What is the mark of a successful online selling platform? An ever-expanding customer base that surpasses state and sometimes national boundaries. Almost all the notable seller websites and e-commerce sites we see today have markets across several countries. This demands a secure payment system that can not only handle credit card, debit card, and bank account information securely but also offer several currency conversion options to each user based on their geographic locations.
In 2018, people are buying almost everything via e-commerce platforms. They are investing in real estate, buying cars and booking family holidays via online platforms. This has made payment security more critical than ever. In 2017, people have spent close to $1.6 trillion across the globe to purchase products and services from e-commerce sites. The top grossing seller websites of the year include Amazon and eBay, but last year saw the rise of several other smaller e-commerce start-ups and SMEs that offered products at a competitive rate. There are over 10 million e-commerce sites in the world and to become relevant, you need to offer something more than the regular levels of security during payment to your customers.
What does a payment gateway do?
This brings us to a significant turn – understanding the function of payment gateways. A functional and secure payment gateway should be able to process your customer payment requests. Only upon necessary verification of the information, the gateway allows the online store to confirm and forward the order. A secure payment gateway does not allow the entry of a third-party during the process and hijacks the card/account information.
What are the different types of payment gateways?
Over the last few years, the increasing demand for payment gateways has given rise to hosted and integrated gateway choices.
Hosted payment gateways: A hosted payment gateway for an e-commerce website redirects a customer to the processor platform. The compliance requirement and the security standards are the provider’s responsibility and not the e-commerce store’s headache. It has minimal ecommerce website design requirement, and it is quite easy to join with an existing e-commerce website.
Integrated payment gateway: An integrated payment gateway connects the payer directly via the API the gateway provides. These offer smoother payment experiences and better UX since the customer does not have to leave the site at any given point in time. Stored card details are often more secure, and it also bestows all the responsibility upon the e-commerce store owner.
How to pick the right PSP for your website?
The payment service providers (PSPs) usually leverage a Software as a Service (SaaS) to attend to the payment requirements of the e-shoppers. A PSP should be able to connect your website to various banks and payment networks securely. It should always be able to secure the connections between the banks and the external networks. This is exactly why you need to pick a PSP with a positive reputation.
For choosing your PSP, do what you would do to choose any vendor.
- Check the company out online
- Check their website and third-party business directory mentions
- Verify their NAP and look for authentic customer reviews
- Check out their competitors in the locality and find out what kind of services they offer
- The service should have at least 99.98% uptime and 24*7 customer support
- Choose a package depending on your need and your budget
What should you look for in a payment service provider?
The connection and platform should be completely secure
The priority of your payment gateway service should be security. We cannot stress enough on how important it is to offer a great customer experience. A secure customer is a happy customer and a website that has the power to make a customer feel safe always rakes in more sales within a short period. The PSP should comply with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). This includes proper 128-bit encryption of all payment pages and foolproof authentication procedures for customer verification. A good PSP should always use an API to post data from the website as per requirement.
Their transaction charge should be amicable
It is obvious that all reliable services come with a charge. Therefore, while selecting your payment gateway, find out what charges apply to their regular services. While a 1% transaction fee can seem minimal for the security and customer support, it can be quite imposing on a lifestyle e-commerce site. Some of the payment gateway services charge a flat fee on a monthly basis or the basis of a bunch of transactions. Always do your calculations, double check your sales and profit margins before you make a payment commitment. If you are unsure about the transaction charges and the PSP services, it is always better to sign up for a limited period package. You can always discontinue the services after a month or so, in case the support is unsatisfactory and move to a new service provider soon. Even though long-term contracts often cost significantly lesser than the short-term ones.
They should extend expert support
E-commerce websites need support, above everything else, when it boils down to payment gateway services. This can be in the form of emails, direct phone calls or on-site support depending on the necessities of the hour. The presence of a flexible support service system on the part of a PSP helps the retailer provide better service to their customers. It can help them solve integration issues, connectivity issues and challenges with payment pathway compatibilities. The response time of the support service should also be an essential factor in choosing the right service. A quick response time always results in happier customers, who spend more on the site.
While picking your payment service provider, you should first check how it renders on your e-commerce platform. You should not pick a service simply depending on their web profile and specs. You need to see how it appears on the website when the customer tries to access it. The payment gateway’s responsiveness, ease of access and usability will directly dominate your customer’s satisfaction levels and response. This, of course, comes after you verify their downtime history, security compliances, and support services. The selection process of your payment gateway needs to be extremely thorough. Thus, take some time off from your other ongoing tasks and devote your time in researching the leading PSPs of the current market.
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