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Worldpay Editorial Team
July 08, 2019
As a small business owner considering electronic payment services (also simply referred to as online payments), you may wonder if investing in such an endeavor will pay off. After all, aren't electronic payment services designed for larger enterprises?
Not necessarily. With online retail sales in the US up 15% to $517 billion in 2018, small businesses can have just as much opportunity to benefit as their larger counterparts.
If you have not yet implemented electronic payment services for your business, you're not alone— 64% of US small businesses do not even have a website. So why should you start accepting electronic payments? What do you need to do to accept credit cards online? What are some of the main challenges with online payment processing?
Stay with us as we explore these questions so you can choose the right merchant services provider for electronic payment services.
Electronic payments refer to any digital payment such as those made with a credit or debit card online or via ACH. For purposes of this article, when we talk about electronic payments, we are referring to payments made online. There are many reasons why it makes sense for a small business to accept electronic payments. Here are the top five:
So you've decided to begin accepting payments online. Where do you start? The best place to begin is by reviewing your business needs.
First, do you have a website? If you do, you'll need a payment solution that makes it possible for your site to accept payments. This is most commonly in the form of a shopping cart with checkout functionality. One of the ways to accomplish this is with an eCommerce payment gateway that connects your website to your payment processor.
If you don't have a website, you can build a customized site or you can use a template. Web templates typically have the payments piece built right in. If you are building a custom site, you'll want to consult with a merchant services provider. Here are some questions you can use to start the conversation:
As with any business system, electronic payments pose some challenges. Here are a few, and ways you can address them.
But there are ways for small businesses to help prevent shopping cart abandonment. These include letting shoppers know about shipping and return policies upfront, simplifying the checkout process, sending reminder emails to customers who have not completed their checkout, and providing easy customer service via email, chat, or a dedicated toll-free hotline.
AVS is a valuable tool which validates the identity of the cardholder by verifying the cardholder's billing address with the card issuers. In addition, tokenization and encryption technologies are engineered to protect against theft of sensitive data.
Best practices businesses can take to reduce fraud include being diligent about passwords (e.g. changing default passwords, not sharing passwords, granting systems access to select individuals), ensuring firewalls are in place, and keeping antivirus protections up to date.
Prevention is the best medicine for chargebacks. Using package tracking and delivery confirmation can help prevent undelivered goods chargebacks. Providing detailed product descriptions and customer reviews can help reduce customer dissatisfaction. And posting product shipping, delivery, and return information clearly on your site can help set customer expectations before the sale.
Getting started with electronic payment services need not be overly complicated. By familiarizing yourself with the ins and outs of electronic payments, you can begin moving towards taking credit cards online and offer a valuable service your current—and future—customers will appreciate.
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