In this week’s blog, we consider what to look for when choosing the best value Ecommerce options for your small business.
When choosing your payment gateways and transaction services this can sometimes be a daunting task, due to the many options available. For most small businesses the focus is on trying to find a provider that offers not only excellent value but also the commitment to help when needed.
When looking to get the best value from a payment provider, thinking carefully about what it is your business needs from them is the first step in the process.
In recent years payment gateways have developed significantly and are much quicker and simpler to set up. Some providers do not require that you have a Merchant Account but some providers prefer that you set up a Merchant Account beforehand, this may result in a difference in the types of set-up fee’s you pay.
Make sure you always consider the size of your business and your expected payment transaction costs to see which provider will best suit your needs and your overheads.
Another concern for most small businesses is understanding the security that is present to safeguard your business and your customers when undertaking transactions.
For any small business, a security breach could well result in a loss of income, potential compensation and decline in future trade, all of which any business will want to avoid.
Make sure you review carefully what the encryption standards are provided along with tokenization that removes card data also being something to consider, as well as any fraud detection facilities that may be offered.
Higher levels of security can also often mean that processing costs are reduced because of the lower risk levels that are being generated, meaning that taking security seriously forms a large of part of getting value for money from a payment gateway.
For most small businesses most of your business decisions will come down to cost and receiving the best value for money. Different fee structures for gateways are common, and while some may appear cheaper on the surface, delving deeper into the package offered is vital. While low or no setup costs may seem appealing, for instance, it is important to contrast this with other aspects such as the fees accompanying chargebacks and other forms of transaction.
Higher initial costs may mean that better features are provided, all of which could represent value for money. Different fee structures occur from gateway to gateway, and flat monthly charges sometimes are made which cover all additional fees.
By looking at these closely and weighing them up against how your business may use the gateway will result in the correct choices being made. As a rule, if transactions numbers are envisaged to be low, opting for a gateway that has no monthly charges but charges per transaction can be a better idea.
With payment gateways varying in terms of the processing speed, looking at how this may impact on your business is necessary. With some taking in the region of three days to move money into an account, any business operating in a way that requires their money faster may wish to think about looking for something that works more speedily. Likewise, a business that wishes to streamline the customer experience to maximise transaction volume and revenue intake in a fast-paced environment may find there is more value in paying a little more to a payment gateway who can offer card authorisation more quickly than others.
Examining whether there are any extra features offered that may be of assistance when looking at payment gateways can help save time and money in the long-run. Considering the provider’s performance history and experience is a good idea, as is looking at their customer support levels and what assistance is available should any problems occur. Invoicing capabilities and reporting features may be things that are important, depending on what form the business takes, and having these integrated into the payment gateway may save significant time, effort and inevitably money. Investigating and enquiring about customised plans can also help provide value for money with bespoke packages.