Like everything else, a business thrives in having a firm foundation. A foundation that’s made up of well thought-out decisions, paving way for cost-effective implementations, efficient business processes, and effective strategies.
Laying these groundworks are crucial, as they can be the biggest money makers or deterrents for growth. And for online businesses, one big decision to start with is finding the right payment gateway. Luckily, there’s a lot of information online you can read up on. And to make it simple, we’ve come up with a comprehensive guide on how to choose the right payment gateway provider. These seven (7) points will help you find the right payments partner in no time.
- Payment Solutions and Options
First, find your target market’s preferred payment methods. In the Philippines, cash deposits and over-the-counter payments are commonly used. Paypal is quite popular as an eWallet, while MasterCard and Visa are widely used for credit card acceptance.
Online Merchants are therefore expected to accept these payment methods. This is best manifested in the hotel industry. For example, a hotel in Boracay which caters primarily to European guests is expected to accept European Direct Debit payments. If the guests are from China, the hotel should be able to accept Alipay, WeChat Pay, or Union Pay. Having these options in place will definitely increase trust and improve conversion.
Instead of being dependent to travel agents that take significant margin, direct sales improve your profitability.
There are payment gateways that can offer most if not all payment options. It is important to anticipate your business needs. You might not expect that a certain client patronizes your company or products, given the borderless nature of e-Commerce.
Definitely, understanding your market will guide you in choosing the right Payment Gateway. Check the payment services they offer and match with your business’ needs.
- Expansion Capabilities
These are the questions that should be answered on your end, as an online merchant:
- Is the payment gateway capable to support your user experience strategy?
- Do they have the right connectivity to payment institutions, acquiring banks, e-wallets, risk tools, etc.?
- Can the payment gateway support connectivity on demand?
- Will you invest heavily every time you request for a new payment option?
Choose a payment gateway with an existing and streamlined infrastructure in place. Communicate the user experience that you have visualized.
Their solutions should deliver how you want your customers to interact with your website or app. The application program interface (API) of a Payment Gateway should be user friendly, as this will affect the conversion rate.
As payment experts, they should be able to guide you with best practices appropriate for your business.
- Cost-effective Platform
Never compromise quality over cost. Always compare prices and services. See which one can deliver a cost-effective platform. They should work for your best interests in the long-term, and based on your overall agenda.
It is important to look into the total cost of processing payments. Some providers have hidden charges or have deceiving pricing designs.
These are the most important factors affecting the cost of payments processing, particularly for online payments:
- Failure to convert customers from browsing to purchase is primarily costly.
- Processing fraud payment that resulted in chargeback is even more costly. Processing a fraud transaction means you have lost your product, there is delivery cost, and VISA and MasterCard through the Acquirer will impose penalties.
- Settlement schedule and currencies - the bottom-line will be affected with the delays of settlement and the currency processed.
In terms of business processes, find a platform that can get most of the work done for you and your staff. A platform that does not require a lot of staff to manage.
One example is to have a platform that allows multiple employee access at any given time, data processing options, report generation, and management of massive transaction and its data, and other types of automation and assistance.
- Competent Team
Payment processing is knowledge intensive and therefore requires expertise. As a merchant, your focus should be selling and not about payments. You should not be alone. There should be a team of experts that can provide you with full assistance. One that can handle and support remedial cases such as chargebacks, fraud management, and other disputes that work with the customer up to the bank’s end.
A cost-effective platform should have an entire department of payment experts that can provide consulting services for all your online business needs. These can range from integration assistance, dispute resolution (e.g. chargebacks), to accounts management.
Choosing a payment gateway with a readily accessible and competent team will take a lot of hassle and save you time, so you can focus on things that really matter – sales and revenue.
- Security and Data Privacy
With the current issue related to data privacy and security affecting significantly large companies such as Facebook, Yahoo, etc., it has become a paramount concern amongst stakeholders in the online space.
There are all sorts of data security threats, constantly growing and getting more creative. Your payment partner should be well-informed with various regulatory compliance requirements.
For instance, there is the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) enforced within European Union. Then there are other implementing rules and regulations, specifically addressing data privacy of the customers. The payment gateway, as the processor of highly confidential and financial data of a person, should be able to address these into an effective partnership with you.
To build a secure, foolproof system, you will need a combination of high-end technology, a competent team, and your best efforts to keep yourself educated and vigilant.
As a stakeholder in the online space, you should incorporate this into your policies, procedures, standard, and practices. Your adherence to security and privacy is evident in your communications to the gateway or vice versa. Having a PCI DSS certification is already a strong foundation of this initiative.
- Financial Settlement
As an online merchant, you should look for a tool that allows proper reconciliation. Industry reports have proven that even the most sophisticated banks in the world need check and balance in the timeliness, completeness, and accuracy of settlement data. An unpaid transaction means loss on the product, fulfillment, support, and marketing costs.
These are the following features that you should look for in terms of financial settlement:
- Multi-currency capability
- Dispatching – especially for global merchants
- Processing payments locally, banks currency should be the same
- Interchange fees
- Settlement data
- Easy to Integrate
Time is of the essence. As soon as your website is ready, integration should not be more than three to four (3 – 4) days. Whatever your execution plan, the payment processing API should be a non-limiting factor.
And speaking of transparency, always see to it that there are no hidden fees. You can also ask current clients to know just how capable these payment providers are with their services.
It is imperative that merchants like you should conduct due diligence, too. Qualify the gateway according to your order of priorities. As your partners, the right payment gateway should consistently bring a hassle-free and efficient end-to-end payments services.
AltPaynet is here to answer any questions you may have on how to get started. Learn more by talking to our team of payments experts.