Processing PayPal payments as a business can be pricey, especially if you only turnover a relatively small amount each month. Using a merchant account can be equally as expensive, depending on your circumstances. While both solutions can work out to be cost-effective, there are a host of other payment processors out there that could very well save you money and improve your website's checkout process, particularly if you're running a small operation.
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Check out PayPal and merchant account alternatives such as Google Wallet, Skrill and Payza. Thoroughly review the features offered by each and consider which would work best for your business. If you don't look after the technical side of things, ask your site administrator to help you determine which solution will be more likely to integrate with your systems. Some online payment providers offer a pre-signup review to help you assess how things would work live.
Calculate how the fees online payment processors charge would affect your bottom line. If you're trying to steer clear of using PayPal or a merchant account on cost grounds, you'll want to make sure you're going to save money with a new provider. Some payment processors' commission decreases the more money you take, while others charge a flat fee. The best option for you will depend on your turnover. Look for a low transaction fee if your business processes a high volume of low-value transactions.
Test the checkout process of the payment processors you're considering. Online shoppers typically have to fill out up to 25 fields to checkout, which results in 97 percent of them abandoning their purchase before completing a transaction, according to Google. The quicker and easier your checkout process is, the more likely your prospective punters will complete transactions. If you have mobile ambitions, make sure the payments processor you choose provides apps for all the major smartphone operating systems.
Mull the features offered by different payment processing solutions. Look out for time-saving functions that could help you streamline how you manage your online business. Integrated returns solutions and automatic transfers to your bank account could seriously cut your admin hours.
Sign up for the service that's going to work best for you and set about integrating your payment solution with your website. Most online payment processing firms offer support to businesses, so you'll have a point of contact if you run into any problems. Closely monitor your sales for the first weeks and months that you're using your new service. If you see a significant drop-off in sales, you may decide you'll have little choice but to go back to PayPal and/or a merchant account.
Tips and warnings
- Make sure the payment provider you choose allows you to process debit and credit card payments directly if this is a payment option you need. Some services don't provide this option.
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