Being able to accept online payments on your website it´s easy.
There are quite a few companies out there and you just need to be careful to choose an internet payment gateway provider that fits your needs.
Payment gateways are essential for accepting online payments from your customers. Without them, they would have to give you their card details over the phone. Or they’d have to send a payment such as a cheque or postal order to you.
Taking payments online through your website makes it fast and convenient for your customers to buy your services.
Here are six of the most popular UK online payment gateways
Perhaps the easiest gateway to set up on any online store is PayPal. It’s used by millions of people worldwide. And it’s also the default payment method on eBay.
If you accept PayPal payments, bear in mind that your customers must also have a PayPal account.
Are you selling subscriptions or products that need recurring payments? If so, Direct Debit is a good option to give your customers. GoCardless is a provider that can help you set up Direct Debits to your customer accounts.
They charge just 1% as their transaction fee, making it good value for money.
They are Europe’s biggest independent payment gateway provider. You’ll often see them used on a variety of online stores in the UK and beyond.
For £25 a month, you can have up to 1,000 transactions. Anything more and you’ll pay extra processing fees.
If your customers also buy from Amazon, they can use the firm to process payments to your business. Checkout by Amazon offers similar pricing to PayPal (i.e. 3.4% + 20p/transaction) and is easy to set up on your site.
Stripe has been around in the USA for some time, and now they are offering their services in the UK. Although they are new in the British payment gateway market, they are one of the easiest to set up.
Use a supported e-commerce platform
With so many online store options available, one is spoilt for choice. There is one significant difference between many e-commerce platforms.
Some of those online store solutions don’t support a variety of payment gateway options. If the system you use doesn’t support the gateway you want, you’ll have to create a module for it yourself. That involves learning a programming language like PHP. And you’ll have to do a lot of testing to make sure everything works OK.
As you can appreciate, coding a new payment gateway module from scratch is complex and time-consuming. Let’s not forget that it can also be a steep learning curve if you’re not a Web developer!
To avoid such issues, it’s best to stick with a popular e-commerce platform. That way, you can use a ready-made plugin to work with your chosen gateway. Examples of platforms that most gateways support include:
Decide how you would like to accept payments
You should also think about how you want to take payments from your customers. The obvious choice may be to take debit and credit card payments. But, your business may also accept other payment methods too.
For example, let’s say that you offer a subscription or membership to your customers. You could set up a continuous payment authority from a debit or credit card. But, did you know that you could also set up Direct Debit payments through your online store?
Another option might be to accept PayPal payments. Some customers prefer to use PayPal if they don’t want to enter their card details online.
There’s also the question of whether you wish to accept foreign currency payments or not. As you can imagine, there’s quite a lot to think about when it comes to getting paid! At this stage, it’s important you decide which methods are best for your business.
Is your online store secure?
Many payment gateways will not process your account unless you can prove that your site is secure. That’s because they need to confirm your online store passes fraud checks, amongst others.
First of all, they will check if your site is running on a host that isn’t vulnerable. Your server should be maintained to high standards and your host should offer 99.9% uptime. It should also have the latest security measures installed as standard.
Next, payment gateway providers will check that you’ve got an SSL certificate installed. In a nutshell, it’s used to encrypt data sent and received between computers and the Web server. It’s crucial you’ve got a valid SSL certificate that offers at least 256-bit encryption.
You must also ensure that you’re running the latest version of your e-commerce platform. New versions often include patches for security vulnerabilities. So, if you’re running outdated software, it’s time to upgrade.