How to Get Started Accepting Online Payments

One way to get paid faster is to make paying you as easy as possible. Increasingly, the best way to do this is to start accepting online payments. In fact, you might even attract new customers to your business if they can pay you online.

It is common to accept online payments if you have an online shop on your website. However, all businesses can benefit from being able to accept payments online. This includes businesses that deal with customers over the phone and in person, as well as if customers pay you on receipt of an invoice.

Online payments are suitable for all these types of transaction.

Understanding How Online Payments Work

Almost all businesses process online payments through a third-party merchant services provider. This could be a debit card payment, a credit card payment, or a direct debit payment.

Most merchant services are free to set up and use, particularly if you only want their online payment option. Other options you can consider but which may have an upfront cost include accepting credit card payments in person using a card reader.

For this blog, however, we’ll focus on online payments only.

How do merchant services providers make their money if they don’t charge you to set up or use their services? The answer to this is transaction fees. In other words, your merchant services provider will charge you a percentage of each online payment made to your business. The exact percentage varies depending on the provider and the overall monthly value of transactions, but typically ranges from two to four percent.

Merchant Services Provider Options

There are many merchant services providers available, although some of the most well-known are PayPal, WorldPay, and Sage Pay. Some banks in Ireland also offer merchant services, including AIB.

What Are the Benefits of Using a Merchant Services Provider?

  • Security – merchant services providers invest significantly in the security of their platforms. This security protects both your business as well as your customers.
  • Trust – you will build trust with customers when you use a merchant services provider. After all, having a payment process that customers are comfortable with and believe is secure will encourage them to proceed with the purchase.
  • Multiple options – most merchant services providers give your customers multiple ways to pay.

The Steps Required to Start Accepting Payments Online

You are likely to need expert help with setting up payments online, particularly in terms of integrating the merchant services provider with your website. Here are the high-level steps you need to take:

  • Decide on a merchant services provider that best suits the requirements of your business.
  • Register an account and add all your details, including details of your business and your bank account. You will probably have to verify this information.
  • Integrate the merchant services provider’s tools into your website
  • Integrate the platform into your accounting software so it automatically updates whenever a customer pays you

Once you complete the above steps, you can start promoting your online payment option to your customers.

To get more help and advice with your business, please contact us at Gilroy Gannon today.

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