President at BAMS & CRMDialer. Overseeing the growth of payment gateways, e-commerce growth hacks and SMB efficiency improvements.
Online payment gateways have become quite popular in recent years. Instead of fumbling around with different types of payment processors and platforms, they allow you to take multiple types of payments at once. This not only makes it easier for customers to buy, but it also cuts down the work you need to do as a business owner.
As the need for payment gateways grew, so did the competition. So, how do you choose one that’s a good fit for your business? Here are some practical tips.
1. Check the pricing.
Naturally, the price will be one of the first factors you consider with any product. With payment gateways, the pricing will depend on a number of factors. Your business model, the types of payments you accept, the amounts you receive on a monthly/annual level and more. Before going out to choose a payment gateway, first assess how much money you’re accepting on a regular basis and do your homework before asking for a quote.
On top of these fees, there are also setup fees for new businesses. These are fixed, so there’s not much you can save here, but it’s a good basis for comparing different providers.
The base-level transaction volume will also be important for something else; some providers will charge you extra if you’re on a certain plan and you haven’t met your monthly quota. Think carefully about where you are financially and how you plan to grow in the future.
2. Research device compatibility.
Depending on what you sell and who you sell it to, you will have a variety of different visitors using different devices. Some payment gateways work well on all devices, some get buggy on certain platforms. Before committing, make sure to check out how the gateway works on different operating systems and platforms. It’s handy if you know the breakdown of your website visitors in advance, too.
3. Ensure integrations are smooth and easy.
A payment gateway never functions on its own. It’s part of an infrastructure and it’s your task to find out how well your chosen gateway plays with your website platform. For example, your website could be on Woocommerce, Shopify, Magento, WordPress or even a custom-made platform. One of the basic steps is to make sure there is a supported integration for your platform.
If an integration doesn’t work well, your payment process will be glitchy and may cause your customers to abandon their carts. The user experience should be flawless as this is a critical step in the sales funnel.
4. Consider a recurring billing option.
One of the most common places for payment gateways to be used nowadays is in software-as-a-service companies. The SaaS model works great but relies on one crucial aspect of transactions: recurring billing. Simply put, your customers get billed the same amount every month for a subscription service.
A good payment gateway not only makes it easy to collect payments every month on autopilot but solves a number of other issues too. For example, it can help you handle failed credit card payments.
5. Find excellent customer support.
Most companies that have payment gateways set up have thousands of dollars go through their accounts every day. A downtime of just one hour could cause a lot of damage to such a business, let alone a prolonged period of time.
Should something go wrong, customer support needs to be available around the clock, with options to get in touch in a variety of ways. This can also be incredibly helpful in the setup phase.
In short, choosing the wrong payment gateway could cost your business significant time and money and make a dent in your reputation. Take your time to carefully review your needs and choose the payment gateway that not only fits the bill but makes for a great partner for the future.
In case you’re not set on using a payment gateway and you’re looking for an alternative, you have your work cut out for you. Most likely, you’ll have to manually integrate with PayPal and find a service that allows credit card payments. If you’re certain that your buyers prefer one payment method only, this may be the easier route to take. However, a payment gateway gives you significantly more options.