8 Tips for Choosing the Right Payment Processing Gateway

Selection of the right payment processing gateway is crucial to the long-term business success of internet merchants. Key elements to consider when choosing a payment processing gateway are:

  1. Where are your acquiring banks located? Some payment processing gateways handle only transactions from acquiring banks in the country in which they are located. If you plan to establish international merchant accounts, make sure your payment processing gateway can integrate with the international acquiring banks.

  2. What alternative payment options do you want to offer? Alternative payments account for up to 30% of all internet transactions. Merchants with only credit cards as a payment option are losing out on sales from buyers who do not have credit cards or prefer not to pay by credit card.

    Alternative payments are particularly important for international ecommerce merchants. Credit cards have a low penetration in many parts of the world. Before deciding on a payment processing gateway, be sure it has integrated the alternative payment options required by buyers in your targeted markets.

    Multiple options on a single payment processing gateway simplify and streamline business operations.
    • Accounting Department: All accounts can be easily reconciled, regardless of particular payment type, through a single payment processing gateway. Quick and easy to import/export data to in-house accounts receivables and accounts payable programs.

    • Customer Service: One payment processing gateway lets your customer service representatives view all payment information on a single screen. Improves customer service while decreasing time needed to take a payment or to handle customer inquiries.

    • Management: Viewing all payment types on a single payment processing gateway makes it easy to generate reports, make forecasts, and modify payment options to obtain the best possible return on sales.

    • Technical or IT Department: A single payment processing gateway with multiple payment methods requires only one plug-in to an API. This will vastly improve your time-to-market. And save you money on technical costs.

  3. What type of security and fraud protection do you require? The type and effectiveness of the fraud protection varies amongst payment processing gateways. Look for systems that:
    • Give you flexible and extensive filters and let you set rules. Vital to detect fraud and screen suspicious transactions.

    • Provide a quick and easy way to review transactions, block suspicious activity, and zero in on malicious users.

    • Allow you to maintain good and bad customer lists, restrict or allow access based on IP address, email, transaction count, ticket size, geographic location etc.

  4. Are you going to offer recurring billing? Do you need subscription membership management features? Make sure your payment processing gateway will satisfy your needs.

  5. Multiple Currency. If you are selling internationally, confirm that your payment processing gateway includes multi-currency processing so you can present pricing in local currencies.  This will help you increase sales.

  6. PCI certification and other security protection. All payment processing gateways should be correctly certified. Get the details on prior security breaches, if any.

  7. Will you have more than one merchant account? Consider a payment processing gateway on which you can automatically load balance between accounts. Only a few payment processing gateways offer this option.

  8. What industry are you in? Some payment processing gateways will not accept high risk businesses. Others actually specialize in niche high risk markets such as adult entertainment.
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