How to accept epayments on your website
July 15, 2015 8:40 am
Since the first days of the Internet, businesses have been selling goods online. As the services have developed and user friendly interfaces for eCommerce have replaced programming knowledge, owning an online store has never been easier. When it comes time to accept payments, there are a number of services available. In today’s world, one of the hardest parts about running an online business is choosing the right ePayment solution for you.
Related: How to add PayPal to your website
Why your business should sell online
All reports point to trillions of dollars being spent annually in online sales. If you need a way to expand your business, becoming a part of this trend can be incredibly profitable. By putting your products or services on the Internet, you can cut into a slice of this proverbial trillion-dollar pie.
Setting up an eCommerce solution is cost effective when considering the management software that is available today. You will spend considerably less money operating an online store than you would in your brick-and-mortar location. As it has very little overhead cost to speak of, your investment would be nominal to get started.
People are not just buying goods online from locations abroad. Many will purchase goods from local retailers and then pick the items up later. Site-to-store, pick-up options at checkout and other methods allow people in your home town to make online purchases.
Greater target audience
While your retail store may be frequented by local patrons, setting up eCommerce capability gives you access to a much wider target audience. Instead of relying on sales to those in your community, you have access to a global reach should you incorporate world-wide shipping methods. This is an excellent opportunity for businesses in rural locations that experience a lull in purchases due to low populations.
How to accept credit cards on your website
Most eCommerce solutions are capable of utilizing a vast array of accepting ePayments. Even hard coded and customized websites are capable of accepting credit cards with the right platform. When it comes time to accept credit cards online, there are many options to choose from.
As one of the oldest ePayment methods, PayPal has developed a great deal over the years. It’s strongly supported by most eCommerce solutions and provides a business Mastercard for instant access to funds. Unfortunately, it could take up to five business days to transfer funds to a bank account if you don’t have this debit card.
Amazon Payments offers an inline checkout system allowing people to remain on your website when making ePayments. It has many tools to help set up cart buttons and offers graphics for your website. It does have a higher international payment fee than most and does not have an apparent method for instant access of your funds.
Originally used as a mobile payment solution, Stripe has integrated a checkout system for eCommerce. While you may need to have a bit of programming knowledge in order to implement the payment gateway on your site, it can be used with copy-and-paste additions. However, it doesn’t have a lot of customization when compared to alternative gateways.
Using Square gives you access to a great deal of analytics and capabilities for processing payments. Square integrates quickly into the business dynamic by allowing you to operate in-person and online sales through a single account. While the total fees when accepting payments are lower than most when selling goods for less than $20, it can become more expensive to use with greater purchases.
Google Wallet is another solution that allows you to manage brick-and-mortar sales as well as eCommerce purchases from a single account. The only fees Google charges are those of each debit or credit card transaction. The Wallet card you can get for accessing your funds is unavailable for use outside of the United States.
For those that are looking for global integration, 2CheckOut has a large number of tools and functions to make it easier. Supporting over 25 currencies and 15 languages, you can sell to a very large number of people across the planet. Unfortunately, the system only releases monies to your account once every Thursday.
Authorize.net has comparable pricing when viewed against many other solutions. However, there is a setup fee as well as a monthly gateway fee applied to your merchant account. One of the bonuses for this method is the ability to synchronize with QuickBooks for businesses that use that accounting software.
Which is the right ePayment solution for you?
Deciding on the perfect ePayment solution for your online store will greatly depend on your needs. Accessibility, fees, money transfers, analytic capabilities and more can play prominent roles in your decision to accept credit cards online. Start by setting a reasonable goal and what you wish to accomplish with your website. Things to consider include:
Rates and fees
Compare the overall fees by mocking up a few sales using the calculations for accepting ePayments from these solutions. There is often a setup fee, as well as a per transaction percentage fee. Depending on your volume of sales this can have an impact on how cost-effective one solution is over another.
Does the payment type support the types of transactions your business require? For instance, will you need recurring weekly, monthly, or even annual subscriptions? How easy is it to reverse a transaction?
Several eCommerce management systems come built with their own integrated data collection. You might not need a payment gateway that provides that information if it’s more expensive to maintain.
Global sales will need a method to convert currencies. Many solutions offer this as an automatic adjustment during checkout. Be sure that your chosen solution accommodates your target market currencies.
While you want to keep in mind that not everyone will have the same experience, reading reviews of each will show you common problems you may face. How will your provider respond to (your) customer support requests if there are issues.
Most payment gateways have strong anti-fraud protection in place. This can help protect you from illicit activities as well as protecting your customers.
Instant access to funds
As some solutions offer debit cards linked to your merchant accounts, you can buy goods for the business as soon as someone makes a purchase.
Main image: FamZoo Staff