Whether you are an experienced merchant or only getting started, there comes a time when you have to choose a payment provider. An online business without a payment provider is like a car without an engine. Sure, bank transfers are safe, secure and work just fine! But if your competitors accept card payments – your business will not survive with only bank transfers or cash upon delivery. So, here are some aspects to consider when choosing a partner for your payments.
Coverage and Licenses
Depending on the geographical location of your target market, there is a need for specialized licenses. So, make sure the payment provider has the necessary license and check if it allows them to operate in your markets.
Stability and Security
Ideally, you want your payment provider to have a 99.99% uptime. A tech-savvy merchant may check the infrastructure that they operate; however, verifying with this tool is enough. You may also check how secure their API is as no one wants a data breach. PCI compliance is a good start.
Confused by all the different pricing models available out there? Let’s make it simple for you. Generally, you will be offered either a blended pricing (e.g. 2.6%-2.9% + $0.3 per transaction) or a pricing model IC+ or IC++. Card processing comes with the following fees:
- Interchange fee – that’s what your customer’s bank charges
- Card scheme fee – that’s what card schemes (Visa, MasterCard, etc.) charge for using their network
- Processing fee – that’s what a payment provider charges
IC+ and IC++ models offer much higher transparency to your finance costs. However, blended pricing might be more preferable for smaller businesses, as it is simpler and makes it easier to estimate the cost for your level of sales.
Also, consider the availability of the following options:
- Recurring billing
- Mobile payments
- Card types and currencies
- Limits on the size of a transaction
Besides, be aware that some providers enforce fees for exceeding maximum monthly quotas or may have early termination penalties and charges. Transparent payment solution companies avoid small print and articulate such nuances upfront.
Pay close attention to reporting and analytics tools, antifraud engines, and chargeback prevention tools. Chargebacks are payment disputes when a customer asks his bank to reverse a transaction. It can be painful and time-consuming since payment providers must hold the funds until the decision between the issuing and merchant banks is reached. Here, you might lose the money and the product that has already been dispatched.
Refunds, on the other hand, are not forced - your client might ask for a refund and return the product itself. As a merchant, you may initiate a refund rather voluntarily if a customer is unsatisfied with the product. However, you need to be aware of any additional costs related to both types of reverse transactions.
Simplicity and Integrations
Watch a demo or request a trial version of the software. Often, one can experience the ease of use and intuitive design from the very beginning. Notice if there is a payment integration with ERP or CRM software to make your business workflow seamless.
Lastly, customer support may play a role in building a long-term relationship with the provider. Although, a reliable payment gateway should always be effortless yet powerful.
Choose a proven payment solution
Your payment partner must be an expert in the markets you are operating, and should also understand your customers well. That said, look for an industry leader who gets your business and your payment needs.
Also, do not leave it all to the best piece of software available. Yes, it is extremely important, but good payment providers go above and beyond technology. They provide rich ideas and consultations, helping you evolve your payment strategy, expand to new markets, and optimize the overall customer experience.
Solid opens you all the services, in one superior platform.