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Choosing An Online Payment Provider

Microvista® LLC - Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Our world has changed in the last five years, especially for small businesses. They need to adapt and take advantage of the now endless possibilities to increase their online sales. However, with the Internet being a low-trust environment, it’s important to choose a credible online payment provider to make your online business successful.

Choosing an online payment provider can be a daunting task because there are many factors to take into consideration: the look and feel of the website, the targeted audience, bandwidth, shipping integration, inventory control, search engine friendliness, and analytic capabilities.

To process an online payment you will need an Internet Merchant Account from your local bank or online payment provider. Depending on your web hosting company, you might also need a Secure Sockets Layer certificate (SSL) which is an encrypted security protocol that is used for processing payments over the Internet. You will also need to check on any additional fees such as a set-up fee, a monthly and/or annual fee, as well a cost per transaction fee. Sometimes this could manifest as a percentage point and extras might include: anti-fraud, automated recurring billing, and/or eChecks. You will also need a Payment Gateway which is like a virtual credit card swipe machine. Having your own Gateway helps build on your credibility. With your own Gateway, you manage the process and your company name appears on the statement. That’s just another useful way of promoting your business.

An online payment processing provider can be cost-effective way to go for small businesses since Internet Merchant Accounts require some history of doing business to get an account. Your cash flow is also something to keep in mind. Some processing providers keep the money for at least three days before depositing into your bank account; Unlike a Gateway where the money can be instantly deposited into your account. There are some payment processing providers that will take your visitors to another website to finalize the payment process, Paypal is a widely used example of this.

As you can see, there are many options for your small business. Often, the type of process payment provider you choose will depend of your type of customer and his/her needs.

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