enables customers to make payments online using credit cards, debit cards. Basically, it's a third party organization that connects merchants to customer's banks in order for the payment to take place. Payment Service Provider:
Payment service providers (PSPs) also called third-party aggregators, are third-party organizations that process debit and credit card transactions without requiring that users have a separate merchant account. Instead, PSPs are all-encompassing in that they combine a merchant account within their services and include other business solutions as well. It's a practical option that is cost-effective, especially if you're a small business owner who doesn't have a website or who has a low sales volume. Some notable payment service providers are Paypal, Stripe and Square, which have affordable rates; fees vary according to features and services chosen.
How To Accept Online Credit Card Payments With A Website
The thought of having to make changes to your website or creating a website in order to accept credit card payments might be anxiety-inducing. But first things first - it's not always complicated and there's always a few solutions at hand. If you used a site builder, review the available options to integrate a payment system (third-party apps, extensions or plug-ins). For Wordpress users, WooCommerce and Ecwid are solid options. WooCommerce offers a free plug-in and a list of payment processors and Ecwid
offers a monthly fee depending on the amount of products and features, is compatible with website-building platforms such as Wix and Weebly. If you didn't use a site builder, see what is most worthwhile for your business, maybe that's a plug-in or hosted payment page.
How to Accept Online Credit Card Payments Without A Website
Selling products or services online doesn't require a website. If you use social media channels like Instagram, you can use Shopify's online shopping cart or you can send your customers an email invoice using invoicing software
, which can be mutually beneficial for both parties as invoices can be sent, received and paid quickly and relatively cheaply.
Getting Started with Online Payment Solutions
Now that you know the very basics of accepting online credit card payments, you're ready to start shopping for a payment processor. It's a big decision, one that involves time and research, as it's the next step to your business's growth. In order to assist you, give our experts a call
to discover our options, we'll be happy to find the best solution to fit your needs.