A payment gateway allows for an easy way for online consumers to make purchases through debit cards and credit cards. When properly implemented, it can be an incredible tool for improving sales and establishing a presence on the Internet. However, payment gateways need to be carefully selected, as the wrong payment gateway can cost a business money by driving customers away.
A payment gateway needs to be a few things in order to avoid turning customers away from the linking website. It needs to be a fast option, for one–customers don’t like waiting, especially on the web. If a payment gateway seems to take too long to load or if it displays a long, detailed form for collecting information, many Web visitors will click away and go to another website. Likewise, any problems that cause a form to reset will be disastrous to a website’s business. A payment gateway should offer exemplary uptime, and in order to ensure that the gateway is capable of handling customers quickly, it’s a good idea to try making a payment using the gateway before deciding whether or not to use it for credit card processing.
Most new systems for handling credit cards have advanced features to make shopping easier for customers. This is less important when a business offers a single product, but businesses with a more varied selection should look for a payment gateway with shopping cart features. This allows customers to browse a selection of products and add items to a virtual cart without losing any of their previous items. It’s another enhancement to the user experience, and therefore it’s a good feature to look for in a payment gateway. Support and technical assistance is also important, especially during the first few months that a new payment gateway system is up and running. It’s worthwhile to ask about support options in order to ensure that problems with a gateway will be quickly resolved, as this leads to less downtime and better business.
Finally, any e-commerce solution should have affordable rates and transparent fees. It’s impossible to find a good system that doesn’t occasionally charge for maintenance and processing upgrades, but the best services explain their fees upfront. In addition to keeping costs down, this puts a business in a better position to plan for future growth and to improve their sales strategies. Carefully researching a payment gateway is essential to implementing Internet sales into a larger business model, and when a company knows what to look for, it can be easy to find a worthwhile solution that meets all of the needs of a business and its customers.