What Entrepreneurs Should Know About Credit Card Payments

online payment gateway

One of the biggest factors to consider when running a business is how you’re going to receive payments for any products or services rendered. Without a proper method for receiving payments from your consumers, your business won’t be able to operate as efficiently and as safely as it could.

The best and most secure method of payment is arguably through the use of credit cards. Not only are they safe to use, but they’re also incredibly convenient for making purchases online or through e-commerce platforms. For users, it provides a way to shop without carrying cash—allowing for safer travels and hassle-free payments.

How To Accept Credit Card Payments

Setting up a method for your business to accept credit card payments is quite easy. All you’ll need is to partner with a platform that can handle such a transaction. There are currently three approaches to this: merchant accounts, payment service providers, and e-commerce platforms.

Merchant Account

Merchant accounts are one of the most basic and traditional approaches when it comes to  the credit card payment process, and generally for brick and mortar stores that accept in-person “swiped” transactions only. This involves creating an account with a merchant acquiring bank that will serve as an intermediary with a credit card company, giving a measure of stability and security for both merchant and credit card providers.

Once you’ve selected a credit card company to work with, you’ll have to search for a merchant acquiring bank to approve your new account. They require you to submit certain documents, among which are your business activities, banking information, tax returns, and payment model.

E-commerce platforms

E-commerce platforms, on the other hand, are for online businesses that plan to sell mainly through the internet or accept payments through their website or a marketplace. There are multiple approaches to this, but the gist is to either create an e-commerce platform in itself, to implement an e-commerce capability into an already existing website, or to sign up for a marketplace like Amazon. 

Before setting this up with a third party, you’ll need to provide your employee identification number (EIN) and banking information—so make sure to have those ready before taking this step.

If you create your own ecommerce platform, you’ll still need to have your own Payment Service Provider or Payment Gateway. 

Payment Service Provider (or Payment Gateway) 

Meanwhile, payment service providers, also known as Payment Gateways, are available for many online and physical stores. This is probably the quickest way of accepting credit card transactions without having to create a merchant account. Some of the more popular payment gateways  are PayPal, Square, and Stripe.

Setting up an account is incredibly easy and free, and often utilize a month-to-month flat-rate fee for their service or a percentage based fee for each transaction. 

Factors to Consider When Choosing

It is incredibly important to choose the right provider to keep your business on the right track. Remember that there are two major considerations to think of when choosing a method to accept credit card payments: the overall cost and the specific needs of your business.

The overall expenses change over time—while payment service providers charge a flat-rate either per month or per transaction, it is assuredly more costly in the long run than a merchant account. On the other hand, it’s highly flexible to help you accept online payments with ease, including subscriptions, which can unlock a sustainable revenue stream for your business.

It is important to consider the time it takes to set up the various payment methods, as some are much quicker to process and create than others. 

Get Started Today

Setting up a method to accept credit card payments is essential to make your business more accessible to a variety of customers. Always remember to take careful consideration when choosing the right payment service provider or payment gateway for your business, or you could end up using the wrong provider for your needs.

If you’re looking to accept credit card payments with a simple and beautiful form on your website, then Payment Page is for you. You can easily build a custom payment form to help your business achieve real results, and integrate any of the payment gateways mentioned above.