How to accept credit cards online

If you take the time to select the proper provider, setting up an online payment system for your business isn’t complicated.

 

Like any business owner, you want to be able to accept credit card payments online from clients and customers.

However, there are many payment-processing vendors to choose from, ranging from small startups to large, well-known corporations. Each offers a unique set of features and different fee structures.

Whichever vendor you choose should match your business’s needs, whether that means you’re looking to process just a few — or thousands of — transactions a month.

 

Your ideal online payment options should meet the following needs:

  1. Easy integration: Incorporating the online payment options into your online store or website should be straightforward.
  2. E-commerce solution: The vendor should provide a shopping cart and buy buttons for use on your site. It should also allow you to build an entire e-commerce site for your business if you don’t already have one.
  3. Easy for customers to use: Item selection and checkout should be easy and completed in as few steps as possible, even if someone checks out as a guest instead of as a registered customer. If customers struggle to make their payments online, they might not complete the transaction. They also likely won’t return to the site to try again. 
  4. Offline capabilities: If you also sell goods or services in person, the best online credit card processors offer offline sales solutions — for instance, using a mobile credit card-processing dongle.
  5. Price: Most online payment providers charge a monthly fee as well as a per-transaction fee. These can vary greatly among vendors. Be sure to ask about fees and whether there are additional charges for maintenance or support.
     

Beyond these considerations, you’ll also want to confirm that the provider you select has a proven payments track record, works well in your industry, offers a good level of customer support and runs a secure system that can protect against and detect fraud.

 

Types of payment solutions

Most likely, you will be looking for an all-in-one solution or a basic credit card processor — the two solutions most commonly sought by smaller businesses. A third solution, a merchant account with a payment gateway, is typically a better fit for a large business. 

 

Moving forward

Once you’ve selected an online payment option, ask questions about fees. Negotiate, if you are able. Make sure you understand how long it takes to implement the solution and what it will take to integrate the payment system with your website or online store.

Finally, be sure to ask about the level of customer support provided, so you can ensure you get answers to your questions as needed and have ready access to the right resources if the system goes down.

 

Get more information about flexible tools for debit and credit card processing, tailored to your business.

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