If you run an online business (or a brick-and-mortar shop that accepts payment online), choosing the best gateways services is important for your business operations and success. Gateway services are the software that works as the middleman between your customer entering their credit card information, and you receiving payment for the product or service provided in a card not present transactions. While some card not present transactions occur in person, this is particularly necessary for online transactions.
Researching the gateway services available to you, and making sure the one you choose best meets your needs will help ensure that your customers have no problem making a purchase, and your business has no problem succeeding! A few questions that you should consider before selecting a gateway service for taking payments online include:
- Does the gateway service accept all major forms of payment?
Nothing kills your ability to make money faster than your customer being barred from giving you their money because your gateway service doesn’t accept American Express, or Visa, or Discover, or any other major type of payment. The more forms of payment that a gateway service accepts, the easier it is for your customers to utilize your business.
- How does the gateway service charge its fees?
Every payment gateway service has a different fee structure. Some services charge a flat monthly rate, others charge a percentage of the sales that they process, and others charge a flat fee for each transaction. Finding the gateway service that will charge you the least depends on how you use them (does your business typically receive frequent, small payments, or a few large payments?).
While identifying the gateway payment structure that best aligns with your business operations, you should also consider any additional fees you might be subject to to ensure you really have the least expensive service. Often, gateways services charge other fees for their services: this might include as setup fees, batch fees, and administrative fees.
- What security measures does the gateways service take to ensure your customers’ private information is safe?
When your customers submit their payment information online, they are giving you a great deal of private information. Ensuring that their information is in good hands is a critical part of choosing a payment gateway.
The industry best practices for payment security are outlined through guidelines called Payment Card Industry (PCI). It is not required for all payment gateway services to be compliant with PCI. If they PCI compliant, it means that they their security standards are reviewed and regulated by a third-party, to ensure utmost protection. Making sure to only consider payment gateway services that are PCI compliant is the best way to ensure your customers personal information is safe and sound.
- What is the turnaround time for receiving payments from the gateway service?
Most small businesses have very tight cash flow bandwidth. The time it takes for the gateway service to provide the cash you recieve from your customers is an important factor in your business’ success. Making sure that you get payment from your credit card online transactions quickly is important for the operations of your business.
A good way to ensure that your payment gateway service gets money to you quickly is by reviewing their policy, and then reading reviews from other customers of the payment gateway service to make sure that they actually following that policy.
- What chargeback support does the gateway service offer?
Chargebacks can be a thorn in the side of any e-commerce business owner. Sometimes, the customer has a legitimate reason for needing a refund: They had trouble receiving their item or it was damaged in transit, or they need to make a return that fits in with your return guidelines. Unfortunately, there are also a lot of scams associated with chargebacks.
You don’t want to use a gateways service that blindly issues refunds any time they are requested. It is important to make sure your payment gateway service offer support with chargebacks, such as mediation services and investigation, to protect your business. Like our previous point, you should review the payment gateway’s policies and also check on what other customers say about a their chargeback practices before selecting it.
Do you have any other tips for choosing a gateway service? please share below!