Choosing an Online Payment Processor

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It is essential to choose the right payment processor when you operate a business that accepts debit and credit cards online. Online payment processors do all the heavy lifting, from capturing sales to sending you a bill statement and working with your banks to ensure that you get paid.

When a buyer purchases something on your site or in person at your brick-and mortar store the credit or debit card information passes through a payment gateway or PoS terminal. The gateway encrypts the data to secure it, and then forwards it to the payment processor who then forwards it to the customer’s card network. The card network then checks with the customer’s bank to determine if they’ve enough money to purchase the item. If the bank accepts the purchase and the card issuer accepts it, they will transfer the funds from their account to the bank that is owned by the merchant. The processor for payment will transmit this information to the merchant’s website or PoS terminal and inform the customer that their transaction was successful.

When selecting a processor, take into consideration security, ease of use, and compatibility with other systems. Choose a processor that has APIs or plugins that can seamlessly integrate with an ecommerce system or POS. You should also evaluate the checkout experience of your customers, as well as the reporting and transaction management experience for your staff. Last but not least, make sure you are aware of the contract and how it is possible to change providers in the future.