Whether your business is long-established and you are just looking to move online, or you are a new online-only start-up, you know that you need an online payment processing solution for your business.
Now your question is how to go about getting one. It may not be perfectly clear, and finding the right solution for your business can seem complicated or difficult. In reality, it should be easy to get a great payment processing solution for your online business. Follow these steps to find your ideal provider.
Determine What You Want
It can be very difficult to decide what to buy if you are not even sure of what you want. That is why the first step to getting an online payment processing solution is to sit down and hammer out what you want from your solution. There are many options for online payment processing, so think about which methods (including alternative payment methods) you want to accept. Do you want a pay later option? Do you want a one-click checkout?
You should also think about what you need. Do you need a shopping cart along with your merchant account? Do you want to get a merchant account separately from your payment gateway, or do you think it is better to bundle the two?
Do Some Research
Once you know what you want (and what you do not want), it is time to search for a provider. Do some research. Read top ten lists from neutral sources—are there providers who are consistently ranked best or worst? Make a list of who to avoid and who to investigate more. You can also take recommendations from other merchants who have worked with payment processing providers.
Once you have a shortlist, check out each provider’s individual offerings. Do they have the features and options you want and need? What are their fees like? Do they work with high-risk merchants?
Get Some Quotes
Your research should help you narrow the list down to a few high-ranking candidates. Now that you have just 3 or 4 providers to consider, get some quotes. Call or email providers to see what they will offer you. You may even be able to fill out a form and get a quote, quickly and easily.
Calling is often a good solution, since you can talk to a representative, who can quickly help you work through different scenarios: What happens if you add or subtract a feature? Are there multiple plans that might suit your business, each with their own strengths and weaknesses? Talking things over can help you get a better idea of who is really offering your business the best plan.
The Difficult Decision
You have done the research, and you have compared quotes. That is a lot of legwork! But the most difficult task is now before you: actually deciding on an online payment processing solution. Each provider you talked to likely had multiple options for your business, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. You have to compare each plan, and then you have to compare across providers before you make a final decision.
You need to consider many different factors when making this decision, including pricing, fee structure, security options, merchant protections, technology, methods of payment accepted, alternative methods offered, contract length and much more. Take your time making a decision.
The Easy Part
Once you have decided on a provider who offers all the features you want for the best pricing possible, things are easier! You will submit an application and, once approved, you will begin setting up your online payment processing solution.
Keep in mind that your application can be denied by the provider. It is never a bad idea to have a second choice provider, just in case. If you have chosen the right provider, however, you will likely be approved.