There are scores of online credit card processing solutions for a business to choose from. However, you could be jumping the gun if you go about trying to find the right one before you have taken certain measures. Chances are, your business is not even ready to start taking credit cards online just yet. Getting to that stage requires a little forethought, planning, and a few adjustments. Here are the three steps you need to take before you can accept credit cards on websites.
Consider your website and security.
Anyone who needs to accept credit cards on websites must first follow this step closely. The security of your business, and the integrity of your customer’s debit and credit cards depend on it. At the very minimum, your business will need to be PCI DSS compliant, and have a secured page from which to actually take payments. A secure page is indicated by the “HTTPS” URL. You may need to work with your website provider, and obtain online security certificates to complete this step. Having a secure web site and portal will help to prevent sensitive customer information from being stolen.
Consider how you will list your inventory or services.
Some businesses only need a credit card virtual terminal, while others need more in-depth eCommerce solutions, like eCommerce shopping carts. What are your needs? There is more to consider when listing your products than simple pictures, pricing, and descriptions. You should have a good idea of how you envision the online card processing, or shopping cart service, well in advance of seeking out a solution. Here are a few questions to ask yourself in order to get started.
- How many inventory entries or service listings will I need?
- Will customer information be saved in the system?
- Will recurring payments be necessary?
- What other information (return policy, shipping, etc.) will need to be listed?
Consider any additional solutions you might need.
If you will soon accept credit cards on websites, be sure to think about the entire shopping or payment experience. Do you anticipate taking payment from international customers? If the answer is yes, then you should consider additional credit card processing solutions that allow those customers to pay for products and services in their own currencies.
Making payments online may not be where every single business model could, or should, go. However, if you have vendors that can pay for services and products online, or clients that might enjoy shopping for your products on your website, then being able to accept credit cards online is certainly vital to your business model. Remember to be vigilant of security issues and requirements, think through how you will represent your products, and look for any other roadblocks before you encounter them. If you do all of these things, then you will have an easier time of finding the right payment processor, and executing your plans.