Building a better plan for payment gateways and technology
When it comes to a better plan for payments technology, here are the core elements to consider in executing the right design for your business:
Accepting payments today, tomorrow
It’s said that we all want to be accepted. A payment’s no different. As consumers find and adopt new choices, they expect you will too. You don’t want to find yourself having to deny accepting a payment because you can’t. So whether it’s chip card technology or near field communication (NFC), which drives so many of today’s early mobile wallet payments, you’ll want to be sure that your payment devices and are upgradable to accommodate the apps and software that drive future payment applications. There’s a good chance that you learned this preparing for the shift to EMV chip card processing. Then there’s the question of what you can do versus what can be done for you. Do your terminals need manual software updates, is the gateway you use ready and certified for connections to the new world, or should you consider what many small businesses have—a move to fully integrated point-of-sale systems that essentially bake everything you need into one payments casserole with little work for you to have to do, ever again.
Connecting payments today, tomorrow
The center point of your plan is probably the most important as well. Today the number of connection points, the demand for new services by consumers, and the sheer number of software applications available to you to make it work can be daunting. Yet, however your business runs and whatever your need there are simpler ways to keep connected to all that is payments. From smarter terminals to mobile and virtual acceptance devices tethered to the contemporary payments landscape, through to today’s totally-integrated point-of-sale system—it’s easier than ever to solve for your specific payments needs. Your plan should consider talking with experts and peers to determine how best to configure your payments world on the basis of what, how and to whom you sell.
Protecting payments today, tomorrow
Nowhere is the evolution in payments technology more prevalent than in protecting payments. The long-awaited introduction of chip card technology in the U.S. is working to make payments safer at the point of sale. Stopping fraudulent card presentation in-store is in a different place than in the days of the knuckle-busting carbon copy receipts. Still, what technology stops in-store it must help prevent online. The whack-a-mole game of protecting payments finds card criminals now popping up online, where using stolen data can be easier if you’re not protected. However, the introduction of encryption to protect card data as it travels and tokenization, which protects it while being stored, is helping to make strides in the safety of payment card data both in-store and online. You’ll want to find providers who can wrap all of these security elements together for you, considering the devices you use, the connections you have to process and the types of transactions that are most prevalent for your business. Again, the card hardware and software you use to process payments, including the gateways that might connect you to processors and providers, need to be able and ready to make the connections to safer processing paths.
Getting your small business arms around payments technology can take a lot of work without the right people stack and the right technology stack. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to remove complexity in the process and to move to simplicity of solution. Read the companion stories below as you evaluate the expertise you’re looking for.