How to Choose an Online Credit Card Processing Solution

Today, starting up an online shop is pretty easy. In fact, it’s so easy you might think anyone can do it.

Download the "Intro to ecommerce" guide to start your online shop the right way.

Running an online business is another story entirely. Much like trying to keep a brick-and-mortar store afloat, operating your own online business requires some savvy and know-how. If you want to be successful, there’s a lot you need to consider. One of those things might be to consider adopting an online credit card processing solution.

Why You Need a Solution

The first step in selecting an online credit card processing solution is knowing why you need one. After all, plenty of businesses get by simply by offering a solution like PayPal or other online money transfer service. Why do you need to accept credit cards?

The answer should be obvious: Customers love credit cards. Most customers want to pay by credit card. Even if you’re using something like a money transfer service, most often, it’s hooked to the customer’s credit card anyway. Why not cut out the middle man and simply accept those card payments directly?

A World of Choice

Once you’ve decided to adopt for a credit card processing solution for your online store, however, you’ll realize there’s a lot of decision making still at hand. First and foremost, you’re going to find it’s not as easy as saying, “I want to accept credit cards” and then just simply accepting cards

You’ll need to partner with a solution provider—and you need to make sure you pick the right partner! There are many, many options out there on the market, and there are almost as many providers. Trying to choose just one might seem like an impossible task. It gets easier if you know what to look for.

What Do You Need?

The first question you need to ask yourself is what your business needs from an online credit card processing solution. Some businesses are considered high risk and will likely want additional security with their solutions. Others might process large numbers of transactions, and they’ll want a fee structure that supports their sales volumes.

Merchants should keep in mind their average monthly sales, in terms of both value and volume. They also need to consider the fee structure of any solution. Security’s another concern, as are contract lengths and terms, and pricing. Even the structure of your monthly bill might be a concern!

What Do You Want?

Once you’ve established your needs, it’s time to think about what you want from any online credit card processing solution. Some of this will overlap with your needs; after all, you might want lower fees, but you also need the fees to allow you to meet your profit margin.

“Wants” might include things like a pay-later option or support for a simple, one-click checkout solution. What about support for accepting multiple currencies? Some providers have it and others don’t, which could affect your choice. Easy-to-read billing and clear contract terms could also fall into the “want” category.

Shop Around

With good knowledge of both your wants and your needs, you can start researching providers and their options. Collect some quotes and compare what each provider can offer. Never be afraid to negotiate either; some providers will start off with a “stock” plan option, fully expecting you to customize your solution.

Even if you have a hard-to-place account or a high-risk business, don’t be afraid to compare providers and shop among them. There’s no reason you should ever settle for the first online credit card processing solution you’re offered—unless you’ve gotten lucky and found the right one on the very first try!


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Ben Smith

Ben brings 20 years of experience to his role as IT Director for BNA Smart Payment Systems. Among his many directorial duties, he is responsible for the selection, acquisition, development, installation, maintenance, and support of IT infrastructure. Ben also establishes and leads a cross-functional architectural committee, acts as a technical expert and a critical technical resource across multiple disciplines, and consults on all system implementation, modification and integration activities. He graduated with Honours from Durham Collage in Computer Programming, and takes yearly training courses for security and development technologies to remain up-to-date. Outside of work, he loves playing hockey and skating with his family, and also enjoys gardening and cooking.

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