Are you well on your way to starting an online business but need an online payment solution? Or do you already have an online business, and you're thinking of making the switch? You're right where you're supposed to be.
This article will go into how to choose the right online payment gateway for your online business.
What is an online payment gateway?
A payment gateway is a technology or software application that facilitates money transfers from one bank account to another during an online purchase.
If you run an online business, an online payment gateway is a must-have to ensure that payments are securely transferred from your customers' accounts to yours.
Still not sure what a payment gateway is? Think about the last time you shopped online. After adding items to your cart and hitting "Checkout," you were automatically redirected to a payment page.
That's an online payment gateway flexing its muscles.
It's the secure third-party page where a customer fills in their card details and approves the transaction with either a one-time pin (OTP) SMS or a prompt from their banking app to approve the payment.
When done well, the experience is seamless. You might not even notice the move from a merchant's website to a third-party payment provider.
The third party is the online payment gateway. It's a stable and secure bridge between the online business and the customer. Without it, the transaction or online payment would not be possible.
Think of it as a virtual card machine.
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What a payment gateway does for your online business
First things first, it helps you get paid (and we love that).
Outside of getting you paid, according to WooCommerce.com, it also does the following:
- Verifies each customer’s billing information
- Authenticates funds for each customer’s payment method
- Approves requests, allowing your store to issue a confirmation number.
Why you need an online payment gateway
Choosing the right online payment solution for your online business is vital in the process of starting, running, and growing your business.
Being a business owner is already around-the-clock work, so having the right systems in place is integral in making sure your life is not only easier but that your hard work is paying off.
The reasons your business needs an online payment gateway is:
- It’s a fast payment method – payments can be processed in a few seconds compared to other payment methods.
- It’s convenient – for you and the customer. Your store is never closed because payments can be accepted at any time.
- It makes selling to a broader number of customers easier – because you’re online, you can accept payments from people anywhere.
- It’s a safe way to pay and get paid – encrypted data make payments secure for the customer and the merchant.
Now that we’ve elaborated on what a payment gateway is and why one should have it for their online store. Up next is an explicit breakdown of how you should go about choosing the right online payment gateway for your online business.
How to choose the right online payment gateway for your online business
1. Look at the costs
When it comes to accepting online payments and running an online business, there are three types of costs linked to payment gateways: set-up fees, monthly fees, and transaction rates.
- Setup fee is the upfront fixed fee you may need to pay when signing up for an online payment gateway.
- Monthly fee is the amount of money you'll pay on a month-to-month basis for as long as you're using the online payment gateway.
- Transaction rate is the percentage charged to the online business every time it processes a customer's payment.
To find a cost-effective payment gateway for your online business, you need to consider the expected sales volume, the value of your transactions, your business model, the payment process speed and the types of payments you accept.
Did you know: iKhokha’s Payment Gateway has the lowest starting transaction rates, from only 2.85% (excl. VAT).
Our top tip: Take the time to do your homework. Be mindful of your finances, where you’d like to be, and how you intend to grow in the future.
2. Understand the security features
The internet can be quite a scary place to store information. It’s never been easier for us to share sensitive data while we're shopping (it’s quickly becoming just another way to shop). Yet there's still a level of scepticism around sharing credit card information with online stores.
Security is a significant factor to consider when choosing the right online payment gateway. It protects your business and your customers from the risk of fraud and security breaches that may threaten your business’s credibility.
So, what do you need to look for in security features? Essential features that create a safe and secure experience for your customers are the PCI compliance certification and the 3D secure payment method. Having both will safely guard the payment process of your online business.
Did you know: All the iKhokha Payment Gateway for WordPress payments are 3D secure and PCI compliant.
3. Consider the cards accepted
No one understands your customers better than you do. Knowing your customers’ purchasing habits, LSM (where they sit in the economic segmentation), and geographical location will help you understand how they pay. This includes knowing the types of cards your customers will use to pay.
For you, would that be debit cards, credit cards, digital vouchers, or e-cards?
Across the globe, the most used debit and credit cards are Visa and Mastercard. Major payment gateways accept these cards.
According to Statista, as of January 2021, the share of South African cardholders with Visa is 51 percent, with its major competitor Mastercard being slightly behind at 48 percent.
Did you know: The iKhokha Payment Gateway for WordPress accepts Visa and Mastercard credit card payments.
4. Offer a seamless user experience
User experience is said to be one of the most prominent factors in the success of your ecommerce website. If a customer’s experience is not seamless, speedy, or simple, they’re likely to leave without making a purchase.
On your end, you need to ensure that the payment gateway you choose can easily and smoothly be integrated into your website.
Understanding the content management system (CMS) you’ve used to build your website is important. This will help point you in the right direction regarding payment gateway integration.
WordPress is an open-source CMS that powers 38% of the internet, making it the most popular CMS globally. If your website is built with WordPress and you’re selling online, you’re probably already accustomed to plugins like WooCommerce.
Heading to the Plugins tab on your WordPress dashboard is a great place to start if you’re looking for compatible payment plugins for your website.
Did you know: iKhokha offers a WordPress payment gateway that provides a safe, easy, and affordable way to accept online card payments on WordPress WooCommerce-enabled websites.
One more thing to mention. Find a payment gateway that supports payments on mobile and desktop. The more you make it convenient, the better.
5. Find readily available customer support
As any business owner knows, things can go wrong. Should there be a spanner in the works, you need to have a solution and support system that you can rely on.
Your business relies on having a payment gateway that works. It cannot afford to miss an opportunity to accept a payment. Take time to evaluate, understand and make the smart move of choosing a provider that won’t only be kind to your pocket but also offers excellent support when you need it.
Did you know: The iKhokha Payment Gateway for WordPress has next-level support and friendly consultants ready to assist you from setting up to running your online business.
Let the search begin
You have your checklist. You know what to look out for. Now, it’s time to find your perfect payment gateway.
It might not be too far away from you. Enjoy free sign-up, no monthly fees and no set-up costs, and many other suites of benefits with the iKhokha WordPress payment plugin.