If your thinking of selling things on your website, you are most likely trying to figure out how to accept credit cards on your website.
First, let's discuss why you want to accept credit cards.
- Impulse Buyers: Many people spend thousands of dollars on "spur of the moment" products and services. It has been suggested that emotions and feelings play a decisive role in purchasing, triggered by seeing the product or upon exposure to a well crafted promotional message. Add this to the convenience of making the purchase which results to the customer purchasing the product or service.
- Convenience: One of the factors on whether customers purchase a product or service from a website is convenience. If you make it super easy for customers to buy, this will increase the chances of a purchase.
There are many companies out there that provide merchant services, some include banks, credit unions and individual merchant services. The following are just a couple of companies that can help you to accept credit or debit cards.
There are two ways in which you can accept credit cards on your site.
- Using Your Own Merchant Account: Banks, Credit Unions usually have merchant services that you can use. However, requirements for this type of account usually vary from institution to institution, so be sure to check with the institution for requirements, fees, and customer service.
- Third Party Merchant: This is a great alternative to using a bank or credit union, usually fees are lower and adding the "payment gateway" to your website is usually easier. When using a "payment gateway", the company accepts credit cards payments on your behalf in exchange for fees and percentages.
NOTE: Before signing up for a payment gateway, always review the terms and conditions and fee rates.
There are benefits and risks for each of the above.
- Using a Bank or Credit Union: For most banks, you might have a credit check conducted and your rates sometimes are agreed to based on the credit check. In addition, banks/credit unions seem to have more fees and less technical support to help with accepting charges on your website. While banks seem to be always trying to improve this issue, they seem to be way behind the Third Party Merchant Companies. One of the benefits of using a bank is usually lower transactions fees; however, there is also a lot more risks and legal requirements with processing credit cards on your own.
- Using a Third Party Merchant Service: While Merchant Services today make it a lot easier to accept web payments, they tend to charge higher initial fees. While some Merchant Services may not have any set-up fees, they tend to charge higher transaction fees then what you might pay to a bank or credit union. One of the benefits of using a merchant service is the convenience. most merchant services take care of everything for you and all you have to do is put the code on your website and get your payment after the sale (based on the terms and conditions of the Merchant Company). One of the other benefits of using a "payment gateway" is that if its well known, then there is greater confidence with your customers in purchasing products or services on your website since their is an established trust.
Whichever method you use, at some point you will have to worry about fraud (where people buy products or services with a stolen credit card number) and charge backs (where people try to get a refund through their bank, by stating that the service or product was not as advertised or they did not make the purchase). This is mostly more of a pain when using a bank or credit union and shipping to a non confirmed address.
UswipeWith some of the lowest rates for accepting credit cards, this is the "Payment Gateway" we use. We can even process them offline as well. Check out their rates!
PaypalWhen you signup for PayPal, you can start accepting credit card payments instantly. As the world's number one online payment service, PayPal is the fastest way to open your doors to over 150 million member accounts worldwide. Best of all, it's completely free to sign up! Check out their website to sign up or learn more!