Choosing an Online Payments Service Provider

Online payments is the keystone to ecommerce. It’s the linchpin that holds the whole formula together. Without it, you essentially have no sales. But if you’re new to the online payment world, how do you know what provider to choose?

First and foremost, the online payment service provider should be trustworthy. The company should be able to point you to lots of clients who can vouch for the company’s security measures to protect customer data. Applications provided by the processing company bust be fully PCI compliant with the application listed as PA-DSS approved. Merchants who choose to integrate their software to a payment processing platform must have their application assessed by a Qualified Security Assessor. To mitigate risks of sensitive data theft, choose a processor who provides tokenization methods that eliminate storage of sensitive data within the integrated merchant application.

Not all ecommerce payment services are created equal. Some will offer all the bells and whistles when you only need the bare bones. Know what services and features you’re looking for, then find out which companies fit the bill.

There’s typically a fee per transaction with collecting online website payments, but is that the whole picture? Sometimes companies have hidden fees, like for setup or maintenance of your account, so get a list of any and all fees you’ll be responsible for before you sign a contract.


Talking Tech

Is your website the only place you plan to sell your products or services? Or do you also have a brick-and-mortar store? Do you sell on the go, like at a farmer’s market? If you have multiple platforms where you need to collect payments, try to find a company that can accommodate you across the board. You’ll pay less by using multiple services at the same company, just like you pay less when you bundle your car, home and boat insurance.

If your website is technically complicated, or has features that are custom designed, you’ll need to make sure your online payment provider has a platform that can be easily integrated with what you’ve got on your site. Ideally, your payment processing system should tie to inventory, email marketing and accounting.


Now On to Customer Service

All technical details and pricing aside, do you like the company you’re considering? What has your interaction been with actual people? Do you feel like they value your business, or just want to make another sale? It’s important that you click with your contact at the payment processing company, because when you have a question, you want him to be available with a helpful answer.

Check the payment service provider’s website to see what the availability of customer service is. How can you contact them? Having the options to get in touch via phone, chat, email and social media 24 hours a day is a definite perk, as you will have sales (and potential issues with the service) at all hours of the day.

Overall, your online payment service provider should be easy to work with, offer competitive fees and provide services that enhance your online sales. If you’d like to learn more about how online payments can help grow your business, please contact us.

About Gene

Gene is a 24 year veteran of the electronic payments industry and has consulted with countless companies of all sizes. He has overseen large underwriting portfolios, directed IT staff, and currently serves as the Director of Business Development. Gene has appeared before the U.S. Congress to provide expert opinions regarding developing technology and transaction risks towards solutions for the payroll industry. You can find him on LinkedIn>.

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