Which payment gateway is suitable for your e-business store? This is a difficult choice to make considering the many options currently available. Most people newly using ecommerce have a big challenge regarding making these choices as well as the factors that determine the choice of a certain gateway.
There are a few factors that you need to consider in order to establish the effectiveness of your payment gateway. Here are a few questions to guide you through the evaluation process.
Would You Like To Provide Paypal?
You can choose to have more than one gateway. Most e-business platforms allow for many payment choices to be given to customers. PayPal is the most accepted alternative. Many customers have accounts with PayPal and they would rather pay through it than reveal their payment details to other sites. Even if PayPal is not your primary payment gateway, you should allow customers to use it for payment. PayPal can be used as backup if your merchant account or main payment gateway experiences problems.
Is Your Payment Gateway Helpful?
Choose a gateway that can serve all your needs like recurring payments, taking payments for the sellers on your site or even taking simple one-off payments after selling your goods and services.
Is Your Business A ‘High-Risk’ One?
There are businesses considered ‘high-risk’ by the providers of payment, due to the type of sector they are operating. They are:
Collection of debts
Such businesses may not attract payment providers. They should try working with those payment providers specially centered in payment processing for ‘high-risk’ businesses.
Does Your Gateway Support All The Methods Of Payment Used By Your Potential Customers?
There are payment methods used in the internet worldwide, such as MasterCard and Visa while there are others usable only across a few countries. It is important that you find out the various payment methods that your potential customers use and come up with a gateway that can support the various payment methods. You may risk losing sales if you have a website that does not support certain payment methods.
Does Your E-Business Platform Support It?
You may be using SaaS-oriented platforms like BigCommerce or Shopify, or maybe a self-hosted one such as Magneto or Woo Commerce. You can access a number of off-the-shelf extensions or plug-ins for integration with the main payment gateways. If available, then use a gateway that has its own plug-in.
Would you like customers to directly enter their details of payment on your platform? Technically, you can take your customers; payment details in 3 ways:
Posting the form for payment on your ecommerce site; having the details sent to the server
This is the easiest method for customers, yet the most unsafe. You should be very cautious with your security and ensure it always complies with PCI. It may not be cost effective unless your annual returns are in terms of millions.
Redirect or iFrame
You can choose to put the payment form in a safe iFrame; in one page within the site or redirect your customers and make them pay through a hosted page. They are safe methods, but they make it difficult to get matching payment forms as those on your site.
Having the form for payment on your website; customers sending their details directly from the browser to a safe gateway
You can use a middle-ground like Stripe.js. This is a payment gateway that allows for customers to fill out the payment form on your site, but it has codes with which its server directly communicates. This way, the payment details do not go pass through your server. This reduces your safety responsibilities as compared to using you own server, but more as compared to using redirect or iFrame.
There are payment providers like PayPoint and SagePay which only provide a gateway for payment (the technology between your site and payment networks). In this case you need a personal merchant account. This is the bank account where your money is passed; it is a different one from your ordinary business account). There are also those providers like Stripe and PayPal which provide a combined merchant account and payment gateway; you would be using their own merchant accounts.
A combined provider account is easier to set up and use, and is cheaper than having a separate merchant account. However, it would cost you much more per-transaction fees. Therefore, small merchants are advised to first use a combined provider. Larger merchants may save money if they have separate merchant accounts.
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