Accepting Online Payments

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Bank Transfers, although considered outdated, they are still very relevant in today’s market, especially when dealing with international payments.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.

Dealing with multiple banks – Is it cost effective?

Many hours in management are wasted processing B2B payments. This is a time consuming task which has to be double checked to ensure that funds have been transferred to the right accounts. Bank transfers are relatively safe due to bank verification demands, but they can be costly in time and bank charges. Another advantage is that there is no exchange of private information which you would need to submit if you were paying by credit card. The downside of bank transfers is that payments are not instantly confirmed and in many cases these payments could end up as a non-payment which would require more time to follow through.

If you are dealing with international clients there are still some countries that do not accept international transfers with a large percentage of their population not having access to advanced banking products. Other countries might charge exorbitant fees which would make a big difference to the bottom line. Alternative payment methods need to be investigated in order to save time and money. Streamlining your payment operations through new technology is key to running a successful business, making and receiving payments instantly without much effort. Free your senior managers from time consuming practices so that they can spend their time much more productively.

When it is necessary to work with multiple banks, finding solutions to streamline your payment methods can be challenging. The internet works at lightning speed, but banks are slow and methodical which can result in delays and misunderstandings. It is also a well-known fact that payments through banks are expensive. So what is the solution? How can big business focus on advancing their company while keeping their customers happy?

SWIFT payments are the way to go for most international payments, but they can be extremely expensive when it comes to transaction fees. Alternatives have been created through the US and the UK where the ACH network has been created for quicker transfers with lower charges. This however is only available between these two countries.  The downfall with this system is that each country require payments to be made in their currency which sometimes makes international payments a problem. We are only human and manually processing payments will at some point lead to errors. A simple wrong digit or decimal point can cause a huge problem down the line. This is both time consuming and frustrating because dealing with international banks trying to correct an unintentional mistake is very difficult.

The only viable way to improve on B2B payments with accuracy and efficiency is to implement an integration program. In this day and age the digital banking environment should be concentrating on offering more than traditional banking services. There is a huge push towards the integration of services from a variety of providers who ultimately must put their customers first and develop systems which will simplify and expedite online banking, on all mobile devices. The provider of the new era banking ecosystem does not have to be a traditional banking establishment. An integrated system would ensure that there is a customer data base across a series of services and a reduction of friction between services that are related.