Any consumer-facing business will need to accept money through electronic transfers, be it credit card, debit card or mobile processes. You will need a payment gateway to facilitate the transaction. A payment gateway is simply an eCommerce service that lets you accept payments from your customers. One of its core functions is to ensure that the sensitive cardholder information is encrypted and passed securely between the acquiring bank and the customer’s payment method ie, the issuing bank.
There are a number of payment gateways available and picking the right one for your business can be a daunting task.
The most popular payment gateways you should consider for your online store include:
Here are some of the most important factors to consider when choosing a payment gateway:
The cost you’ll incur will be in the form of these three types: set-up fee, transaction fee and monthly fee. If your business deals in high value transactions, look for gateway that has a set higher monthly fee and lower transaction fee. Conversely, if your sales volume and value is on the lower side, you may opt for a lower monthly fee but higher transaction fee.
Since you are receiving and storing sensitive financial information of the customers, it is imperative that security should be a high priority while choosing the gateway. The payment gateway should be level-1 PCI DSS compliant. Some gateways provide additional security against high-volume attacks by banning excessive transactions made from a single source.
Integrating your accounting or invoicing software with the payment gateway is a great time saver because when you receive an online payment, the corresponding invoice will automatically update in the accounting software. Some gateway provides do not charge for integration while some do. So make sure you take into account all the costs before signing up.
4. Recurring Billing
For a subscription based business, you will need a payment gateway that will go into the recurring cycle by storing customer information for future use, charge the credit card automatically on schedule, etc. Or you will end up doing it all manually each month.
5. Hosted vs. Non-hosted
Payment gateways can be hosted (where the customer is redirected to payment processor’s platform to complete payment) or non-hosted (payment is integrated into your store). The biggest advantage of hosted gateway is that the business owner bear no risk of security fraud associated with storing credit card information. The downside is that it adds an additional step in the checkout process which may put off buyers. Most businesses with large transaction values prefer non-hosted gateway for this reason.
Choosing the right payment gateway is very critical for any online business. So integrating one that meet your needs and help your business grow seamlessly should be the top priority while selecting one.
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