Every online business faces a catch 22 situation when they first get started. To successfully attract as many customers as possible, you need to offer credit card payment options. However, this comes hand in hand with vulnerability to fraud and chargebacks.
Today there are so many options for accepting payments that no one could blame you for feeling overwhelmed. However, it’s crucial that you’re aware of the most secure ways to take credit cards and understand that the “best” doesn’t always equal the cheapest.
This comprehensive guide outlines the most secure way to accept credit card payments online to protect you and your customers.
1. Setup an E-commerce Website With A Secure Checkout
Dedicated e-commerce platforms offer full functionality for selling products online. However, with so many e-commerce websites out there, it can be difficult to find the right platform for you and your business. There are important things to consider and these include:
Will It Grow As You Do?
It’s crucial to assess the host’s websites scalability, as you want a site that allows you to grow. If your website is ill-equipped, it can result in slow speeds and unresponsive pages. This is never a good look and will discourage customers from shopping on your site.
Is It Within Your Budget?
Don’t place unnecessary functions before your budget plan. Select the platform that best suits your budget.
Digital or Physical?
This should always be one of the first questions you ask yourself. What is it that you’re selling? Digital or physical goods? It makes all the difference when thinking about aspects such as shipping costs. Look for platforms that best suit your product needs.
Can You Easily Design It?
A beautifully designed website will attract customers If you’re a top-notch designer, then this won’t be of concern. However, if you’re like the rest of us, you’ll need to consider whether your e-commerce site offers easy templates to follow to create your brand. To avoid outsourcing, have a look at their templates before going any further with the contract.
Will You Get the Customer Support You Need?
It’s likely that throughout this process you’re going to need help at one point or another. Take a look at the support forums, reviews and online documentation to make sure you’ll be able to contact customer support when needed.
Safe2Pay supports many popular carts, plugins and e-commerce systems. Our list is forever growing as we try to build reliable integrations to support your needs. We also offer round the clock customer support.
2. Get an Internet Merchant Account
An internet merchant account is an online version of a merchant account, the middle-man that allows businesses to accept payments online. Although many banks offer an online merchant account, it’s not like a regular account; you won’t have direct access. Instead, it’ll be managed by the bank or by whichever payment service provider you choose. After the payment is authorised money is held by this internet merchant account for just a few days before being deposited into your traditional bank account .
If you don’t have one, Safe2pay can organise that for you.
How Do I Setup a Merchant Account?
There are two different ways to obtain an Internet Merchant Account:
- Directly through your bank
- As part of a complete online payments solution via an independent payment gateway provider which can issue you with an Internet Merchant Account on behalf of a preferred banking partner.
Safe2pay allows both processes; you can use your Internet Merchant Account or get set up with our partner Westpac that ensures the secure and efficient running of your online business.
What Should You Bring Along When Getting Your Internet Merchant Account?
- Detailed business plan
- Live website
- Description of your product/services
- Supplier’s’ details
- Delivery process
- Online terms and conditions
- Expected revenue, transaction levels, order value, and number of credit card transactions
- Secure server details
- Business accounts
- Current bank details
- Trading history (if applicable)
- Details of business owners and partners
Do Your Research
If you do decide to pick your internet merchant account make sure you shop around and find some quotes to ensure you have a competitive price.
3. Choose an Online Payment Gateway
A payment gateway is a software application that acts as a bridge between an e-commerce merchant website and the bank that authorises the customer’s credit card payment. The primary function is to securely transmit this sensitive data in a way that will protect all parties involved. To choose the right payment gateway, you’ll need to consider some basic elements that will depend on your unique business model.
There are several costs you should consider here, Including:
- Joining charges: some companies will have a joining fee while other will only include monthly payments.
- How a company charges for services- Including, a per-transaction charge, monthly transaction fee depending on the number of monthly transactions, a flat per-transaction fee or a month-to-month payment plan. Make sure you understand these costs before committing.
Data encryption is a minimum requirement. Some services offer even deeper security, such as more-complex encryption algorithms and restrictions on data sent and stored. In the in the face of rising information theft, you might want to seriously consider going beyond the bare minimum when it comes to information theft and fraud protection.
Payment processing is critical to any business, so you need to address any problems that may arise.
How Does It All Work Together?
It seems so natural to a customer, but the behind-the-scenes process is quite complicated.
Integrate the payment gateway into a website with a virtual shopping cart. The shopping cart allows your customers to pick and choose the various items they want to, and at checkout, the shopping cart totals the items, adds tax and shipping and collects the customer’s shipping and billing information.
The payment gateway captures the credit card transaction, encrypts the transaction information, routes it to the credit card processor and then returns either an approval or decline notice.
Safe2Pay integrates all these concerns seamlessly. They are one of the most secure payment gateways in Australia, offer API and site testing, competitive prices and have a dedicated support team located right here in Australia available for contact whenever needed.
Being able to accept credit cards as a form of payment can help grow your business. It’s an obvious necessity for online sellers and is proven to increase sales. Get on board with this easy to do guide!