With so many options of payment processors to choose from for your business, it can sometimes get a little confusing as to which ones you should go for.
The fact is, the choice will be down to how you run your business and what your sales are like. To help you with your search, we’ve created a handy guide which should give you the information you need to make an informed choice.
What Exactly Is A Payment Processor?
A payment processor is a company that processes payments on behalf of businesses. They take all the details of the transaction (including credit card numbers) and then pass them onto the bank or other financial institution who actually handles the funds.
This means they’re able to take care of things such as:
- Managing customer accounts
- Processing transactions
- Providing support services
So if you want to accept credit cards online, you’ll have to use a payment processing service. This way, you don’t have to worry about any of these things yourself.
It’s also worth noting that there are different types of payment processors available depending on whether you’re looking at a PCI-compliant solution, or one that doesn’t require this level of security.
The latter option is often cheaper, but may not offer the same levels of support.
So What Do I Need To Know Before Choosing One?
There are several key factors to consider when choosing a payment processor for your business. These include:
- How much does it cost?
- Do they charge per month or per transaction?
- Does it integrate well with my business and my website?
- Are their fees reasonable?
- How easy is it to set up?
What Payment Processors Are Available?
As we mentioned earlier, there are plenty of payment processors out there for you to choose from. Some examples of these are:
PayPal is probably the most popular online payment system in existence today. It allows people to pay using their credit/debit card, PayPal account balance, or even by sending money directly into their bank account.
Stripe is another great option for accepting credit card payments online. You can sign up to start accepting payments within minutes. Stripe offers a free plan, but also has plans with a small monthly fee.
If you’re looking for something more robust than Stripe, Braintree might be the right option for you.
Their platform integrates easily with WordPress, Magento, Shopify and WooCommerce websites, meaning you won’t have to do anything extra to get started. There’s no setup fee either!
If you’re looking for a simple, low cost payment processor, Authorize.net might just be the answer. It’s easy to set up and works with lots of platforms including WordPress, Shopify, WooCommerce, Magento and others.
2Checkout is another simple payment processor that comes with a number of useful features. For example, you can automatically refund customers after they’ve made a purchase.
And they have a range of add-ons available too, so you can customize your checkout process according to your needs.
Due is another good choice if you need a flexible payment solution. It supports multiple currencies, and lets you create invoices and track sales reports. Plus, it’s completely cellphone friendly.
Worldpay is an established name in the world of online payments. They provide a wide range of solutions, from basic eCommerce to full blown enterprise systems.
Square is another excellent option for those who prefer to keep things simple. You can quickly set up a store and accept payments through your smartphone.
If you want to take advantage of all of the other services offered by Square, you’ll need to upgrade to their Business Account.
GoCardless is a UK based company offering a variety of products including mobile apps, API access, and a hosted service. This means you don’t have to worry about setting up any servers yourself.
Cayan is one of the newer entrants on the market. They offer a range of different options, including a hosted service (which includes everything you need) as well as a self-hosted version which requires some technical know-how.
BitPay is another new entrant on the market. They focus on Bitcoin payments only, but they do offer several different payment methods including credit cards, debit cards, gift cards, Paypal accounts, and more.
Vantiv is a US based company that provides a range of services including point of sale software, POS hardware, merchant services, and more.
Flagship Merchant Services
Flagship Merchant Services is a UK based company that provides a number of different services including Point of Sale Software, PCI Compliance, Merchant Services, and more.
This is an excellent choice if your business receives a high level of card payment traffic.
PayLine Data is a Canadian based company that offers a range of services including Point of Sale Systems, PCI Compliance, Merchant Accounts, and more.
It also integrates with QuickBooks, so you can even solve your ad-hoc duties too.
Does My Business Need A Payment Processor?
There are many reasons why you may require a payment processor. Here are the common ones:
To Accept Credit Cards
If you sell physical goods or services, then you will probably need to accept credit cards. In the digital era, you’ll find your business becoming more and more reliant on accepting credit card payments and it’s vital when you’re selling online.
To Protect Your Company From Fraud
It’s important to protect your company against fraud. That’s because there are always people out there looking to steal money from businesses.
When you use a payment processor, you can rest assured knowing that your customers’ details are safe, and that you won’t be held responsible for fraudulent transactions.
To Support Multiple Currencies
It’s not uncommon these days for companies to sell their products across borders. That means that they need to support different currencies.
For example, if you sell your products in Europe, you might want to consider supporting Euros.
The Bottom Line
Payment processors are an essential as a business grows, so choosing the right one is important. We hope we’ve given you some helpful tips for you to choose from.
Payment processing is an important part of small business management. Learn more about it at our merchant processing resource hub.
Paul Martinez is the founder of EcomSidekick.com. He is an expert in the areas of finance, real estate, eCommerce, traffic and conversion.
Join him on EcomSidekick.com to learn how to improve your financial life and excel in these areas. Before starting this media site, Paul built from scratch and managed two multi-million dollar companies. One in the real estate sector and one in the eCommerce sector.