×

The Questions to Ask Before Evaluating Payment Processors

Category: Startup

The Questions to Ask Before Evaluating Payment Processors

The journey of entrepreneurship is not easy. Your day starts with a fresh challenge and most of your time is spent clearing obstacles. In the meantime, you are unable to pay attention to the small details that might be critical for your business if not taken care of. Choosing a payment processor in a hurry is one mistake that may cost you dearly in future.

Take a pause before you zero in to select a payment processor.

Don’t get swayed by the sweet talks of the sales guy.  Ask questions that will help you choose the right payment partner for your eCommerce business or physical store.
Always keep your objectives in mind and projected data ready, when you start asking questions.

As a business, your business model, priorities, and strategy can be different from other businesses.  So, a processor that works for your neighbor or a friend may not work for you.

To help you with this, we have created a list of things you should check before you give a nod to a payment processor:

 

Additional fee charged 

Processors normally charge a transaction fee, but some of them can also charge an additional fee in the name of a regulatory fee, some monthly fee, compliance or statement fee, etc.

These are charged upfront, but if the cumulative fees cross $200 per year for physical stores and $300 per year for E-Commerce retailers, it’s a red flag. Remember, there are additional service charges associated with the online shopping cart already.

Connectivity or speed of payment

This is a big issue as most of the payment processors use a software known as authorize.net. This software connects your shopping cart with the processor, but in some countries, they use some proprietary software, which may or may not work with your shopping cart and this may lead to connectivity issues. So, make sure that you are able to receive the payment from day one.

User experience

User experience should be good for both the merchant and the payer. The processor should offer robust customer support so that the merchant can handle different issues quickly and resolve the technical issues as well. As far as payer is concerned, payment process should be easy and convenient.

Deterrence against risk

If you are running a business where frauds are frequent, you should partner with a processor which offers excellent risk management capabilities. As the business grows, the probability of fraud also increases, so be proactive.

Share in payment processing fee

E-Commerce companies also get a small share of revenue from the fee that the processor charges for processing payments. This might be small in individual transactions, but when the transactions multiply with sales growth, this can become a big source of revenue.

Robust customer support

Make sure that you partner with a processor that offers robust customer support. They must take care of their clients and respond to their emails and phone calls instantly with a positive mindset.

Feature-rich processor

Sophisticated processors come with several exciting features that enable excellent services being offered to merchants such as “push to debit” solutions so that they can get access to their cash quickly.

Data analysis

Some advanced and sophisticated processors offer data analysis facilities, where in the merchants can see the data and analyze it themselves. It is beneficial from different angles and these features can be used by merchants for monitoring and understanding data for decision making.

Finally, make sure that your processor is known for offering excellent customer support. Check reviews and word of mouth recommendations. All of the above points are important. Analyze your business needs, keep your projections ready and engage in some straight talk.

One right question may alter your destiny for good.

A Guide On How You Can Bring Automation To Your Online Business Part III

A Guide On How You Can Bring Automation To Your Online Business Part IIIImage credit: MaxPixel

Make the most of the latest and greatest in tech and save valuable business resources. From financials to marketing, all elements of your business can be streamlined and speeded up. 

In our last post in our automation series, learn more about time-saving tech.

Time-saving tech

Running a website and busy inbox can take its toll, so save time with the help of technology.

  1. Cloud computing is a massive leap forward when it comes to managing content and files. Don’t risk losing valuable data because of a messy folder structure; automate file management and version control with a cloud-based system. This is feasible for even the smallest startup, whereas larger firms have the option to upgrade to more bespoke enterprise cloud computing solutions.
  2. Automated backups of your website database and file and database cleanups aren’t difficult to implement. Use smart tools and plugins to help cut down on admin time when it comes to website management.
  3. Email filtering and auto-responders are more sophisticated than ever thanks to AI technology. You can create email ‘recipes’ and funnels that massively cut down on time spent filtering inboxes and dealing with inbound requests. You may even want to invest in helpdesk software to scale your operations.
  4. Inventory and supplier automation often have significant cost-saving and profitability benefits. Models like Amazon FBA and dropshipping aren’t for everyone, but they can help massively decrease your overheads as an e-commerce brand. Even if you got it alone, it’s recommended that you select an online store builder that works with other tools and services. For example, building a store through Shopify means having instant access in-built refunds and returns, whereas store owners on Drupal would have to separately code a lot of features — including basics like social sharing and blogging. Think about how the technology you choose helps — or limits — your choices.

Whether it’s customers, suppliers, or virtual assistants, it’s important that automation is an end-goal all departments share.  Automation should never be a dirty word in your business. As an online entrepreneur, you are in the perfect position to explore automation across your business — from marketing to finances.

