What to look for when considering online payment systems
When you're accepting credit cards on your website you've got several options when it comes to online payment systems. These systems offer a variety of features and functionality, so be sure to select an online payment system that not only meets your business's needs today, but will meet them as you continue to grow.
Here are a few things to consider when evaluating online payment systems.
Is the payment system compatible with your website?
It might seem like a no-brainer, but compatibility can be easily overlooked. Be sure whatever online payment system you're considering is compatible with the software running your website. If it isn't, then move on or plan to update your site software.
What payment types are supported?
Most systems will accept Visa and MasterCard, but what about American Express or Discover? What about in-app payments or debit card transactions or other alternative payment options such as PayPal? Not every payment system accepts every transaction, so be sure to select one that accepts the payment types your customers want to use.
What currency is supported?
In addition to payment types, it's also important that your online payment system supports your customers' currency of choice. If you're selling to international customers, you'll want to ensure you're able to accept their currency, whether that's dollars, euros, yen or pounds.
How much does it cost?
Regardless of which online payment system you select, you'll be on the hook for a variety of fees, including setup fees, service fees and transaction fees. These fees can vary by payment system and provider, in addition to the standard card processing fees, including interchange, that you'll pay, so be sure you understand all the costs involved.
It's also important to note that payment systems can have sliding scales when it comes to transaction fees. These fees decrease the more transactions you process, so depending on what volume you expect, one system might be more cost effective than another.
Can you accept recurring payments?
Some online payment systems also help you establish and manage recurring payments, think a monthly subscription charge for an online floral delivery service or cloud-based hosting platform, while others do not. If you currently bill--or plan to bill--recurring membership or service charges, consider a system that can help you establish, accept and manage these types of payments.
What security features are offered?
While most of the bigger players should already cover the security basics, some online payment systems might offer more security features than others. Security is one area where online payment systems hope to differentiate themselves, so you might find security advantages to certain systems compared to others. At the very least, ensure that your system secures all payments with SSL. On top of that tokenization and fraud detection and protection features are must considers.
Will customers like the user experience?
Since online payment systems integrate into your current website, ensure the customer check out experience is seamless. Can you customize your checkout page so it's consistent with your brand or will it offer a disjointed customer experience?
Some online payment systems will process customers' transactions on their site, not yours, which can lead to a fragmented experience, so be sure to consider your customers when comparing options.
There are several factors to consider when selecting an online payment system, but by carefully evaluating features and functionality you can narrow down the options that best fit your needs for today and tomorrow.