If your company isn’t currently using ecommerce to increase their profits, that’s where your focus needs to be right now. However, although the majority of companies out there enjoy some type of web presence, that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re all making the most of theirs. For example, any company not leveraging a payment gateway might as well be operating a website from 20 years ago (unless they’re so big they can support their own, i.e., corporations).
Let’s start with an easy example. Probably the most popular payment gateway out there is PayPal. Applications like PayPal and other payment gateways allow websites to accept money while providing their customers with a secure method for sending it. They also accept all kinds of payment methods in terms of credit and debit cards.
Not only are payments more secure, but many gateways also ensure that they are transferred and processed faster too. Plus, as a third party is handling the entire transaction, the company that actually made the sale has less overhead to worry about and can stay focused on trying to pitch and sell even more customers.
In today’s day and age, reliable payment gateways are practically a necessity. Given how many people have had credit card information stolen and suffered other cyber attacks aimed at their finances, most people won’t even trust a website if they don’t use PayPal, WorldPay, or some other prominent option.
Often times, payment gateways can be set up so that they’re seamlessly integrated into a company’s website. This means a purchase doesn’t necessarily have to mean a customer is redirected off the page. In these situations, the company will often post the logo of the gateway they’re using, though, in order to reassure their customers that they are completing a secure transaction.
This is known as a shared payment gateway. Even though the customer never actually leaves the website, the payment gateway handles the entire transaction. So although the customer stays within the company’s website, they still get the height of payment security. The other advantage is ease-of-use, as the customer is never redirected and is always relatively right where they started: on the company’s site.
The more traditional and popular version is called a hosted payment gateway. With these, the customer is taken from the website and brought to PayPal, Nochex, WorldPay, etc.
With a hosted payment gateway, your company doesn’t need a Merchant ID of any kind because you’re not dealing with any confidential details. You just send customers to a secure place where they make their payment.
It would be easy to say you should simply use PayPal if you’re ready to start using payment gateway software. After all, most online merchants do. But it’s worth considering what else is out there. Your company is unique and some of the other options out there may be a better choice.
First and foremost, you need to pick a payment gateway with a flawless reputation. Everyone is entitled to mistakes, but not payment gateways. If they suffer a breach, your company is going to suffer right along with it because customers will remember the gateway isn’t reliable. None are perfect—even PayPal has had issues in the past—but you need to be sure you’re not picking a provider that has had notable security problems lately.
Second, you should think about signup fees. For some companies, this may not be an issue. For others, though, this may be a huge barrier to entry. One thing to consider is how much more a gateway will help you sell. If it’s a sizable amount, fees may not be a huge issue.
Third, look at transaction fees. Just as many brick-and-mortar shops have to pay every time you use a credit card, you’ll need to pay a payment gateway each time you use their services. Obviously, the lower the better here.
Fourth, consider what types of currencies a potential gateway supports. If you have international customers—which every company should be looking for, at this point—you need to make sure those shoppers can actually do business with you.
Fifth, not all payment gateways pay the same way. You’re not just going to get all your money as it comes through. So look for those that will provide you with the type of payment schedule that is most beneficial.
The bottom line is that just about every ecommerce company needs a payment gateway these days. Find the one that best fits your needs and your profits should benefit.
The Cloudswave Awards is a seasonal ranking of the Top 10 business applications across several categories.
This ranking is based on the cloudswave score, the weighted average score that captures the essence of multiple critic reviews into one number.
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