Setting Up Online Payment Systems for Your Small Business: Beginner’s Guide
As the owner of a small business, you already know how important the first few years are in determining your future success. An incredible 99.9% of businesses throughout the United States are considered small businesses, so competition is intense. To make sure you don’t become one of the 50% of businesses that fail within the first five years, there are some proactive things you should do, including setting up a reliable online payment system.
To boost your sales numbers, it is imperative to give your customers an easy and secure way to pay for the goods and services they want to purchase from you. Otherwise, they’re likely to go to one of your competitors instead. Here’s what you should know about setting up online payment systems for a small business to improve customer satisfaction.
Key Facts About Online Payment Systems for a Small Business
It can be challenging to set up an online payment system for your business, especially if you’ve never done it before. If you were to type “what is a payment system?” in an online search, Google would deliver more than 2,500,000,000 results in less than a second. Talk about overwhelming!
To make things simpler, let’s start with the basic definition of an online payment system. This type of system is a secure electronic service that allows another person (i.e. a customer) to complete a financial transaction over the internet.
That sounds pretty straightforward, but once you dive into the many different online payment systems for small business options out there, you may have trouble figuring out which one to utilize. To help you make the most informed decision regarding your online payment system, here are a few things you should know.
How Online Payment Systems Function
Over 80% of U.S. consumers make online payments. Additionally, credit card payments are soon expected to surpass $1.8 trillion per year. To take advantage of the popularity of online shopping, your business should have a reliable online payment system.
Online payment systems function by encrypting payment information that is entered by your customers. Then, the system seeks authorization from the payment processor, which can approve or decline the transaction. If the transaction goes through, the customer’s money is transferred from their bank to the merchant’s bank account.
When looking for online payment systems for small businesses, make sure the system you pick is secure as well as capable of processing payments quickly.
What Fees Payment Systems Charge
Before you select an online payment system to use for your business, you should know that not all systems charge the same fees. It’s not uncommon for business owners to sign up for an online payment system thinking they understand the monthly payment, only to discover that multiple fees have been tacked on to their regular monthly bill.
Many online payment systems for small businesses interests charge hidden fees that can change from month to month. When fees are cryptic and you don’t understand how to plan for them, it becomes impossible to know how much your next payment will be. To give yourself greater peace of mind when selecting the right payment system for your business, look for one that is straightforward about the fees charged and the services offered.
The Basic Structure of Online Payment Systems for a Small Business
There are many different types of online payment systems, but they all have the same general three-part structure:
- Payment Gateway: This is the “middleman” between the payment processor, credit card company and merchant account. The gateway must be very secure because it is one of the most vulnerable components of the online payment system.
- Payment Processor: This is the third party that maintains responsibility for transferring funds from the customer to the merchant (or vice versa).
- Merchant Account: Any merchant receiving payments from a processor must also have a merchant account. This is where all of the information necessary to safely transfer funds is held.
Beyond this basic structure, different online payment systems for a small business can have different policies, rates, etc. That’s why it’s important to compare different payment processors to make sure you’re getting good rates and service.
Step-by-Step Guide to Setting Up Your Online Payment System
Now that you know the basics about online payment systems, it’s time to learn how to set one up. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you get started:
- Step 1: Compare different online payment systems to make sure you’re getting the best deal and the best service for your needs. Keep in mind that some services charge fees they might not disclose when quoting you their monthly price. Be sure to ask about any hidden fees before selecting a service.
- Step 2: Set up a hosting platform and get a secure socket layer certificate.
- Step 3: Create a secure payment gateway.
- Step 4: Integrate your chosen payment processor into your gateway or payment page.
With this simple, four-step process, it is a snap to set up your online payment system so your customers can conveniently pay for your goods and services online.
Utilize Our Online Payment Systems for Your Small Business
There are many reasons to choose PaymentClub for your online payment processing needs. We charge a flat rate (plus the current exchange rate from MasterCard or Visa) and never tack on additional fees. What this means for you is that you’ll always know how much your bill will be each month and won’t have to guess.
If you’ve been looking for the ideal online payment systems for your small business, you’ve come to the right place. We always use up-to-date POS systems and terminals so you don’t need to worry about slow processing times or problems due to outdated equipment. We also have a detailed and transparent billing process so you don’t have any unpleasant surprises when you receive your bill. While some companies charge more fees and give you less service, we do the opposite. Contact us today to learn more about our leading online payment system technology.