Starting a business is not an easy proposition. There are a wide range of decisions that must be made such as where you will be located, how you can utilize both traditional methods and ecommerce platforms, what to name your company and how to design your logo, how to market or advertise your business website, and all manner of decisions related to monitoring and increasing your online presence. The process can be overwhelming, and if yours is an online startup, there is one thing that should be at the top of the list: How will you receive and remit payments?
Even though payment platforms and solutions for consumers may be one of the last things you think about, it should be one of the first. Consumers are busier than ever, and with a wide range of options for purchasing services and products, standing out from the competition is not always easy and requires more than Social Gone Viral tools and services. Online shopping, fueled by technology, means consumers demand greater convenience, value, and a wider range of options in all areas of the purchasing experience.
Comparing payment platforms and solutions for future consumers is critical. Here are a few we think you should consider.
Debit and Credit Card Payment Options.
The most common forms of online payment include credit card and debit card payments, and most online merchants accept both credit and debit purchases. While these are often standard to online shopping, many online merchants use them exclusively. Debit cards (also called bank cards or check cards) remain an easy way to pay directly through a draw of cash for purchase directly from a bank account. Providing a secure platform for both debit and credit purchases is important to the long-term viability of your ecommerce business, especially since credit purchases provide your consumers with a higher degree of legal protection in cases of fraud, leaving debit card purchases open to issues.
PayPal and Bill Me Later Payment Options.
PayPal is an e-commerce payment processing company. Many consumers have a PayPal account set up that allows them freedom and flexibility in making online purchases and payments. Rules and fees vary for currencies used and cash amounts transacted. The PayPal website has an easy, step-by-step sign-on process and can connect you to your checking account, savings account, and credit cards. Rules of use are detailed for both consumers and businesses, and most consumers find PayPal a safe, efficient, and convenient payment portal.
Bill Me Later is a way to use the PayPal portal but pay for the product or service later and not at the time of purchase. Users provide their birthday, the last four digits of their Social Security number, and agree to accept the contract terms of the service and are then extended a type of credit. Once this process is concluded, the purchase is made, and the bill is sent for later payment. A credit check is conducted prior to approval. Bill Me Later is a reusable credit line that provides the same security and ease of use that you would expect from your PayPal account.
Electronic Checks and ACH Payment Options.
The electronic check or eCheck is a method of payment that draws cash from a checking account. As such, it eliminates the need to use paper checks, as well as avoiding the inconvenience of mailing it USPS. Using an electronic check means you must have the payer’s name, amount of the payment, the routing number, and the account number. The user must authorize the transfer of funds from his or her bank website to the payee by using a pre-established PIN or a vocal confirmation tool at the time of payment.
An ACH (Automatic Clearing House) is a service that uses an arbitrary clearinghouse to settle payments between two banks. ACH credit and ACH debit transactions process quickly and are easy to use. The transfer of funds from one financial institution to another to complete the transaction generally happens the next day. Understanding and comparing the payment solutions is critical to determine which you would prefer to use, but it is important to note that ACH or eCheck payments can be processed in four days, instead of the roughly seven to ten it used to take a paper check. This makes for good business practice for companies as both payment portals and remittance procedures.
Cryptocurrency Payment Options.
While the payment options listed above are the most traditional, you may want to provide a platform that uses cryptocurrencies. Entrepreneurs like Thomas Zaccagnino capitalize on Blockchain technology to provide payment exchanges using currencies like Bitcoin, Ripple, DASH, Litecoin, and other digital currency that are making huge waves in this digital age.
What payment options sound optimal for your business? Share your thoughts here.