ecommerce, shopping, credit card

Payment gateways offer a number of benefits to both merchants and customers. Any business that participates in e-commerce needs the services of a payment gateway. It’s impossible to run an online business without integrating your shopping cart into one, so lets get started talked about the benefits of a payment gateway and what to look for.

Using a payment gateway for an online business provides all of the following benefits and more.

  • Secure Transactions
  • Fast Processing
  • Convenience
  • Increased Customer Base
  • Bundled Options
  • Back Office Solutions

Let’s break down each of these benefits and how they can work for an ecommerce website.

Secure Transactions

In the online environment, there are tons of risks for identity theft, fraud, and other criminal activity. Using a payment gateway that is PCI compliant can help protect you and your customers from hackers and thieves. Many customers are wary of such activity and will expect your business to protect their information.

Payment gateways are required to be PCI compliant and offer encryption for all parties involved in the transaction. When choosing a payment gateway, this should be one of the first questions you ask. Be sure that your gateway has a high level of security, without making your customers jump through hoops to process a payment. There is a balance between security and convenience, and a great payment gateway will hit the mark on this one.

Fast Processing

Transactions are processed immediately through an online payment gateway. The process to move money from the customer’s account to yours is fairly lengthy and includes multiple steps, but a gateway does this quickly and seamlessly. Manual processing is quickly becoming a thing of the past because it takes too long for customers and merchants to complete their transactions in full.

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A payment gateway can complete instant verification from the customer’s bank or card account to ensure that the funds are available and the purchase is legitimate. Payment gateways can work with most banks and financial institutions, allowing them to be anything from a sponsored solution to a high risk payment gateway. This allows your customers to feel confident doing business with you and makes it simple for them to do so.

Convenience

With increasing competition in the online marketplace, it’s important for businesses to remove barriers in the payment process. If it’s too complicated or inconvenient for a customer to purchase something from you, they will likely take their business elsewhere. A payment gateway can make the buying process simple and easy for your customers.

Not only will a gateway provide a seamless shopping experience for your customers, but it also provides them plenty of options. A typical gateway offers a variety of payment options, including card payments, ACH payments, and third-party options like PayPal. It also gives your customers the convenience of shopping whenever it’s good for them because your online store is open 24/7.

Increased Customer Base

The beautiful thing about the internet is that you can market to and do business with people all over the globe. This immediately translates to an increased customer base for your business. If you offer safe, secure online payment processing, you can sell your products and services all over the world.

Some things to consider here will be cross-border fees and additional transaction fees. If you’re planning to sell overseas, be sure to ask potential payment processors what their fee structure is for international transactions. You also want to ask if they have any restrictions or certain countries where they are unable to process payments.

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Bundled Options

More and more payment gateway providers are integrating their services in order to offer one-stop merchant services solution for businesses. If you can find a processor that offers a merchant account, shopping cart software, and payment gateway, you’ve found the trifecta of online providers. When researching different gateways, be sure to ask if they have bundled services and what is included.

With a software bundle, you will have all of your information in one place and you’ll only have one relationship to maintain. You can use the same vendor for all of these needs, and probably negotiate pretty great rates, as well. When all of the software elements are part of one suite, they are generally more highly integrated and offer a better experience to both the merchant and the consumer.

Back Office Solutions

As a small merchant, it can be difficult to keep track of all the elements that contribute to a successful business. You often need to purchase multiple software systems for different functions from e-commerce to banking to accounting and more. With the right payment gateway bundle package, you may be able to find all of these functions in one solution.

When interviewing different payment processing providers, be sure to ask what types of back-office systems are included in your package. The more you can streamline your business, the better off you’ll be. If your processor offers merchant services, a payment gateway, and all the back-office solutions that you need, it’s almost a no-brainer.

Implementing a Payment Gateway

Once you’ve decided to purchase a payment gateway system and you’ve chosen the best one for your business, you need to consider all of the elements of implementation. The integration process can be fairly complicated, so we recommend hiring an expert to help you with it. Getting it properly integrated, secure, and PCI compliant is critical.

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Choosing between integrated platforms, redirect platforms, iFrames, and escrow systems can be confusing if you’re not used to speaking that language. Be sure to ask your gateway provider what services they offer for implementation so you can plan ahead. It may or may not be included in your purchase.

Conclusion

Payment gateways are no longer just a nice-to-have addition to your e-commerce website. If you’re doing business online these days, you have to have a payment gateway. It’s the most simple, secure, and fast way to accept payments from your customers.

If you need help choosing gateway services or you have questions, Allied Payments can help. Our experts specialize in high risk merchant account services and we can help you choose the right product for your business. Nothing gives a small business more peace of mind than knowing they have a partner they can trust. Give us a call and let us guide you through the process.