It is almost impossible to overstate how much progress the entire world of commerce has experienced due to the advent of digital and online payments. In this day and age, individuals and businesses can now complete business transactions worth millions of dollars in a matter of minutes. Just twenty years ago, suggesting such a transaction to anyone would practically scare them away, but today, it has more or less become standard practice. Over the past decade, several policies have been made in different countries to regulate physical cash handling, all to promote the culture of digital and online money processing in these regions. Many countries have even gone as far as introducing “e-currencies” to serve as additional legal tender within and outside their borders. This exists in both first and third-world countries, which signifies, among other things, that the world of electronic transactions is only bound to expand in the future.
The growth of e-commerce worldwide has automatically led to an exponential increase in digital forms of payment. It only follows that when you decide to purchase any item or engage in any form of transaction online, paying for such goods or services digitally becomes the most convenient. It saves time and effort for both the customer and the business.
In light of these developments, it is only natural that tech-entrepreneurs will continuously establish gateways and avenues to ensure the seamless and efficient completion of these online payments. This has led to an increase in the number of payment processing companies worldwide.Infographic About How Payment Processing Works
Payment Processing Platforms and Online Businesses
Similar to every other industry, every new payment processing provider attempts to offer a fresh perspective and a new form of value to convince individuals and businesses to adopt their brand, thereby creating a customer base for themselves. Without mincing words, every business is established to make a profit. It is, therefore, a responsibility of business owners to employ every permissible means to maximize the revenue and profit of their business. In today’s digitally driven world, maximizing your company’s profit will include selecting the best possible means for your customers to pay for your services digitally without experiencing unwanted glitches. There are many realities tied to selecting the best payment processing provider. One of these realities is the fact that any provider you choose invariably becomes a business partner. Payment is one of the most crucial aspects of any transaction, and in most cases, it completes the transaction. Every customer who transacts with your business digitally will indirectly encounter your payment processing provider. It is crucial to the satisfaction of your customer that the encounter goes smoothly. It also heavily influences whether or not there will be future transactions between your business and such a customer. Therefore, it is essential to leave a lasting impression. Based on predictions, e-commerce transactions are only bound to increase in the near future. For example, it is predicted that e-commerce sales will soon reach an astonishing $4.2 billion and cover up to 16% of all retail sales worldwide. This forecast places an unshakable responsibility on E-commerce traders to ensure that they match the industry’s progression and check all boxes in terms of efficiency. With the stakes continuously raised, choosing the best payment processing gateway is one aspect of your business that should not be a source of constant concern. Therefore, in selecting payment processing providers, it is important to consider a set of factors, which will ultimately ensure an uninterrupted flow of transactions for you and your customers. Among other advantages, having a fixed payment processing provider gives your customers a personalized experience unique to your business. This article will provide some valuable factors to consider before selecting a payment process platform for your business in the next segment.
Factors to Consider while Choosing Payment Processing Provider
Among the numerous payment processing/payment gateway providers in existence — PayPal, PauU, Skrill, Amazon Payments, Braintree — the first thing to consider is the nature of your business. Whether you are simply an e-commerce website into the sales of goods or you have a more sophisticated structure involving the provision of services, the first thing to be identified is what you do as a business. The nature of your business has to be compatible with the payment processing provider and their mode of operation. Every other factor will be tied to this. Without much ado, let’s get to these crucial factors. Safety and Security of Customers Again, it all comes down to the customers and how properly they feel treated by your business establishment. Therefore, in selecting any payment processing provider, one thing to consider is whether your customers will feel secure and safe after the whole experience. One drawback to conducting online transactions around the world is the possibility of revealing important and sensitive information to the wrong party, which could lead to financial disaster. Therefore, regardless of the type of business you operate, making your customers feel secure as they conduct their transactions should be a priority. Regardless of the type or size of business you operate, your customers will expect their payment processing to be handled by a website that maintains their privacy and confidentiality. In any case, ensure that the payment processing provider you adopt is certified for adhering to the information security standards, as prescribed by the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). Fees and Service Agreement It is also important to consider the business costs of using a particular provider. As you well know, payment processing providers are businesses in their own right, who also exist to make profits. Therefore, spending up the transaction process between you and your customer comes at a cost. It is important to compare your business model to the costs of adopting a particular provider and the general payment structure of such a provider. Some providers even require you to pay signing up fees before setting up their gateway to your business, while some require meeting a certain payment threshold from time to time. All these sub-factors should be considered tying your company to any service provider for any period. General Effectiveness and Convenience of all Transactions As a matter of fact, most customers will abandon transactions where they must complete some registration form. No one wants to go through the stress of registration just for the sake of payment, and more importantly, no one wants to give away their personal information except when necessary. Extra processes generally discourage customers. Therefore, when selecting a processing partner, ensure that there are as few steps as possible leading to final payment for your customers. Some actions can also be optional, especially when they are not crucial to the payment processes. The absence of redundancies generally encourages customers to stick with your business. Easy Checkout on All Devices Within 6 months in 2021, 79% of all transactions conducted online were completed using mobile phones. 62.2% of the world’s population as of 2021 also own mobile phones. This reflects that checkout activities will increasingly be conducted through portable and handy devices in the coming years. Therefore, businesses will limit themselves by adopting payment providers that only function on desktop devices or personal computers. Recurring Billing Finally, this factor also relates to customer convenience and is specific to businesses where customers have to effect some form of periodic subscription. If your business requires such from your customers, it would be wise to adopt such a payment model (with a provider that has such a feature, of course). Netflix is the most prominent example that comes to mind in this case. It is also important to give your customers the option to suspend automatic subscriptions, to prevent unwanted billings.
Many other factors exist, which you can consider as you set up your digital payment process for the sake of your business and your customers. For example, it is an added value when a payment provider has 24/7 customer support (in case of a mishap) and an easy integration process, which makes the provider’s website work well with your platform, ultimately enhancing your customers’ user experience (UX).
Questions To Think About when Choosing a Payment Processing System
Although we have successfully described a few factors to be considered, let’s outline a few specific and vital questions you should directly ask yourself before selecting a payment gateway provider.
- What is the nature of my business?
- Does the payment provider ensure a safe and secure process?
- Is the platform certified by the necessary agencies and bodies?
- Does the platform cost my business more than it can handle?
- Is it the best possible option for my customers?
As a business owner, you will be responsible for making several important decisions all the time. For businesses that operate digitally, it will include choosing a payment processing provider, which is a decision that must be made as carefully and meticulously as possible. Therefore, as you make your decision, ensure that you have a long-term mindset, keeping in mind the sustainability of your business and the convenience of your customers.