By: Amy Trotter
In order to be successful in the world of ecommerce, you must pay attention to the details. Today’s consumers know that they have plenty of options, so your primary goal should be standing out from the herd. Security is far and away one of the major concerns that your potential customers are going to have, and the payment gateway that you depend on plays a major role in protecting their private information.
What Is a Payment Gateway?
Before you start selecting a payment gateway, let’s make sure you know exactly what a payment gateway is, and why choosing the right one is so crucial. A payment gateway is a service that authorizes and processes credit card payments, according to Investopedia. To put it simply, the payment gateway is the middleman that deals with the technical credit card stuff so you can get paid.
Not All Payment Gateways Are the Same
It’s clear why choosing the right payment gateway is so important. If your customer’s private information is compromised even once, you’re going to have a hard time convincing other shoppers to use your website, not to mention potential legal problems and fees. According to Huffington Post, payment gateways can also affect the overall customer experience by either streamlining the process so it’s fast and intuitive for your shoppers or by making checking out a hassle, which will naturally drive traffic away
Choosing the Right Gateway
Now that we’ve established what a payment gateway is and why they’re essential to the success of your ecommerce business, let’s look at some key features that you should be looking for:
— Hashnode (@Hashnoder) July 23, 2016
The Ability to Process Global Currencies
You could limit your business to your country of origin, or you could expand to reach a global market. Choose a payment gateway that accepts multiple currencies and orders from other countries. Depending on where you live, you should also make sure that the payment service provider can pay you in your preferred currency.
According to PC Mag, data encryption is the bare minimum requirement, but you should really do better than that. Some security features to look for include PCI Level 1 Compliance, customizable fraud protection, and proprietary chargeback protection.
If the gateway doesn’t have a plugin or application for your platform, it’s going to be difficult to integrate it without some customizing. If you’re not quite sure if your preferred payment service provider will work with your site’s platform, just give them a call and ask.
Your payment gateway is either going to keep a small percentage of your sales or charge you a monthly subscription fee. Make sure you shop around to find the best rates. Some payment service providers offer special rates for qualifying businesses, so spend some time hunting for the best deal. Those tiny fees really add up over time, so set your business up for success now.
Do Your Homework
As of 2016, ecommerce is generating approximately $2.5 million every minute. That’s a huge opportunity for entrepreneurs, but there’s still risk involved. Don’t go for the first payment gateway you see, or the one that’s included stock with your online store’s platform. Spend some time comparing and contrasting your options so that you don’t regret your decision down the line. Remember that every decision counts, and choosing your payment gateway is one that’s worth spending some time and doing some research.
Amy Trotter is an ecommerce business owner and online marketing specialist from Tucson, AZ. When he’s not improving his own business, he’s usually helping other entrepreneurs to achieve success online. When he’s not working, Daniel enjoys writing, working out, and spending time with friends and family.