In 2018 alone, approximately 1.8 billion people purchased $2.8 trillion in goods and services over the internet. Moving forward, ecommerce sales will continue to grow. In fact, projections suggest ecommerce sales will reach $4.8 trillion by next year.
Given the trends in online sales, business owners who aren't tapping into this ever-growing source of revenue will be missing out on huge profits. Whether you run an heirloom business or you’re just getting started, providing an exceptional online shopping experience will turbocharge your revenue faster than a brick and mortar store alone.
While most retailers are familiar with in-store payment processing, online credit card payments pose a bit of challenge for them. Finding the right online payment processing partner and solutions is one of the most challenging tasks for an ecommerce business. That’s why we are here to shed light on the whats, hows, and whys of credit card payment processing.
Let's dive in and learn the keys to higher profits!
How do you start processing online payments?
There are a few key things to note when making the jump into online transactions:
The payment gateway.
An online payment gateway allows you to securely accept credit and debit cards from your customers. Basically, your gateway is an online application that acts as the link between your payment processor and transactions that occur on your website.
When your consumers plug in their payment information, the payment gateway receives the transaction information, securely passing it on to and receiving it back from the necessary parties.
A payment gateway handles encryption and data collection, while ensuring a secure transmission of sensitive cardholder data. At North American Bancard, we offer access to seven different payment gateways.
The payment processor is the company authorized to handle credit card transactions between the sellers and the buyers.
A merchant account is basically a bank account that allows businesses to receive payments made through debit or credit cards from their customers.
How credit card processing benefits ecommerce businesses?
The ecommerce industry is fiercely competitive with several players vying for your customers. By allowing those customers to pay the way they want to online (and providing a fast and frictionless checkout) you’ll give your business a significant competitive advantage.
Let's discuss some of the benefits of credit card processing for ecommerce businesses.
While a visually appealing website is crucial, payment processing is equally important when it comes to providing a better customer experience. An efficient payment process enables your customers to smoothly make their purchases. The easier it is to make a purchase on your site, the more likely it is that customers will complete their transactions.
Security and stability are two of the most crucial factors that online merchants should consider when choosing an online payments partner. After all, these two factors are the measure of your reliability in the eyes of your customers.
That’s just one reason why you’ll also need to adhere to payment card industry data security standards (PCI DSS) by remaining PCI compliant and protecting sensitive customer information. PCI compliance guidelines ensure that your customers' data stays protected from cybercriminals throughout their transactions. The security of your website is necessary for retaining your customers and gaining their confidence and loyalty.
Another benefit that online businesses can gain from credit card processing is convenience. Online credit card processing is much faster than traditional payments and happens without much hassle. All a customer has to do is enter their card details to make their purchases from anywhere at any time.
To offer business owners maximum accessibility, reputable credit card processing companies provide access to a secure merchant portal. That way you won’t be limited to your physical location when you want to view transactions, create reports, manage disputes, and so forth.
One of the biggest advantages of accepting payments online is that it allows you to expand your customer base. If you’ll be serving international customers with your online business, you’ll need to partner with a payments technology company who offers the latest in international currency conversion.
A few things to keep in mind.
As an online merchant, your decision of who to partner with and which solutions to use should be well-thought-out and strategic. When opting for ecommerce credit card processing, keep the following things in mind:
The card associations (Mastercard, Visa, etc) charge interchange fees for maintaining the payment process, while the banks who provide your customers their cards charge a fee as well. These fees are non-negotiable.
Credit processing fees on the other hand, differ from processor to processor. Where some processors prefer charging per transaction, others offer flat discount rates. Monthly charges also vary from one gateway provider to another. Just make sure you are aware of any fees by checking the fine print of your agreement with your provider to prevent any unforeseen charges.
A shopping cart is the software that allows your customers to make purchases from you online. Your shopping cart software and your payment gateway need to be compatible to accept online payments. It’s better if you select your shopping cart and payment gateway together. Your payments partner should be able to help you find the right combination for your business.