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Ecommerce platforms work hard to present the right products to the right customers. But your challenge doesn’t stop once the purchase decision is made—7 in 10 customers who mean to buy something don’t make it past the shopping cart process.

The payment process on your site is a major player when it comes to shopping cart abandonment. Common reasons customers give for abandoning carts include not enough payment methods, complicated checkout processes, and a lack of trust in site security.

Online stores must have credit card processing and other forms of payment to succeed. That means you need a payment processing provider that meets your business needs and helps you support customers. Get some tips for choosing the best payment provider for your ecommerce business below.

Why It’s Important To Choose The Right Payment Processor

Regardless of the details of your business model, it’s critical to choose the right payment processing solution for your ecommerce business. If you can’t take credit cards and other digital payments, you can’t sell items online, which makes having a payment processor critical to success.

The right payment systems help you:

  • Appropriately protect customer payment information so you can build trust with your target audience
  • Provide optimal service to support customer loyalty, positive word-of-mouth marketing, and more sales
  • Align with your website and business needs, including your budget

What’s Involved In Payment Processing?

The payment process is fairly complex and involves multiple steps. When customers pay online businesses, the process typically includes payment processors, payment gateways, and merchant accounts.

It works like this:

  • The customer wants something offered by an online seller, so they enter their payment details via the online shop’s shopping cart.
  • The information is transmitted from that point through a payment gateway provider, which acts as a middleman between the merchant and the bank associated with the payment.
  • Another middleman may also be involved: the payment processor. These are solutions such as Stripe, PayPal, or even Google Pay.
  • Finally, you need some way to accept the payment once it is processed. That’s your merchant account.
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7 Things To Consider When Choosing A Payment Processor

Whether you’re a startup, small business, or larger enterprise, choosing the right payment service provider for your ecommerce website can be a daunting task.

Start with the seven important payment processing considerations below to make the job easier.

1. Understand pricing and fees

Read all the fine print to understand processing fees. For example, if you pay transaction fees for every card transaction, that cuts into your profits. Ecommerce stores with small profit margins may want to find ways to minimize such fees.

Find out if your merchant account has any setup fees, such as the cost of point-of-sale systems. You should also find out about monthly fees for any software services or apps you might use to accept payments.

To better understand if the fee structure of a certain payment processor works for your business, run some hypothetical tests. In a spreadsheet, create a series of orders that mimic the type of orders you get from customers. Figure out how much you would pay in fees for various types of payments to determine if the solution works for your bottom line.

2. Ensure you can accept various payment methods

Speaking of various payment options, you probably want a payment solution that lets you take as many as possible. The more payment methods you accept, the more customers you can serve.

Some common options include:

  • Credit cards: Visa and Mastercard are musts, and you may also want to support Discover and American Express.
  • Debit cards: Make it easy for people to pay right out of their bank account with a Visa or Mastercard debit card.
  • International payments: If you serve customers overseas, ensure your payment system can handle various currencies and conversions.
  • Digital wallet payments: This includes options such as Apple Pay and Google Pay, which are becoming increasingly popular with online shoppers.
  • PayPal and other nontraditional payments: These so-called disruptive payments are considered mainstream now.

In some cases, you should also be able to support different payment schedules. Recurring payments may be necessary to sell subscriptions, for example, or offer payment plans.

3. Consider security

Secure payments are important to customers. They want to know that their bank account or credit card details are safe with you. When shopping for a payment service for ecommerce payment processing, always ask about security measures.

When you know what your payment provider does to keep customer data safe, you can pass that information on to your customers. For good measure, publish FAQs that detail how you protect payment details. Make that information easily accessible in the shopping cart process.

4. Choose payment solutions that support PCI compliance

Whether you take in-person POS payments or only use virtual terminals on your ecommerce website, PCI DSS compliance is mandatory.

Working with a provider that supports PCI compliance ensures your customers’ card details are protected. But it also keeps you out of regulatory hot water. The fines for PCI non-compliance can be as high as $500,000 per incident.

5. Ensure your payment gateway will work for your site

Whether you’re opting for an API or integration or choosing something built especially for your online store, double-check all functionality. You want your payment solution to work well for your site and customers.

Some good steps to take to make sure this happens include:

  • Ask for a live demo to see the solution in action before you commit.
  • Work with a vendor that helps you implement the solution and offers ongoing customer support afterward.
  • Test all customer payment functions with dummy orders and payments before you go live with the solution.

6. Support guest checkout for your ecommerce store

Some third-party payment solutions require the customer to create a whole new account or log into a store payment page before completing a purchase. That can make for a poor customer experience and increase cart abandonment. Consider looking for options that support guest checkout to avoid this issue.

7. Ensure checkout processes work on all devices

Around 76% of Americans are online shopping on mobile devices compared to 69% that shop via laptop or desktop computers. Ensuring your payment processes work across all devices is essential if you don’t want to alienate a large portion of your customer base.

Find The Best Payment Processing Software For Your Site

Whether you’re opening a Shopify store or launching a from-scratch ecommerce site, supporting online transactions requires the right tools and resources. From taking online payments to handling chargebacks, the payment processor you choose is heavily involved in your accounting.

Take time to learn about some of the best payment processing software options on the market before you commit to one. Comment below if you already have a payment solution you love.

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By Francois Marchand

Francois Marchand is The Ecomm Manager's content strategist and editor. He is passionate about helping and educating business leaders, ecommerce professionals, and digital marketers grow their skill sets to stay ahead of the competition. Francois holds a BA Specialization in Communication Studies & Journalism from Concordia University (Montreal, QC) and 20+ years of experience in ecommerce, marketing, traditional and digital media, and public relations, including The Vancouver Sun, National Post, CBC/Radio-Canada, Unbounce, and Vancouver Film School. He also hosts The Ecomm Manager Podcast, discussing ecommerce best practices, customer experience, branding, inventory management, shipping and delivery, and analytics with expert guests.