You are ready to sell your products on the WWW, and suddenly it struck you how will you accept payments ?? Or maybe you’d like to check out different payment gateways available comparitively select one from them. But before starting i need to clear up something, The difference between merchant a/c and payment processors.
Now it is clear from the diagram Payment Gateways does the main work of processing the credit card and doing necessary things to initiate the payment which is required in online, now the best part is nowadays you don’t need a separate merchant account to accept credit cards online, the payment processors serves as the merchant a/c for you for a small amount of fee also known as P2P, but there are still some exceptions and for those you still need to have your own merchant accounts.
Before choosing your payment processor you should look into its features. A good payment processor not only provides the software for the processing but also provides numerous features which can essentially ease the customer buying process. Here we’ll look into some common features provided by the payment gateways.
1) E-Check Payments – E-check is short of Electronic Check. Its similar to paper checks but its send electronically by providing bank details, and without any physical hassals, but it can take some time to clear, and can also bounce like paper checks.
2) Virtual Terminals – Virtual Terminal simply means you can accept credit card by different other ways, like, phone, fax or the post, and you yourself can enter the details in virtual terminals, which are highly secure and can be accessed from computers, mobiles or other security devices.
3) Recurring Billing – Idea of recurring billing is simple, it automatically collects payments from customers after a predetermined span of time, like monthly, quarterly, half yearly, yearly. It is very appropriate for subscription type of products.
4) AVS – Address Verification System, it is a fraud prevention tool, which will help you prevent chargebacks to some extent, what it does is it matches the zip code of the shipping address with the address on card, if it does’nt match the payment doesn’t authorize, this has its pros and cons, though strictly fraudulent activities cannot be stopped but it can be controlled, but if your service requires you ship product to different address as gifts, like some giftshop, this may be a little problem.
5) CVV2 – Its the security number of the VISA, Discover and Master Cards. This prevents buyers from purchasing if they don’t know the CVV2, one of the biggest site godaddy.com doesn’t have this feature and this is really a big security hole. They don’t even have AVS. This can definately ruin the name of your business.
6) Customer Support – A 24hrs customer support is good, considering you know that there is someone always ready to help you during your worst situations, though not necessary.
7) Easy Integration – This is one thing your web developer will know better than you (unless you are the one), everybody like to fully integrate the payment processing system within their own site, but certain services such as paypal (normal) may prevent this, where it redirects users to the paypal site and after the payment the users are redirected back to the original site, it can be viewed as a security breach by the customer, so try to stick with ones who does all processing in background and has API to easily integrate it to your shopping cart script.
Obviously unless you are doing some multi-million dollar business you’ll look into the cost of the services. Different payment gateways have different costs, such as setup costs, monthly fees, transaction fees, withdrawal fees, service fees, etc. The normal gateway fees are fairly standard but P2p providers vary with the services, in this article we are mainly going to stick with the P2P as they are the highly recommended ones for small business, and moreover i’m not experienced enough to talk about Big business structures.
Peace of mind is the ultimate peace, a fault in the part of payment processor means your customer loos=money loss, the mentioned gateways in this articles are all dependable as per the customers already using them, they are top of the list. But still you should research to check about your selection and check if they are dependable, specially on worst situations.
Before we proceed to the list please keep in mind, this list should be used as just err…list, not as reference. So i recommend you do your own research on which one suits you better before jumping on and use this list as a type of reference. Secondly the prices in the list may change so check them from their websites. Thirdly some services provide only the payment processor software, other are both merchant and payment processor (p2p), i recommend you check them up in the site for the terms of their service. And lastly, i’d recommend you call your selected processor and clarify all matters before registering with them and using them on the business and the following list is NOT arranged on matter of their preference
Other from the list are :
There are thousands of more. But i forgot to state one very important thing, all payment processors doesn’t support all countries, so try to lookout for those of your country for regional sales, but the above mentioned gateways support fairly good amount of countries.
Comparative Chart Of Popular Gateways
Hope you enjoyed the article, i’m eager to know what are your views and experience on the matter.