About the author

Victoria Greene is a branding consultant and freelance writer. Big fan of automation when it comes to content marketing. Helping ecommerce brands and startups scale faster and better.

A Guide On How You Can Bring Automation To Your Online Business Part III

A Guide On How You Can Bring Automation To Your Online Business Part I

Image credit: Flickr

Do you NEVER seem to have enough time to deal with the important stuff in your business? Struggling to keep up with the demands of becoming a brand publisher?

Wouldn’t it be great to have more time to focus on the strategic elements of your business…?

Well, automation can help you achieve that.

Here are some online automation hacks to help inspire your business strategy reboot — read part I in our blog series now.

Fintech innovations

Let’s start with the financials: after all, every business in the world needs money to keep the wheels turning.

From managing supplier payments to keeping up with the demands of bookkeeping — financial tasks and admin can massively eat into your profit margins.

The trouble with financial tasks is that if they are not done correctly, it could spell disaster.

  1. Financial technology has seen some exciting developments these recent years — from blockchain to cloud accounting, there are so many ways to improve and simplify your financial operations.
  2. Even simple choices like what payment gateway you go for will determine your business’s financial ecosystem. Opt for a system that’s smart and integrates with other services and platforms so that you don’t have to rely on expensive workarounds.
  3. Accounting is a big business overhead, especially when it comes to expenses and taxes. Invest in a smart system that allows you to automatically sync paper receipts into your online finance system.

Martech leads the way

Marketing technology is another ally of automation. Nowadays, there are enough tools and platforms to automate pretty much any marketing task under the sun.

Martech scales up and down, and can be leveraged by organizations large and small. From simple things like automated proofreading to automating your content strategy with HubSpot, there are tools out there that can help you create, launch, and share better content.

Key areas where you need to embrace automation:

  1. Remarketing is a great way to target interested parties — whether that’s website visitors who haven’t converted, or people who’ve engaged with your content. The beauty of remarketing automation is that once you put in the work to create a funnel and populate it with ads, you can just click ‘play’ and let the system do the rest!
  2. Email is a big marketing channel, whether you are in B2C or B2B. Create funnels using services like Pardot (a Salesforce tool) and run your lead generation campaigns more cost-efficiently.
  3. Social media can be a massive time sinkhole, so be more efficient about it and embrace automated content creation, mass scheduling, and social listening to help you do more. Social media tools aren’t just about saving time — they will actually bring you better results by optimizing posting times, lengths, and formats.

About the author

Victoria Greene is a branding consultant and freelance writer. Big fan of automation when it comes to content marketing. Helping ecommerce brands and startups scale faster and better.

How to Quickly Create an Online Store and Integrate a Payment Gateway

How to Quickly Create an Online Store and Integrate a Payment Gateway

Your ambitious entrepreneurial journey starts with launching an eStore. Before you do that, you need to contemplate which e-commerce platform to choose.  As far as integration of a payment gateway is concerned, you have many choices. We’ll discuss these aspects of setting up and launching an eStore in this article.

While choosing an eCommerce platform, you have the following three options available:
A. Open source software

B. Dedicated platform

C. Software as a Service (SaaS)

Each one of these platforms has different features and you can choose the one that matches your needs.

A. Open source software

The most cost-effective solution for you is to go for open source software, where you don’t need to pay for any license or subscription fee. However, it requires you to have the knowledge of software development in order to install and manage the platform.

If you are not trained in IT skills, you will have to hire someone for all of your updates and changes required to be made on the website.  But, this can be a costly affair as you would have to pay certain charges for hosting, server and certificates.

The other drawbacks with open source platforms include security concerns involved and lack of customer support.

The popular open-source platforms include Shopify, WooCommerce, OpenCart and Magento. These platforms have different features in terms of user-friendliness, price, security, and integration.

B. Dedicated platform

Another option which is probably not so ideal for startups and small store owners is a dedicated platform. Usually an IT company will provide you a dedicated platform according to your specific requirements and offer tailored solutions for those who are aware of the different functions and features that they would like to have on their website.

It is both expensive and time-consuming and not ideal for startups and businesses on a shoe-string budget. If you have a highly unconventional system of sales and storage, then it’s for you. It’s an ideal solution for big corporations that are keen to offer the best user experience.

C. Software as a service (SaaS)

If you like a platform which you can manage anytime, then SaaS is the right option for you. SaaS has a lower initial setup cost. When you choose this option, you can pay according to the number of transactions.  You can also be charged according to the number of users.
As compared to an open source platform, SaaS offers you the desired freedom. It allows you to conveniently make changes as and when you want.
SaaS is also good for branding and building long term relationship with your customers.

Using an online marketplace to sell your products

If branding and customer service is not on your mind and all you need is to start selling online, then instead of using the platforms and creating your own eStore, use the established marketplaces such as Amazon, eBay, or other regional players.

