If it’s difficult for your customers to pay you, it shouldn’t come as a huge surprise if they choose to work with a competitor who makes it as easy as possible for them to part with their money.
Think about it like this: given the choice between having to log in to their online bank and set up a new payee, versus simply making an online payment via a website, most people would prefer the latter. While the time difference between the second option and the first is no more than a minute or two, people expect convenience and may well choose one of your competitors if it’s easier to pay them.
Fortunately, there’s a ton of services which allow your company to accept payments through your website. You just need to set up an account with a provider and you’ll be able to start getting paid via your website in no time.
Let’s look at three ways you can receive online payments via your website.
1. Merchant account and payment gateway
This is the ‘traditional’ way of receiving payments online, but it’s also probably the most complicated. You need to visit your business’s bank and request a special kind of merchant account which is designed to receive e-commerce payments. Then, you will need to connect your merchant account to a payment gateway – this is a service that facilitates transactions between the customer’s bank account and yours.
2. Combined account and gateway providers
An alternative to having a separate merchant account and gateway is to use one of the many services which combine the two. By far and away the best known is PayPal. PayPal lets you open an account which is associated with your email address, and then receive and send payments into that online account. When paying with PayPal on your website, the customer is taken to a separate payments page and they can either pay via their credit card or by using their own PayPal account.
PayPal does get a certain amount of stick – there are some hidden costs, it can often take days for you to receive your money, and the customer service doesn’t always get the best reviews. So, it’s worth investigating alternative providers like Amazon WebPay or Due.
3. Integrated card processors
Last of all, there is a handful of companies which have further simplified online payments, with Stripe being the best known. When you use these kinds of platforms, you can integrate the payment page directly into your website’s checkout process – meaning the customer doesn’t have to leave your website and go to a third-party payments page (like they do with PayPal or Amazone WebPay for instance).
Learn more about getting paid for your services in our blog: What to do When a Client Won’t Pay for a Service