A successful online store relies on its ability to receive payments simply and securely. Establishing your credentials as a trustworthy source for the products your customers are looking for takes time and consistency. Sometimes things can go wrong, but if it happens more than once to the same customer, then chances are you’ve lost that customer. If there is a hiccup on their first experience, then that is just bad luck and timing. You need to be able to accept a number of different methods, without opening your business up to the type of risk associated with storing a huge amount of user payment information.

Choosing the types of payments to accept

Customers like to have the choice of how to pay. In the physical world, that choice is generally limited to cash or card. With an online payment gateway, those choices expand to a complete range of traditional options and newer technologies. For online businesses, I recommend choosing the four below:

Cash is no longer an option, but other systems like PayPal have filled the void. Paypal is recognised across the world as a leader in transferring money between countries and currencies, making it simple for people to buy things from anywhere. It allows people to avoid card charges and international currency conversion costs.

Credit cards were for a long time the only way to buy online. They are still a leading method; however, people are becoming more reluctant to trust sites with those details. It is still vital to allow credit card payments to avoid losing a big chunk of sales, but the hacking and stealing of credit card information is a very real thing and even huge companies such as Sony have experienced the ignominy of their system being breached. This, understandably, creates a rift between the customer and business, as well as a PR nightmare. Being trusted with these valuable details obligates your business to ensure your site’s security is up to date and strong. Security breaches don’t simply happen on the user side and commonly criminals will enter through the backend of a system as admin passwords are often weak for ease of system access.

BPay is not simply for making sure your power bill is taken care of. It is becoming an increasingly popular way of making payments as it doesn’t require the payer to disclose any information to the payee besides a reference and name. It also bypasses the requirement for a credit card or the need to sign up to a service like PayPal.

Debit cards are generally included in the credit card system and usually provided through a company like Visa or Mastercard. Since their inception they have made it possible to buy online without signing up for an expensive credit card. They were borne of the need for users to be able to buy online, something that a conventional ATM or Eftpos card wasn’t capable of.

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