It is extremely convenient and you do not need to invest in marketing, technology and tools. However, there is high competition on these platforms and you need to pay some commission plus the listing fees.

Moreover, you will not be able to provide sufficient customer service, so it’s a bad option for branding.  However, if earning revenue on your online sales is your sole objective, this can be the best option.

Integrating a payment gateway 

If you want to integrate a payment gateway into your online store, you can use the plug-ins such as Zen Cart, Magento, OpenCart, osCommerce, Prestashop and WordPress, etc.  When you integrate a payment gateway, it will automate the payment transaction between the merchant and the customers.
It will also enable the customers to use their credit cards and other modes of payment methods so that they have a variety of payment options. Integration should be easy and payment gateway should provide a robust customer support so that the issues are resolved within a specific time frame without affecting your business.

Choose PayTabs as your payment gateway as it comes with great customer support and standard technologies to quickly and conveniently integrate into your eStore.

9 Things to Look For In a Payment Gateway

9 Things to Look For In a Payment Gateway

If you are setting up an e-commerce store, one of the most important things you will be looking for is a payment partner who is going to help you enable the whole payments process.

With the right payment partner, your customers will be able to pay you easily and is more likely to come back to your website. There is just one small problem – how do you choose the right payment gateway?

With the market cluttered with several payment gateway options, it might be hard to choose the right one. In order to choose the right processor, you should do some homework and consider some points that are relevant to your business needs.

So in this article, we are going to explain 9 important things to be considered before you choose your payment partner.

  1. Look into location and incorporation details

Most of the times, the ideal payment gateway for you should be the gateway that is from the same location/country, your business is incorporated in. The corollary is also true.  For example, if you want a European payment gateway for your business, you need to incorporate in Europe itself.

  1. What’s the pricing and the providers’ fees?

It is extremely important to know the fee structure of your payment processor, if your business model is extremely price sensitive. Most of the fintech companies fall into this group and a slight variation in prices can alter their profits and may even turn it into loss.  Don’t get carried away by the advertisements that announce lowest fees or discounts, as it just might act as a catch to attract clients. Find a payment gateway provider that offers transparent fee structure without any surprises afterwards.

  1. What’s the technology

The bottom line is that you should choose a payment gateway that is supported by robust technology. This should not only offer simple, user-friendly solutions but also protect all financial transactions against fraud.  Also, your payment gateway should be secure enough to protect all your customer’s data and also have lower processing costs.

  1. How good is the support

Operating in a global market involves many unexpected and occasional incidents that can be bad for your business. That’s why support is considered to be a crucial factor to instantly fix the problems you face. Support should be simple and hassle free and ticketing system should be robust and fast.

  1. Does the operator offer international payments?

Check whether your payment gateway accepts international payments. If you are a growing business which is looking for selling to the global customer in the future, you might want to go with payment gateway which accept international currencies and offers alternative payment options. While local payment providers might be cheaper in certain cases, global payment gateways like PayTabs come with extremely attractive features like multi-currency payments, acceptance of a variety of cards, settlements and alternative payment arrangements. The latter is probably the better option if you are looking for revenue from around the world.

  1. What are the safety and security features

It is extremely important to ensure the safety and security of your customers, while they purchase online.  Maximum frauds happen while your customers try to make payments online.  There are different ways of protection that a processor can implement such as 3D secure payments, verified by Visa, and token system etc. Your gateway should always follow the guidelines of PCI to minimize the chances of frauds.

  1. Regular payments

If your business model requires short-term payments and settlements, it is ideal to go for a processor that doesn’t expect you to wait too long. Check the cost of the transfer and make sure that the fees are not too high. Always check what your payment gateway is charging for wire transfer. Some gateways charge a low fee and some might ask you to pay a higher fee.

Make sure that the rolling reserves are kept to a minimum. Rolling reserves is a kind of money that a payment processor or a bank can keep with themselves for a period of three to six months as security money against possible charge-backs.

  1. Does it allow invoicing

It might make sense to go with a payment gateway which offers built-in invoicing services. This not only makes it easier for you to raise instant invoices for the customer but also eliminates the need to move to another platform for invoicing.

  1. Reporting features

Another important thing to check is whether your payment partner is offering detailed reporting services. Once your business starts, you will want to review the transactions, review chargebacks in any, or do an analysis of any extra charges that you might have incurred while using the gateway. Try to go with a gateway that offers a better user experience.

There might not be a “perfect payment gateway” that fits the needs of every business. But its worth going the extra mile in order to find your right payment partner since a bad choice will not only cost you money but also your customers. The one thing to probably always keep in mind is the security aspect. The right partner will help you provide all the necessary tools for helping your business grow.