What to look for in an online payment processor

A Scripted Freelance Writer Writing Sample

Any business that sells on the Web needs an online payment processor. Most business owners lack the means, and expertise, to develop their own software for securely processing electronic payments is not something Existing businesses might profit from re-evaluating their current vendor. New businesses need to start off in the best possible position to fuel growth and keep customers happy.

Selecting an Online Payment Processor for a New Business:

Business needs will drive the decision of what firm to use. The decision be as simple as putting up a generic payment form or as complicated as a shopping card with recurring payment options that accepts many payment types and has been customized for the company.

Many familiar questions apply to selecting a processing company:


What are the costs and fees? Look at card fees and ACH transaction fees among other things


Is there good fraud protection and data security?


What are the terms and conditions of the contract?


What sorts of payment types does the company support?


How much would it cost to cancel the contract?


Is the vendor capable of taking EMV card payments? Almost all are, but it makes sense to ask.

Some businesses will get a significant amount of business from mobile device users or from international buyers. In the former case, there is no choice but to stick with a provider who supports mobile payments. In the latter case, a small difference in the fee for converting currencies can add up to a substantial cost over the year.

Does the vendor support your business model? That's an obvious question, but one that takes a little thinking to select the best online payment processor. If the business also has a brick-and-mortar component things get a little more complicated.

Payment Processing for Hybrid Businesses:

Many businesses take orders online and also have stores. Those business owners have more opportunities to engage with customers, but this opportunity comes at a cost: A business with POS terminals in the store and a Web site will need two payment gateways. Is it possible to have payment processing services for both provided by the same vendor?

A business with two payment processing vendors would be well-advised to look at migrating to one vendor. The cost savings might be modest, but canceling one of the contracts or redesigning that shopping cart page might pay off. The financial investment would naturally have to be weighed against the likely savings.

A new online payment processor might also offer the business owner an opportunity to create a reward program, electronic coupons or monthly billing. The same is true for someone who operates an online-only store. A new payment processor that supports monthly billing also offers an easy way for customers to subscribe to the dessert of the month club.

Make Sure Your Online Processor Works for You:

Anyone who owns an online business needs to ask a number of questions about their online payment processor. New and existing businesses will have similar needs and concerns, but businesses that are a hybrid of real-world and virtual store may have unique requirements for their online payment processor.

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Chester D

Nashville, Tennessee, United States •

I am a Web writer, blogger, and social scientist who has written thousands of pages of Web content on a range of business, science, and nonprofit topics. I've also self-published two books on brainstorming and structured problem solving tactics for activists and nonprofit staff - The Creative Activism Guide and The Creative Activism Toolkit. If you need a writer who understands natural science, social science, politics, or statistics I can handle your writing project. As a contract writer or volunteer I have written fundraising copy and grant proposals for economic development and conservation charities. Last but not least, I also write science fiction and dark fantasy, screenplays and short stories.to be specific. I have also written hundreds of blog posts on legal, marketing, and nonprofit topics for BlogMutt and TextBroker clients.

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