Merchants or businesses that sell online have to set up a payment system in order to get paid for their goods. Generally there are different ways to do this, and many options on service providers. Wise business practice dictates that you shop around to find the best solution for your company. When you consider the ways you can set up payments, apart from the direct bank transfer, all the rest require some sort of partnership with a third party. Many new service providers have joined the likes of PayPal and Neteller, who have been around for a long time. Choosing which service providers to do business with can be challenging, and in this situation, the older well-known providers might not be the best choice. New service providers have come up with modern and innovative ways to provide the best online payment methods and it is well worth checking them out before you make a decision. Let’s look at the ways you can accept payments online.
Bank Transfers, although considered outdated, they are still very relevant in today’s market, especially when dealing with international payments. Customers might be reluctant to transfer large amounts of money directly into your bank account before receiving their goods, and as a merchant you would have to wait for the funds to be cleared as there is no way to get instant clearance, like you would get if the payment was made with a credit card. There is also the matter of privacy, and in some cases it is not wise to give sensitive information freely over the internet. If you want to accept payments internationally you might have to include this option as a method of payment as some countries will only allow payments through bank transfers. There is also the matter of bank charges which could be significantly higher than using other methods to collect payments.
Integrated Payment Solutions are the popular way to accept payments online. Connecting to a processing platform will allow you to receive payments without having to use a third party payment processor. Shopping cart ‘plugins’ are programmed into your website which automatically brings up the different payment methods that your customers can use. There are many online payment methods for you to choose from. A direct integration with Visa and MasterCard requires the use of third party licensed card processors. Credit cards are the most popular way to receive payments online, and you will have to use the services of a payment service provider in order to have access to the most popular types of credit cards.
Payment Service Providers (PSP) or Payment gateways allow merchants to accept different payment methods through a single integration. PSP represent online merchants by maintaining and processing connections to different payment methods. Payment Service Providers can represent the same or different local, regional and global connections and payment methods. Choosing which PSP works better for you would depend on the type of business you have and which payment methods will suit your target market.
Ecommerce Platforms offer a complete service to merchants who want to start selling online. They provide web design, domain hosting, shopping cart systems, SEO email marketing and online payment methods. For a fee these platforms will maintain the website and simplify payments. These are usually all inclusive offers which do not leave much room for individual choices.
Hosted payment pages from PSP are still the easiest way to receive payments and they are internationally recognized. Customers are simple redirected to the payment options which offers popular and well-known options for payments in a secure environment online. For multinational large merchants with in house web developers, the use of API and SDK integration gives the merchant more control over the payments, by allowing customization and produces a better experience for their customers.