Learn everything you need to know for your business to start accepting credit card payments online
For over two decades, people have been paying for items and services online. Being able to invoice and accept payments through the internet has completely revolutionized how businesses throughout the world collect payments.
Is your business ready to get a piece of the pie and start accepting payments online? We’ll help you answer some important questions and show you what you need to know.
Benefits of accepting online payments
At its foundation, paying online with a credit card is first and foremost convenient. Why is that important?
It’s hard to over-emphasize the role that convenience plays to customers. A recent survey found that 97% of customers have backed out of making a purchase because of the process being inconvenient.
Depending on the kind of business you have, your customers likely prefer to pay on the go instead of at your location. Thus, accepting online payments can greatly expand your market and attract new customers, along with increasing the likelihood of existing customers completing the purchase.
Choose how to accept online payments
Fortunately, there’s not just one way to accept credit card payments online.
Rather, there are a number of different ways that will allow you to find the perfect fit for your business. Let’s look at the two biggest ones.
On your website
A website is becoming more a requirement and less an option for any business, regardless of its nature. Since it has become quintessential, there is no shortage of opportunities to accept credit card payments on a business website.
One way to do this is by using third-party apps on your website. WordPress, Wix, Squarespace, and nearly every other site builder out there will offer third-party apps or extensions to facilitate a quick, easy online payment for your customers or clients.
If you prefer an even easier way to accept credit card payments on your website is via a hosted payment page. How this works is by simply having a page hosted by your payment processor that securely redirects customers to use when they’re ready to pay.
Via an online invoice
Maybe the thought of having a dedicated service for accepting online payments is too overwhelming for you. Fear not: online invoices provide an easy solution that will allow your customers to still pay with their credit card on the internet.
It works by using cloud-based invoicing software that’s accessed from virtually anywhere. This software produces two important components:
- An online invoice that you can customize. This can include specific details regarding the goods or service, the date, the invoice number–anything that will help you and the customer stay organized.
- A secure, shareable link to the invoice. The customer follows the link to the invoice, enters their credit card information, and submits the payment. They’re emailed a receipt, while you’re notified of the payment (along with your accounting software, should you choose this feature).
Now that we have seen the customer-facing part of accepting credit card payments online, it’s time to find out who makes this all happen behind the scenes.
Choose an online payment processor
With the extreme popularity of eCommerce, it’s no surprise that there’s plenty of online payment processors to choose from. However, much depends on how much volume you will be processing each month.
That’s why we made it easy for you by dividing things into two categories: businesses that are doing less or more than $4,000 in online payments.
For businesses doing less that $4,000 a month
Maybe you are just getting your foot in the door to online payments. Using these processors will work for getting things started.
Stripe: Anyone wanting simple, easy-to-pay online invoices should look no further than Stripe. Another advantage is their ability to customize online checkout abilities.
PayPal: If you’re in need of an easier processor to add a checkout feature to your site, look to the company that has made online payments a household name: PayPal.
Square: For an immediate solution, Square is a great online processor to go with. They are easy to set up and can offer compatible hardware for a nominal cost to make both online and in-person credit card payments a snap
For businesses doing more than $4,000 a month
Now that business has taken off, it’s time to choose a traditional payment processor to give you the best value with accepting credit cards online.
The reason a traditional credit card processor will be better is simple: traditional credit card processors can offer a far better rate for processing online credit cards.
This will end up saving you hundreds or even thousands of dollars, depending on the volume of transactions.
Traditional credit card processors can provide an online gateway for your web developer to implement on your website, making accepting credit card payments both easy and cost effective for your business.
For help choosing the best payment processor, take a look at our guide that provides you with everything you’ll need to know.
Make paying online as simple as possible
Let’s not forget the primary reason people want to pay online in the first place: convenience. That means the quicker you can let them pay, the more likely they are to complete the transaction.
Make it as easy as possible to checkout and pay. In order to do this, consider integrating mobile wallets that are becoming the preferred way to pay. Platforms like Apple Pay, Google Pay, Or Amazon Pay offer one-click payments are offered by many payment processors.
Be sure to review your online payment process from the customer’s perspective. Are there any speed bumps like extra steps that aren’t necessary? Is everything clear and understandable from their perspective? It might be best to recruit a fresh pair of eyes if you designed the checkout process or page.
Keep everything secure
Last but not least in the requirements to accept credit card payments online is making sure everything is secure.
Check out our blog on PCI compliance to understand fully what the Credit Card Industry standards are, and be sure to meet them in order to save both you and your customers a lot of headache by preventing fraud or identity theft.
Not only that, but you’ll also avoid chargeback fees and other costs related to having regular occurrences of fraud–not to mention you’ll maintain a better reputation with your customer base.
It’s easy to say that accepting credit cards online isn’t for everyone… But really, it is. Whether you want to simply issue invoices online, just get started, or go all in with a customized eCommerce experience, there’s never been more options to find the perfect fit for your business.
Accepting online credit card payments will help grow both your customer base and your business–which is exactly what Progressive Payment Solutions is focused on. We’re here to help you with anything payment-related.
Contact us today and see how we can move your business forward while saving you money.