Do you have a business that helps you make money over the internet? Today, there are millions of merchants who accept credit cards and debit cards online, and with good reason. In 2012, North American online sales alone totaled $389.5 billion USD. The following year, it exceeded expectations of 13% growth in eCommerce spending volume, and by 2015, however, research estimates that sales all over the world will reach a total of $1.4 trillion USD.
In order to make that kind of money on the web, though, businesses must use the right online payment processing services in order to receive credit card transactions. Online payment processing services are typically third parties that send payments from customers to businesses, typically taking a portion of the transaction as a fee. These merchant services are crucial for helping businesses receive their funds in a timely manner.
When choosing from the many online payment processing services available, it’s important to keep three things in mind: cost, services, and security. Here are the reasons you’ll need to look for these features when shopping around for an online payment processing company.
Cost: When choosing one of these services, cost will be the first thing you look at. For the most part, payment processing is completed by taking a portion of a transaction as a fee (usually a percentage). However, some businesses may charge a flat rate, or there could be multiple fees — especially for services such as international payment processing. Find out exactly how much you’ll be spending when you shop around.
Services: Online payment processing isn’t just about taking money from customers to give to you. Sometimes there’s more to it than that. Make sure to find out which types of credit cards can be accepted by a payment processor before you choose one. You’ll also want to see how many international currencies your payment processing service can accept before you choose one. After all, with the power of the internet, why stay limited to customers in your own country only? Other services could include your own custom virtual terminal, which is especially handy for bill pay, and technical support when you have questions about that system.
Security: One thing that many people are worried about today when it comes to using a credit card online is security — and with good reason. With all the data breaches in the news, consumers are eager to protect their accounts and their identities online. When shopping around for an online payment processing service, make sure that they use SSL (secured socket layer) technology on their platforms and that they are PCI compliant (i.e. meeting international standards for payment processing).
Have you chosen a payment processing company before? How did you make your decision? Tell us about your experience in the comments.