How To Choose Credit Card Payment Gateway For Your Blog / Website?

Blogs and websites are now popping up left and right every day. More and more people are looking for alternatives  to their regular jobs....


Credit Cards


Blogs and websites are now popping up left and right every day. More and more people are looking for alternatives to their regular jobs. As a result, many small online businesses have surfaced especially in the past few years. And the Credit Card has facilitated the online business industry, commonly known as e-commerce. A growing number of people now want to buy stuff over the internet while sitting in the comfort of their living room, all thanks to the Credit Card which gives them the leisure. This means that now is as good a chance as any to incorporate e-commerce to your website. This also means you need to have a mechanism to accept Credit Cards on your blog / website,







What is a Payment Gateway?





For accepting payments through credit cards, you need a payment gateway. A payment gateway is a company that provides e-commerce functionality. All transactions online via a credit card must go through such a gateway. In simple words, they are companies that process all credit card transactions. The services they provide are known as merchant services, and mostly, they require you to set up a merchant account with them.


Some popular Payment Gateways





There are many competitive companies out there in the industry, such as PayPal, ProPay, Merchant Warehouse etc. So choosing the right one can be a challenge. Here are some things you need to consider before choosing a company. Hopefully, these tips will help you make a better decision.





Processing demands



This should be your first thought. Select a payment processor that best suits your business size. If your processing needs are small, say under $1,000, then you are best off with PayPal, since they don't require you to sign a contract, and the fees are quite reasonable. Their system is very easy to integrate as well, which makes PayPal the optimal solution for small businesses.





Rates and feesRates and Fees



The discount rates and other fees are influenced by many factors, such as the type of your business, how long you have been in business, the average amount of your sales, your personal credit rating etc. These factors can determine how high your costs can go. But be sure to check what the other companies will be charging, before agreeing to one company's rates. There are other types of fees as well, such as the initial cost, monthly statements, monthly minimums etc. It may be that other companies are offering lower rates for the same credentials.





Also make sure that you are not being charged for services irrelevant to your business. Some companies will give you a package plan that includes credit card swipe. Since you have an online business, credit cards on your site will be keyed in rather than swiped (passed through a machine). Hence, the swipe feature is useless for you.





Read the terms and conditions CAREFULLY!



The credit card industry is infamous for its 'shadowy' practices.Before signing on any contract, make sure you have read and understood all the terms of the agreement carefully. Read all the contracts and application forms sent to you. Pay special attention to small print. That is usually where the 'hidden' costs are mentioned. For example, many companies charge you if you stop credit card processing through them before a set amount of time. Read all such conditions carefully. Get an attorney if you need one.





Read Terms and Conditions carefully





Some companies also require you to maintain an account in their bank for payment processing. If this is the case, read the terms of the account carefully. Learn about how much the bank will hold back and under what circumstances, how often can you withdraw money etc. Also check under what conditions can the bank terminate our account. Reading all such conditions can save you frustrations and sticks spots in the future.





Change-back policies



Take a careful look at the change-back and refund policies for the company you want to choose. A lot of companies give customers the advantage on complaints such as "item not received" etc. In that case, not only will the customer be refunded, the company may also fine you an amount.





Refund policies





Integration



Also check whether the company's APIs are compatible with the shopping cart software you are using etc. Also, it is preferable that the company support mobile processing i.e. processing payments on the go. Check if there's an app for your smart phone. This might be a minor issue though.





Up time



The payment gateway you choose needs to be robust as well. Servers can crash, and networks can get interrupted, resulting in failed transactions. Check the service's up time statistics before making a decision.





And finally....Bargain!



Bargaining is very important here. Most companies will try to over-charge you. But most will be open to negotiations as well. If you accept the first contract they put forth, it is likely that you will over-pay them. Try bargaining on each turn, whether for discounts,  per-transaction fee, miscellaneous fee etc. Find another gateway if one doesn't relent to your demands. There are plenty of competitors out there.





Bargain your way in!





That's all the tips I had for now to share with you. Hopefully you learned something from them. Also, this is my first post on MBT, so thanks to Mustafa bro for giving me the opportunity :). I am pretty excited, and to tell you the truth, pretty nervous as well :P. Looking forward to your responses. Peace :)

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SEO and SEM Guide For Bloggers: How To Choose Credit Card Payment Gateway For Your Blog / Website?
How To Choose Credit Card Payment Gateway For Your Blog / Website?
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SEO and SEM Guide For Bloggers
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