When you run an ecommerce business, you need to think about a lot more than just the products or services you sell. Perhaps the least glamorous but most important of these is how you accept funds from your customers. Fortunately, signing up for a modern payment gateway can be an extremely effective way to enhance the security of your customers’ payments and, by extension, their overall satisfaction.
What is a payment gateway?
Before we extoll its virtues, let’s get a better idea of what a payment gateway actually is. In effect, it is software that integrates with your ecommerce platform, allowing you to authorize and accept customer payments that are either entered into a virtual terminal or submitted through your ecommerce site. The gateway ensures that this sensitive information is properly encrypted and tokenized before it is passed to your payment processing company and finally to you, the merchant.
Benefit 1: Secure transactions.
One of the biggest reasons shoppers are hesitant to make purchases online has to do with fears about the security of their credit card information. Considering the headlines about data breaches and identity theft that seem to constantly appear in the media, these trepidations are understandable.
With the use of a reputable and secure payment gateway, your customers’ information will be encrypted before it is sent for processing. This drastically limits the possibility of you and your buyers becoming the victims of identity theft. Providing your patrons with secure payments is one of the best ways to promote the credibility of your business and create sales conversions.
Benefit 2: More customers.
Your gateway should be scalable so it can grow right along with your business. At some point either now or in the future, you might even decide to offer your products overseas. Your secure payment gateway should offer the flexibility that you need to attract new customers with multi-currency conversion.
One of the best ways to encourage shoppers from abroad to take the risk of buying from you is to offer them the option to pay in their local currency. Shoppers like familiarity and are far more willing to trust you if they know exactly what your prices are in the monetary denomination they know.
Benefit 3: Integration with your shopping cart.
To succeed in ecommerce, now more than ever, you need to offer a streamlined and frictionless checkout process. Attaining this goal involves optimizing your site for mobile traffic and removing extraneous text and resizing images. However, that’s just part of the puzzle. You also need a secure payment gateway that connects seamlessly with your shopping cart. That way your customers can go from browsing to clicking that “check out now” button in a checkout process that is as smooth as silk.
You can also bundle your shopping cart right along with your payment gateway. Either way, the right gateway partner will help your customers quickly and easily browse your site, add products to their cart, and obtain a running total and final price, including any relevant shipping charges or taxes. Bundling your payment gateway and shopping cart also allows you to keep your customers right on your own page. That way, they don’t become distracted or intimidated by being shuttled away to another site to make their payment. The result is a smoother checkout process that keeps your brand at the top of your customers’ minds and helps to minimize shopping cart abandonment.
Benefit 4: Offer your buyers an anytime, anywhere shopping experience.
Your payment gateway enables you to expand the capabilities of your ecommerce site. No longer do you need to be physically there to enter manual payments. Instead, people can purchase your offerings from the convenience of their homes, when they are on the go, or whenever else they desire. Best of all, their transaction will be made secure with the gateway’s built-in encryption and tokenization capabilities.
In this era of multi-tasking, you need to attract and convert sales on your customers’ schedules. A payment gateway allows you to remain open for business day or night, with lightning-fast sales from your ecommerce site.
Benefit 5: Instant confirmation.
Although payments can be made from anywhere at any time, you still want to maintain control as a merchant. Your gateway can notify you as soon as a purchase has been made no matter when it happens. As a result, you can keep your finger on the pulse of your store.
When it comes to protecting payments and reacting to warning signs, this 24/7 capability is vital. With real-time information about purchases at your fingertips, you can respond quickly to any suspicious purchases that raise red flags. This can be vital in preventing fraud and reducing those time-consuming and costly chargebacks that are the bane of so many ecommerce businesses.
Benefit 6: Flexible payment options.
Your gateway should also enable you to take advantage of recurring payments, one of the biggest trends in ecommerce today. When you and your customer agree to this type of arrangement, they’ll be charged a set amount regularly, usually once per month.
Thanks to this pre-established payment schedule, you can count on a regular infusion of cash that you can use to cover expenses, purchase inventory, and so forth. Meanwhile, your customer always knows when the set amount will be withdrawn from their account. That means they won’t have to worry about late payments or interruptions in obtaining their products and services.
Your payment gateway might seem like it’s just software that connects to a network, but it can truly take your business to the next level. If you haven’t set up this popular way of helping your customers to make convenient and secure payments, you are missing out on an opportunity to take your store to the next level of success. Partner with the right payment gateway today and you’ll have happier customers while attracting new ones.