Who doesn’t like doing more with fewer tools? If you run a business that started with a retail presence and has since moved online, you could face a host of providers that tackle different facets of your payment processing needs. While you may like each one for a valid reason, juggling so many providers and bills can open your business up to frustration and confusion.
Here are three surefire tips for consolidating your online payment services and in-person payment providers for an easy set of partners to manage.
Unfortunately, it’s impossible to accept online payments without a Payment Gateway. This payment provider makes it possible for you to collect payment on e-commerce transactions by connecting your virtual cart to the processor for payment. Similarly, you also need a merchant account no matter your method of accepting credit card transactions.
Luckily, you can combine these online payment services. By opting for an all-in-one Merchant Service Provider and Payment Gateway you can do the following:
If your business is mature enough to exist online and in-store, do yourself a favor by graduating to a provider with cost-effective rate plans that help your business keep more of its hard-earned money.
It can be easy to assume that you have to do things for yourself. This can lead to paying a lot of money to outsourced developers for a custom-built online store or checkout cart for your website. The reality is that this can be done far more cheaply, more securely and with more robust support when you opt for hosted checkout or a shopping cart.
Hosted checkout may be offered by your gateway provider. This method requires you to generate a checkout button, place the code on your website and let your provider handle the payment. With this method, you can put security into the hands of your provider because it manages the transaction for you. Note: Having a secure provider — preferrably a PCI Level 1 provider — makes all the difference if you begin accepting online transactions. After all, online transactions bear the highest risk of fraud, and you don’t want to be on the hook for a data breach and lose customers because they’ve lost trust in your business.
Another option, if you need more, is a shopping cart. There are tons of these intuitive online payment services that make e-commerce incredibly easy. Shopping carts like Ecwid, 3dcart and CS-Cart offer functionality you may not even be considering that can greatly impact your business for the better. This includes product management, conversion-optimized themes, image and web hosting, security monitoring, and more.
Each shopping cart is integrated with different gateway providers. Our advice is to start with an all-in-one provider, then look to see which shopping carts it integrates with. Select one you prefer and then take the last step to streamline.
Maybe you have a standalone Merchant Service Provider and now want to add a Payment Gateway to your business. If you’re not in a contract or have grievances with your current merchant provider, consider switching to an all-in-one service that can provide you with in-person and online payment services under one roof. This will streamline what could be three providers (one Merchant Account Provider for your e-commerce transactions, another for in-store, along with a Payment Gateway) down to one.
How many providers are you currently juggling? Do you need help simplifying other aspects of your business’s payments? We’d love to hear from you.
Editor's Note: This post was originally published in July 2018 and has been updated for comprehensiveness and accuracy.