Money is the greasy wheel that keeps eCommerce moving. You can have the most beautiful website ever, but if your customers get hung up in the purchasing process all of the hard work creating that site will all be for nothing. In order to provide seamless operation and safe cash transfers you need a solid eCommerce payment gateway.
Types of Online Payment Gateways
There are two basic types of payment gateways: offsite and onsite. Each type has a few options. Offsite gateways can be server based, bank hosted, merchant accounts. One of the most popular merchant accounts is PayPal. Bank hosted accounts are funneled through your local banking establishment, and server based options are companies that exist solely to be the go-between for consumers and online eCommerce sites.
You can self-host your own gateway for your site, but then you will be responsible for the security of each transaction. When you are starting out, your customer base may be leery of trusting your page with their sensitive personal finance information. Many small eCommerce sites find they get more sales when they use a trusted payment site as their payment gateway.
Making a Decision
Once you decide on the type of gateway payment option you want for your eCommerce site you need to decide on an individual selection, unless of course you are going to self-host your payments. In other situations there will be several companies or programs to choose from.
Cost of Gateway
Find out the cost of each option. Some may fall outside of your budget. For those that are affordable, you can use cost as a factor when all other considerations are equal. Look at the process of getting started with each option.
Avoid options that have lengthy sign-up processes or require hefty upfront fees. When you find a gateway you really love, but are afraid the startup costs will be more than you can easily fund, consider Advance Funds Network. You can get the money you need to help you get started easier with no upfront fees.
Find out if the payment gateway you choose has the ability to accept multiple currencies. The online world is not limited to sales in a local area, and that means not all of your customers will use the same currency.
Your gateway should also be able to accommodate a variety of payment methods. At the very least, your chosen gateway method should be able to accept payments through credit cards, debit cards and PayPal. PayPal itself offers some great options for online businesses to create their own gateways through the PayPal site.
Check out the terms and conditions of each gateway to be sure they allow your type of merchandise. This is not only true for merchants offering “adult” products. It is also necessary for anyone who offers digital products or a mix of digital and physical products. Some platforms are not set up to deliver digital items.
Finally, make sure the gateway you choose is easy to communicate with. You need to know that customer support is always available 24/7. When there is a problem with your money, it not only affects you, it affects your customers as well. In most cases you will not be shipping a product until payment is received, and when there is a hold-up you need to know why.