Ecommerce is thriving. Shopping online is often the most convenient and cost-effective option for a great number of consumers and businesses, regardless of where they are located. And with the holidays, having an online store set up and optimized to sell can mean big business.
Whether you’re setting up an ecommerce site or already have one, you’ll need to choose a payment gateway that enables your site to successfully yet affordably take payments online. Below are a few popular options to consider.
PayPal has been around since the near the infancy of the Web and online payments and is the standard bearer. A standard PayPal plan is free, there are no monthly fees or startup fees, and customers can make payments from their PayPal accounts or with major credit cards. It’s wide used and available in over 200 countries. There are also plugins available to integrate the standard and Pro plans with WordPress sites.
PayPal Payments Pro enables you to take credit card payments directly from your site, and it also requires no startup fee, but you must pay a monthly rate that is currently $30 plus transaction fees. The Pro Plan also includes the ability to take payments over the phone, and the checkout process can be handled on the merchant’s site (instead of customers being redirected to the PayPal site to make payments as they do with the standard plan).
Authorize.net is a payment gateway provider that is accessible in Europe, the UK, the U.S., Australia, and Canada. It requires a startup fee of $49, plus a monthly rate of $25 and transaction fees.
Customers may use PayPal and major credit cards, and the checkout process is handled on the merchant’s website. You can also use various plugins to integrate Authroize.net with a WordPress-based website.
Stripe may be accessed in over 20 countries, it charges no monthly or startup fees, and WordPress site integration is available. There are transaction fees, and the transactions may be done from the merchant’s website instead of redirecting the customers to the third-party site.
When you receive payments from customers via the Stripe gateway, you don’t need to transfer them to your bank account manually; they are automatically deposited on a rolling basis of two days.
Making the Decision
You may want to consider a few details before you make your decision about which gateway to utilize, and there are many more to consider. You’ll need to think about your target demographic and how many countries you wish to reach, as well as how much your business can afford to dedicate to monthly payments and transaction fees. You may even want to try each of the companies for a few months to see which one matches your needs (and the needs of your customers) the most.
All three payment gateways offer useful features for businesses. PayPal may be the most widely known because it has been around for so long, but Stripe and Authorize.net have certainly become recognizable and the provider of choice to many merchants.
What Else Do You Need?
Setting up payments on your website really isn’t as simple as selecting a provider. Sure, if you’re using Paypal buttons and using a third party site to process payments, site security is not as critical a factor, but if you’re accepting payments on your site, it’s a different story.
In fact, Google which has made web security an increasing focus, is planning to display a warning to Chrome browser users that insecure pages that collect credit cards will be marked as non-secure to users. This means that sites accepting online payments should be using security certificates. Security monitoring and having a mobile-friendly site are also recommended.