Maintaining an online customer base requires a solid and reliable payment system for both parties. Sometimes it’s painful to see businesses’ loss of potential customers because their payment methods aren’t exactly what customers do need to finish transactions.
In this case, the problem is obvious: there are no customers to purchase without the proper payment method. So, how to set up online payments without much hassle?
Let us clarify the entire process for you. Regardless of what business you’re in, the steps to offer payment options are the same.
Best Practices for Collecting Payments Online
If it is needed to provide customers with the best experience possible, businesses should consider several factors that simplify the payment process. Otherwise, you’ll have customers opt-out of their purchase at the last moment. Three pieces of advice we have for businesses are these:
Offer multiple payment methods
Although this sounds like an Online Business 101 rule, several websites offer only one payment method, hurting their conversions. 56% of respondents in a survey expected multiple payment methods before proceeding to the checkout page.
There are hundreds of payment methods invented. You shouldn’t offer all of them, but choose a dozen suitable for your target audience. Businesses might run simple questionnaires on their audience to find out their favorite payment method.
For most, offering the option to pay with direct bank transfers and the majority of credit cards is a requisite. Also, allowing multinational third-party processors could be pretty beneficial. Nevertheless, it all depends on your audience demographics.
Think about long-term use and scalability
You might want to choose a payment method that offers reasonable fees for large transactions and doesn’t prevent you from scaling to several payments per day.
As the daily volume of transactions increases, the payment systems may fail to process each one of them. When considering payment methods, think long-term. If you don’t plan on scaling to a large number of customers but instead focus on retaining the existing ones, an off-the-shelf flat-rate system solves your needs.
These pre-made off-the-shelf systems come with low rates and affordable set-up costs. It is ideal for small businesses with a few transactions per day, but for a considerable amount of transactions, they will take a good chunk of your revenue. Instead, use payment methods that are customized for your business. Switching later might be problematic.
Provide Debit Card and Credit Card Payments
Credit and Debit Cards remain the most basic method for accepting payments from customers. Today, most buyers own a Credit or Debit Card. Adopting this feature requires choosing between an intermediary holding account or a dedicated merchant account.
Various methods come with their unique features, funding times and impact business processes differently. Decide on a provider after researching their details and their client base. Statistics rank Visa as the most used Credit Card with 1.141 billion cards worldwide.
MasterCard comes second. Besides these, we have other providers such as American Express, Discover, etc. After deciding to provide these cards, what is the next step in setting up your online payment system?
How to Select the Proper Third-Party Payment System for Your Business?
Before selecting a payment service provider, analyze a few details about each one of them. These characteristics are essential in picking a provider that matches your business needs. Question yourself whether the provider is compatible with your resources and conditions.
Is the payment service provider specialized in your market?
Providers are usually focused on a particular market. Select one with proven experience to serve in the same market as you do. Also, a market-specific provider already has data on customers’ behavior, insights for existing payment methods, the payment process, customers’ pain points, and industry expectations for the same market you are in.
Beware of false statistics that are not backed up with real numbers. Always question the reliability of the data received. Providers should provide information such as approval ratios by country and Merchant Code Category (MCC) to be trustworthy.
Does the provider offer customization options for the checkout page?
The checkout page should be both appealing and simple to understand from buyers. To achieve this, you must have the freedom to customize its elements, starting from brand colors to placeholder labels.
A well-customized page enables customers to finalize the purchasing process through the desired checkout options you will offer. It’s recommended that you select providers that offer a considerable level of mobile optimization since most buyers use their mobile devices.
The ease of customization is essential as well. Indeed, you might be offered a completely customizable checkout page, but what skills does it require to make changes? It might require developers to write detailed code, which adds to the costs of adopting the service.
What security policies and data protection is offered?
Analyze your prospective payment providers’ security policies. No other element surpasses security in terms of importance when selecting a payment provider. You risk losing loyal customers because of a security leak.
Reliable payment providers fall in compliance with PCI DSS requirements. Ask for clarification of this essential information along with full details of their policies and security regulations before making a decision.
Does it integrate with your actual hardware and software systems?
The software you are using in your business might not work with all providers. Select one that integrates with your current software (Xero, WooCommerce, QuickBooks, etc.). Collecting payments becomes less complicated when all systems connect well together.
Choosing a processor with payment methods that match your hardware is something you should keep in mind too. The credit card processing company of your choice must be compatible with the POS systems, terminals, and card readers, so you don’t have to replace them all from scratch.
How to Set up an Online Payment Form?
If you’re selling online without a payment form is the same as having a shop but keeping the door closed. Having a payment form is essential. Through it, you give customers the freedom and flexibility to purchase from multiple devices seamlessly.
There’s a difference between an online payment form and a completed shopping cart. The former has fewer options, even though it’s suitable for one-time or ongoing payments as well. Both forms show that a brand is flexible and up-to-date with market trends.
Payment forms offer a safe and confidential payment method but not only. Such forms help collect information about customers, such as names, emails, and phone numbers. Keep in mind to check a few factors while putting an online payment form on your site.
Step one: Find the most suitable option for your business
Today, we have numerous payment providers in the market, but not all of them are compatible with your business. Experts advise that you do careful research while examining these features before choosing with which to proceed:
- Setup costs
- Monthly fees for the service
- Funding options (retrieving from the provider or connected with the bank account)
- Extra fees on a transaction basis.
Check whether the processing provider integrates with a payment form as not all offer it.
Step two: Establishing a merchant account
Based on what option you choose in the initial step, a merchant account may not be required to continue further. However, many decide to go through merchant account underwriting to benefit from lower fees, faster funding, and other advantages.
Step three: Creating the payment form
We spoke about customization above. In this step, you will create a new form using the software you chose, adding the preferred customizations. Select the services or products you’re offering and the available payment methods. Next, add a logo and activate the form.
Step four: The final step – integration
Moving to online payments saves time for businesses and leaves more room for scaling. We aren’t done here, though. To finalize the integration process, you must notify your customers about the changes. It takes some time for them to get used to it, especially if you own a brick-and-mortar business and have collected payments manually so far.
Make the Right Choice for Your Online Business
When choosing between payment providers, first, you need to select between in-house or third-party providers. Each option caters to different needs. You need to have developers on your team who can create and maintain the form functionality from scratch if you decide to do it in-house. Otherwise, you’ll need to hire extra staff.
On the other hand, a proven third-party solution offers constant support to avoid delayed payments and late deliveries caused by traditional poor processing systems. Online payments grant customers the option to pay effortlessly from anywhere.
Such facilitation leads to an increase in cash flow and customer satisfaction. Providers can help you set up a payment processing method without waiting months for a merchant account approval. Focus on attracting new customers instead of dealing with technicalities.