Online payments are now a huge part of the digital world and you have to catch up if you want to be up to date with the ever-changing eCommerce web development tools. When it comes to choosing the best payment provider for you, there’s a multitude of options available on the internet but in this case, having too many options is not a good thing. You have to select the provider which is beneficial for your clients as well as your business.
Not having a good payment provider is damaging, to say the least, so here is a compilation of things you should be taking into consideration while making your choice:
Choosing The Best Payment Provider
Evaluate the payment methods you need
It is no secret that Visa and MasterCard are the most acclaimed for online purchases all around the globe and thus they are a default option and compulsorily offered by most online stores as people can easily have their debit or credit cards made by their respective banks. As flawless as the option may seem for local purchases and local audience, some users making international purchases might face difficulty (it is not confirmed that their local banks facilitate card payments to any corner of the world) so they look for useful alternatives if they can’t easily acquire credit cards for international purchases.
So basically, the payment method be it credit or debit cards, bank account draws, transfers, and even cheques all serve different purposes and offer different back-end support. You will need to figure out what payment methods you need and then you want to make sure your provider has the options you need. Evaluate the payment methods you need by considering your target audience, banking services regulations and service providers involved on both ends. Knowing how hard/easy it is for your clients to pay through the system of choice is important.
Are they prepared for foreign currency exchange?
Again, your target audience needs to be a consideration here as this factor depends on whether you have a local or global reach. If you’re limited to a nation or state, you need not to worry about foreign currency exchange (or about multi-currency, settlement currencies, alternative payments, etc. for that matter). Local processors which in turn are connected to local processors won’t give you any trouble when they have to process local traffic and local payments.
But if you’re a globally reaching eCommerce website and you are letting your customers pay in their local currency, you’ll have to account for the foreign currency exchange. You want to make sure that your provider offers payment in a multitude of major currencies so that your customers don’t face trouble (getting unfavourable exchange rates or not knowing how much they’re sending) and so that you don’t have to deal with fees on your end when you receive the wrong currency.
The financial institutions involved in the payment process can specify their international payment deduction fee, but currency exchange rates are unpredictable so having a provider which offers payment in different major currencies helps you be prepared for the increase and decrease in different global currencies’ exchange rate against your standard one.
API is the heart of every reliable payment system
Trust us when we say you want to prefer payment providers who offer API integration. In simple words, API guarantees that your customers and users have the option to pay for everything you offer directly from your website.
If your payment provider does not offer API integration or is not powered by API, your potential customers will be redirected by it to their website and all of them will be required to fill out their details in the form. The redirection and form completion method will not only be time-consuming but it also may just make you lose some potential customers. People want to put stuff in their cart and then pay with ease without having to worry about additional forms and security concerns, otherwise, they’ll abandon their carts.
This is why it is said that API is the heart of every reliable payment system because you need to make sure the checkout process is flawless and efficient enough for you to not lose customers and do not decrease your conversion rates. Having doubts about the payment handler or reluctance to share personal details in the form they’re redirected to will make your customers turn back.
PCI Compliance and robust fraud protection
You need to walk away if your payment provider is not PCI compliant. Seriously, don’t proceed with that contract. Find a payment provider who is a hundred per cent compliant when it comes to following the rules and regulations rendered by the PCI. The PCI—or the Payment Card Industry, has Data Security Standards (DSS) set for all companies which process credit cards. This ensures that a payment provider is a secure option for your business.
If your payment provider meets all the safety requirements of PCI and offers maximum protection for your online buyers, this may help reduce the chances of a security breach while ensuring high privacy for both you and your customers. You will be handling unencrypted credit card numbers of your customers and your responsibility is to make sure their data is secure. The best payment gateways offer robust fraud protection tools and those who don’t, they should not be on your list of potential payment providers for your online eCommerce business.
Consider your operation location and incorporation
One question you need to be asking is if the payment provider you’re considering to have on board operates in the right countries. The complicated laws which vary from country to country make payments across the border a task not-so-easy. Many online payment providers don’t offer solutions for international payments or are restricted to only a few specific countries.
Make sure your provider offers full support the form of the personalized storefront (with a local language and currency) in regions and countries you wish to operate in. Payment providers who have operations in multiple countries allow you to use the payment gateway services in those countries as you’ll be required to incorporate somewhere in the country you wish to process and bank in.
Mobile optimization is your friend
The world is advancing and modernizing day by day. Mobile and smartphones are no longer a rarity they are actually an extremely common technological device. In this advanced world, it won’t be a stretch to call mobiles a necessity for some. Taking that into consideration along with how likely it is that a huge part of your target audience and your returning customers will be shopping from their mobiles or smartphones, it will be extremely damaging for your business if your payment provider doesn’t efficiently support or offer mobile optimization.
If your payment provider doesn’t offer mobile-optimized solutions, that is also a sign to show that they’re not up for giving you the support one needs to run an eCommerce business. Professional and easy-to-operate website design, efficient call-to-actions especially one-click buy options, and integration to mobile wallets are the mobile optimization tools your provider needs to offer.
Pricing and consumer payment issues
Even though most payment providers offer similar pricing plans, affiliation with international banking institutions allows them to rapidly process international transactions to your local account. This is why you want to review the prices they charge. Review their prices against the time (in days) it takes for the amount to clear. Requesting quick and rapid payout will obviously charge more than payouts which take some days.
Before choosing a particular payment provider, ask them to be transparent and explain to you what methods they plan on employing should any consumer payment issues arise. This is only fair since you are entrusting them with you and your customer’s money and information and you have to make sure neither you nor your customer’s privacy, security, or money is at stake. It is also important to know beforehand if in case of payment related issues (for example, occurrences like minimum balance charges, unsuccessful or delayed payments, or giving out refunds to customers who aren’t happy, etc.) they will charge additional amounts or not.
The top payment provider on the market will not necessarily be the best one for your business. We have told you factors you need to consider to choose the best payment provider for your online business needs—now you have to ask questions regarding these factors as the best gateway or payment provider is a combination of ethical values, security, innovation, technology, and loyalty. Do not compromise when it comes to your payment provider because not just you’re and your customer’s money, but also sensitive information about both parties is at stake.
Asad Ali is a digital marketing expert having more than 8 years of experience. Currently, he is working at GO-Gulf – a web development company, where he has worked on numerous SEO projects & successfully run digital marketing campaigns. You can find him on the LinkedIn.