How to Accept Credit Card Payment Online: a Step by Step Guide
For an eCommerce store owner, it should be a must-have to accept credit card payment online. A lack of payment options can cause a high abandoned cart rate, which then reduces your sales revenue. Often, if you can’t offer a card payment gateway they want, they’re willing to leave your store and look for another. According to Worldpay, 36% of global eCom spend, accepting a broad range of eWallets is essential. Take a look at the comprehensive payment methods’ statistics:
This picture was a part of the Worldpay Global Payments Report 2018 with a forecast for 2022. As you can see, eWallet and credit card payments are still the most popular among customers. As you can see, eWallet and credit card payments are still the most popular among customers.
In this post, we’ll show you an ultimate guide to accepting online credit card payment and other payment methods available for implementing into the online store.
Read it to get to know the what and the how.
Ask yourself the following questions before accepting credit card payments. Then, you’ll clarify which payments you should use to please your prospects.
How Do You Want to Implement Payment Gateways?
If you’re familiar with technology, you yourself can accept credit cards without any trouble. In case you’re not tech-savvy, you can still offer online payments by outsourcing a job to a software developer that can add modules to your store. No matter which group you’re in, you don’t have to worry too much. There’s always a support team from the payment service provider who will help you out.
Do You Already Have a Website?
If you own a website, it’s easy to accept credit card payments. Just install shopping cart software or work with a payment company, and you’re done.
If you haven’t built one, you have other ways to receive online payments. For example, you can create online invoices or use online form builders like Google Forms.
What are the Products You Sell?
What you’re selling impacts on the payment gateway you should choose. Some all-in-one solutions like PayPal and Stripe aim at almost all types of businesses. Meanwhile, extensions and plugins are more tailored.
Besides, you can find payment processors that focus on a specific group of businesses, like micropayments for store owners who sell low-priced products.
What is the Amount of Your Budget?
Accepting Visa and MasterCard payment is great to boost sales for your store. It can be tricky to figure out how much it’ll cost. Pay attention to both upfront costs and monthly (or yearly) costs so that you can adjust your budget.
Bear in mind the following costs:
- Qualified rate
- Non-qualified surcharge
- Interchange differential
- Brand surcharge
- Foreign surcharge
Don’t forget tangential costs like outsourcing a designer or a developer, as well.
Is Your Site Secure Enough?
Customers always need a secured credit card payment. Hence, you should create a safe purchasing process for them and avoid fraud or scam as much as possible. It’s highly recommended that your site should be PCI-compliant.
A bank merchant account allows eCommerce stores to accept credit cards. This account is a contract between an eCommerce merchant and a payment processing service or a bank.
Let’s say a customer has just paid for a product with a credit card. The money then deposited into your store before transferring to your bank account.
PayPal, Square, and Stripe are the most popular payment gateways. Let’s take a closer look at what they are.
PayPal’s payment gateway has two options: Payflow Link and Payflow Pro. The former will give you a secure, PCI-DSS compliant template to let your customers complete the checkout on that template. Meanwhile, the latter is a premium payment gateway, meaning you can build a unique checkout experience for your store. The price is $25 per month, plus a one-time setup fee of $99.
Square allows you to receive online payment in many countries like the US, UK, and Australia. Using Square, you can accept website card payments right away without needing to open a bank merchant account. Currently, this payment gateway takes a fee of 2.9%, plus $0.30 per transaction. There are no other hidden fees.
A stripe payment gateway serves eCommerce, SaaS, and non-profit communities. It has an impressive list of features and free, simple API. However, Stripe is available for 34 countries only.
Stripe currently accepts most credit card payment types such as Visa and MasterCard. Its fee is the same as Square’s, that is, 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction.
To accept online credit card payments, you can open a merchant account or work with a payment service provider.
About merchant accounts, there are hundreds of payment providers to choose, from banks to payment processors. These accounts support better money management and higher security.
Merchant accounts can ask you to pay several fee types: application fee, setup fee, monthly fee, discount rate, per-transaction fees, cross-border fee, and rental fee for a credit card terminal. Not all these fees are always transparent in contracts, so you should be careful before writing your signature.
Unlike merchant accounts, a payment service provider (PSP) is a third-party that handles the entire payment process. It controls the whole process from the moment a customer enters their details to the moment money appears in your bank account. Stripe, Square, and PayPal are well-known PSP.
When using a PSP, you don’t need to open a separate merchant account. It also gives you a payment gateway and useful POS tools like inventory management, reporting suite, and marketing tools. That’s why a PSP is, most of the time, an attractive option for eCommerce businesses.
If you prefer the all-in-one solution, we recommend you to try PayPal or 2Checkout. They are quicker and easier to set up and have reasonable transaction rates. You don’t need to pay fee monthly or setup fees unless you upgrade your account to Pro.
For example, with PayPal, you can now process payments within a few clicks. You’ll try and feel advanced features that help create an exceptional shopping experience for your customers and maximize sales.
PayPal also provides the PayPal Seller Protection mechanism. Hence, your customers will feel safe when buying from you, leading to a higher conversion rate.
Payment processors are eager to work with you. The challenge is how you can select the best service for your store.
To make it easier for you, we pick the three best services you can try:
- Helcim is a web-based payment processing solution for retailers making under $2,000 in revenue. Helcim accepts all major credit cards and integrates with standard shopping carts like Shopify and Magento.
- Flagship Merchant Services is ranked the best payment processing provider for eight years between 2008 to 2015. It offers free gateway setup with Authorize.net and a free shopping cart for eCommerce merchants.
- Square works like a credit card processor and a POS system. It also has a better pricing structure than other traditional processing systems.
Take either of the following ways:
Building a New Site With Shopping Cart Software Included
Shopify is a great example of shipping cart software (or shopping cart or eCommerce software app). It’s an ultimate solution to eCommerce merchants to accept online credit card payments.
When you create a store with Shopify, you don’t need to buy a separate domain or pay for hosting, since this platform gives you everything you need. You’ll have a full hosted store and a set of management tools to control sales across channels.
If you have coding knowledge and need more freedom to customize your store, Magento may be your ideal option.
Adding Additional Payments to an Existing Site
No matter what platform you use to create your online store, you can use third-party apps or plugins to add payments to your existing site. For example, if you run a WordPress site, try WooCommerce or Ecwid plugin.
Another way to add payments to an existing site is to find a payment processor that supports customizable payment buttons. Try to look for one that has facilities for editing the appearance of the button and transaction settings. When it comes to that, PayPal is the best.
Credit cards are common methods to accept payments online. In addition, you can accept invoices or checks, or use the power of instant payments as they are the most popular now. You can try other payment methods like Google Pay, MasterPass, and Visa Checkout.