Are You Getting The Right Service From Your Payments Provider?
Getting paid, after a customer puts their card in a terminal, or enters their card details online, should be easy. But we know that isn’t always the case. Between your business and customers is a small army of service providers and systems that process, collect and transfer payments. While digital transformation has made taking online payments quick and secure, there are still friction points such as aborted transactions, chargebacks or slow payment settlement. Your payments provider should be proactive in their approach to these issues.
What are my options for processing payments online?
Payment gateways are companies that make it possible for customers to input card details, which are verified, to ensure the funds are available and payment can be taken. Once that is complete, funds are transferred into a merchant account – separate from a business account – so that money for refunds and other costs can be kept separately from working capital.
Businesses need both to take payments online or in-stores. Gateways verify, whereas merchant accounts store and transfer funds. However, instead of paying for two separate services, many organisations that take payments are opting to work with payment service providers (PSPs): these companies can verify cards and manage funds.
It is a competitive market, with a lot of choice for businesses, a lot of innovation taking place; but, equally, too many companies failing to move with the times or making customers put up with high rates, slow settlement times and poor service.
What level of service should I expect from my Payments Provider?
#1: Wide range of payment options
Visa and MasterCard are not the only payment options. They never were, of course. But now, there is a vast selection of cards and payment solutions for customers, from traditional cards to Apple, Google, Alipay, PayPal, and numerous others.
An innovative PSP should provide the right choices for your country, market and customer base. Don’t overload consumers with choices, but, at the same time, make sure they have the option to pay using an alternative to a credit or debit card. Your PSP should make it easy to get paid.
#2: Continuous uptime
24/7 uptime is essential for businesses that generate revenue online. Customers shop at any time of the day or night, with more now than ever buying goods and services cross-border. The last thing you need is worrying at 3am that your payment gateway is going to crash when it’s peak online shopping time for customers in a different time zone.
#3: Quick settlement times
Make sure you know when your PSP will release funds once a transaction has cleared. One of the most common reasons for merchants to look at alternative providers is because of slow settlement times.
More often than not the issue is that of communication – the PSP has not been clear about the time it will take for different types of payments, or been transparent about the processes involved to make that transaction appear in the customers business account.
#4: High levels of security
Security is more important than ever. New rules from banks, regulators and card issuers are placing more risk on merchants. Which is why you need a PSP that is Level 1 compliant with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) and is equipped with other tools, such as tokenisation and fraud prevention.
#5: International payment processing
Unless 100% of your customers are resident in your country with local bank accounts, you are going to need international payment options. Customers will go elsewhere if they can’t pay. It is that simple. At the checkout, they should either be able to pay with a widely accepted international service, such as PayPal or paying using local currencies and card options.
#6: Great customer service
Everyone needs customer support from time to time. You need service that is responsive and makes it easy to manage payments. Review a range of PSP options, to see what other customers say – their experience of the support and service staff.
Quick response times are essential, especially if you are having problems. Downtime and technical issues can cost you money and customers.
#7: Value for money
Make sure you aren’t paying over the odds for payment processing. Most will charge three sets of fees: Setup costs, a monthly service charge and a percentage of the sale price. Check each one, what you get for it, and how this compares to other providers. Watch out for hidden charges. Some will try and sneak in costs for all kinds of things, so you should read the small print and ask questions.
If you are new to online payments or are considering moving payments provider, contact our team to find out how we can help you optimise your payment processes for conversion. Call +44 (0) 808 149 6295 or email [email protected]