Every business that accepts credit cards could benefit from having a payment gateway. The choices you have for a payment gateway are extensive and can be tough to sort.
Every gateway works differently, as some gateways can come with unique features that help facilitate a transaction. But these can also include different rules for work that might not always be easy to read or plan. You can use these points to help you find the most useful payment gateway for your business needs.
Integration Is Essential
The first part is to review how you’ll integrate your payment gateway. You can use various integration options to help you communicate with your customers:
- A hosted gateway will work through a separate party hosting your gateway. You can integrate the gateway to your website and make it run well, but you won’t have as much control over how the gateway works.
- A non-hosted gateway lets you adjust the gateway yourself and control how you’ll communicate with different networks. You can also control your security features a little more with a non-hosted gateway. But you’ll require extra maintenance to make it work.
- You can also use a direct post process that lets people cover their payments right away. People will directly power their payment data on your website, and you can move the transactions through the network yourself. This effort is convenient and gives you more control, but you’ll need to monitor your data well and also confirm you meet PCI compliance standards here.
How Functional Is the Gateway?
Your gateway must support whatever functions you wish to manage when running your business. These functions include:
- Supporting multiple physical card payments, including NFC-based ones
- Handling payments that come through your website
- Integration with mobile apps and other platforms where you accept payments
- Compatibility with online wallet solutions
Look at how your customers pay for products or services through your business on average. The customers should have access to a system that is easy to run. Payment methods are always changing, so having a more useful solution is always essential.
A Convenient Checkout System
Many gateways will support online transactions, but the ways people can enter their data will vary. A payment gateway can include many features:
- A one-page checkout is always convenient, as it gets people through faster.
- You can divide your checkout in multiple pages if you have more data you need to collect. You can sort the data you gather on each page.
- Some checkouts may include multiple form fields, which works if you sell specific items or you want to limit the transaction process.
A gateway should support whatever payment collection setup you use. You can create whatever checkout system you want when you have something smart and suitable for your work demands.
Does a Gateway Support Your Business?
Not all gateways are willing to provide support for your business. Some gateways might not cover purchases for products or services in certain high-risk fields. Check with whichever gateway you select to see if it supports whatever you want to sell.
Security Is Essential
A payment gateway should provide a secure approach to managing payments. A gateway can work with PCI compliance standards and can encrypt customer data. But there are many other security features to explore when looking at how your business can work:
- Tokenization works in some gateways to further scramble data and to keep you from storing as many sensitive pieces of data on your customers.
- Fraud detection features are available through some gateways. These include systems that use machine learning to detect the most common cases of fraud.
- You can also program your account or system on some gateways to block transactions if they meet certain parameters you set.
Review All Fees
Some payment gateways will charge assorted fees for their services. These include charges for monthly access, per-transaction fees, and even PCI compliance charges.
An ideal gateway won’t charge excess fees, plus it will be straightforward when explaining what you will spend on services. A gateway should also include a monthly service deal where you can pay for what you use by the month without entering long-term contracts that might become unreasonable after a while.
Is a Merchant Account Necessary?
Some gateways are available only to people who have merchant accounts with certain providers. You’d have to sign up with someone to get a merchant account that lets you accept credit card payments before getting access to the gateway.
Some gateways can work without merchant accounts, although you’d have to pay an access fee to use the system. Look at the rates that a merchant account has before making a choice, and compare the total cost for processing each transaction before finding a solution that works for your needs.
Recurring Billing Support
While most payments through a gateway are one-off transactions, some gateways can also support recurring payments. A recurring billing system lets you establish an automatic billing cycle for your consumers. They can automatically complete monthly payments or whatever other transactions they wish to complete.
Support for recurring billing is necessary for stores that offer subscriptions or long-term payment plans. It also works for non-profits that take in donations from people each month.
How Is Customer Service?
The gateway you choose should also have a reliable customer service department that can answer whatever questions you have at any moment. You can contact a customer service team by phone, text, email, or live chat in many cases. The team should be open to your questions and ready to help you as necessary. Any group that doesn’t have the answers you need may not be trustworthy.
Be sure when choosing your payment gateway that you stick with a trustworthy choice that can support your needs. A quality gateway will help you with all your payments and will provide security and protection for all transactions. Not all gateways are alike, as they all work differently and have unique ways for operation.