Today accepting credit card payments online is a necessity.
Even retail-based businesses have a need to process transactions online as they turn to the internet (and their website) as a way of boosting overall store sales.
With this in mind, let’s explore how to accept credit card payments online.
The Best Way to Accept Credit Cards
In developing your online business there are three main methods of accepting such payments.
In no particular order they are:
- Bundled shopping cart/payment processing
- Online merchant account
So which one is right for you?
Let’s explore each one further…
It’s fairly easy to sign up with Paypal for your online merchant account.
So that’s a plus.
However, there are three major drawbacks when it comes to using Paypal, especially for established businesses. First, their overall processing fees are not that competitive when you get right down to it. A business account will cost $30 per month, plus credit card processing fees.
Secondly, some customers don’t like to use Paypal for checkout.
They mistakenly believe that they have to register for a Paypal account (not necessary for a verified business account). Plus, some people feel that Paypal is only used by start ups or companies that are not established.
Finally, it doesn’t really work well with an online catalog, since “buy now” or “add to cart” buttons must be made for EACH and EVERY product. This isn’t really scalable if you are selling more than a dozen items. And should you decide to change the price of an item (or items), you’ll need to change the button as well.
Trust me, that’s a LOT of work.
The next two methods to accept credit card payments online depends on having a third party merchant account.
One option is to use a bundled solution, such as 1shoppingcart.com. This will provide you with a shopping cart as well as a merchant account to process online payments.
So what’s the downside?
Well, all-in-one bundled solutions tend to be more expensive than simply having your own online merchant account in the first place. Typically, all the fees for the merchant account and e-commerce platform are combined, making it hard to determine the overall cost for processing transaction.
Also, bundled solutions tend to offer many “additional” features that are not necessary.
And these come with extra fees.
Finally, you can apply for an online merchant account directly. If you have good credit you can typically get approved within 24 hours. The key is to make sure that your online account account will integrate with your shopping cart platform.
So which option is the best one for your business?
That really depends on a number of factors, such as:
- how long you’ve been in business
- your credit history
- how many products you intend to sell online
- whether (or not) you need recurring billing
- if you have/need a SSL certificate
And the list could go on.
Plus, you’ll want to factor in how easy it is to reach customer service, should you have a problem with your account or a technical issue.
Finally, using a reputable third party merchants makes customers confident and safe, so they will be more willing to buy from businesses using such reputable payment gateways.
And businesses with their own merchant accounts enjoy lowered costs of transactions.
I hope you found this information helpful. Please feel free to share your comments below.
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