Determining how to accept credit card payments online is simpler than ever for your small business. Thanks to a host of complete off-the-shelf solutions for handling credit card processing, it’s faster and easier than it’s ever been to pivot to online sales and set up a retail presence on the internet. With so many tools offering small-business credit card processing at free or minimal cost, plenty of options exist to choose from as you go about doing your research and picking the right provider. Simply read on to learn how to accept credit card payments online, and find a payment processor that offers the solutions you need, from competitive pricing to technology that seamlessly integrates with your preferred website platform.
How Small-Business Credit Card Processing Services Work
Online credit card processors allow you to accept credit card payments from customers, and grow your sales and audience on the Internet. Using their services, it’s possible to quickly make the leap online in the wake of COVID-related concerns, or expand your retail presence on the Web. For a nominal fee, these tools can not only help you accelerate the speed at which funds are received and reduce the odds of late payments. They can also provide shoppers with a simple, stress-free way to make purchases, and reduce any headaches that your small business might otherwise find associated with collecting outstanding balances.
If you want to accept small-business credit card payments online, you can get started by researching and picking one of several leading solutions that can handle end-to-end payment processing on your website. For example: Some internet providers, e.g. those that provide drag-and-drop website creation tools, also provide built-in capabilities that let you add shopping cart and payment processing functionality to your creations. On the other hand, if you’re using WordPress or a similar website development tool to build and operate your page, you can download and install a variety of premade shopping cart plugins that incorporate payment processing into their features instead. Note that payment processing services, whose features and fees differ, will typically require you to register for an individual merchant account that’s tied to your bank account and business as well.
Simple Ways to Handle Credit Card Processing Online
Myriad providers can help your small business begin accepting credit card payments online. Many offer simple, flat-fee payment solutions, and many take just minutes to install and setup. As you go about reviewing possible solutions, sample factors to consider include:
- Technical compatibility
- Payment processing fees
- Monthly service charges
- Contract terms, if applicable
- Setup or cancellation fees
- Hardware devices needed
- Speed of payment deposits
- Monthly processing limits
- Analytics and research capabilities
- Customer service and support
- Security and fraud prevention features
- Chargeback management
- Overall user experience
- Back office features (e.g. tax management or real-time inventory and sales updates)
A few of numerous online credit card payment processing solutions that your small business can pick from include:
Designed for small businesses, Amazon Pay quickly integrates with existing websites, and allows you to quickly roll out support for online payments that can be made via voice, mobile, desktop, or in-store solutions. Allowing shoppers to login with their Amazon.com retail account and apply a variety of payment methods toward buying digital goods or services, it provides a universal and secure solution for accepting new purchases. Rather than force shoppers to enter their payment information every time, customers using it can instead streamline buys and get straight to enjoying new purchases with just a handful of clicks.
Among the longest-running and most prolific providers of online credit card processing services to small businesses, PayPal makes it possible to integrate a customized checkout into your website, handle online invoicing, or process in-person transactions. It also provides support for debit card, Venmo app, and PayPal Credit transactions, as well as a suite of back end services that can help you track and manage payment operations. Many small businesses look to it for an easy way to issue digital invoices and payment reminders to clients. Options are also available for retailers looking to accept credit card payment from customers in person.
A one-stop solution for anyone looking to setup a complete end-to-end online store, Shopify lets you pick from dozens of themes and drag-and-drop to create your own digital retail presence. Its tools are also capable of managing back-end functions such as products, inventory, and customer relationships. Capable of easily integrating with websites and blogs as well, Shopify’s powerful suite of solutions does come with a monthly fee attached. However, a free 90-day trial is currently being offered if you’d like to test out the service for yourself.
Among the most popular solutions for small businesses, Square lets you integrate online credit card payments into your website, or process credit cards in person, remotely, or via digital invoice. Using the company’s solutions, you can swipe customers’ credit cards through physical readers, or enter their information into an online or smartphone app to accept payment from afar. Payments can be deposited in your bank account as soon as the next business day, or transferred over immediately for an additional fee. No long-term contracts are required.
A flexible software platform for creating digital checkout solutions that you can embed in your website, Stripe accepts most major credit cards, as well as Apple Pay and Android Pay transactions. Its plug-and-play tools make it possible to create online stores, subscription services, or marketplaces capable of scaling to meet the needs of your customer base. Both domestic and foreign customers can utilize the service to pay for purchases or invoices, and you can easily process discounts, rebates or cancellations on-demand.