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How to accept payments on your website

As e-commerce began to gain wide acceptance, digital payment systems got easier to use with less ‘drag factor’. It’s now pretty much standard to offer payments from your website, even if you’re a small business.

Do you want to offer payments on your website?

Thanks to the rise in online retailers you now have more options than ever on how to accept payments from your customers. Making it easy for your customers to buy your product or services is a great way to boost your business. If you’re looking for a high-quality website, payment gateways are an important thing to consider.

All this choice means you can pick from a wide range of payment providers. When selecting a shortlist of providers you may want to think about the following:

How easy is it for you?

Is the system easy to implement on your website? Does it fit in well with your existing business processes, like your accounting or customer management software? Does it take the payment methods your customers use? Getting stuck with an unflexible payment system or one that creates friction can reduce its value.

How easy is it for your customers?

Not all systems are created equal when it comes to being easy for the customer to use. Some systems redirect to their own site to make the actual payment, some have a form on your own site and pass just the data between them and your site. Others let you connect to their software and craft your own way of collecting payment data (this is called API’s and is great for customisation). Whatever system is in play, it needs to be quick, understandable, and provide a good overall experience.

How much does it cost you?

Most charge a percentage (generally around 2.7% at the time of writing) plus a transaction fee (about 30p, as of the time of publication). However, some charge a little more or less, or have additional fees that kick in when you reach particular limits or use specific features like API systems.

Is it secure?

Less of a concern now that it was, security is still a reason for 35% of shopping cart abandonments. Most shoppers look for a ‘padlock’ and then relax if all is in order. However, you need to be sure you’re comfortable with your provider security provisions and track record. How often do their update their systems?

The answers to the above considerations will help narrow the huge field of payment gateway contenders. The biggest in the game, Stripe, PayPal, Amazon Pay, Square and Worldpay all offer a fine range of services that can help. Some of the smaller players offer a slightly better price but due diligence must be taken on their long term future.

Once you’ve implemented a payment gateway on your site I can make sure it flows well and is easy for your customers to use. I am often asked to look at a whole range of solutions and offer guidance, which I’m happy to do.

Once you have a working system it opens up options for you to have either on-site invoice payments or a whole e-commerce shop.

If you find the idea of taking online payments appealing and want to work with a website developer in Bristol, then do give me a call and we can talk about your options.