Power your SaaS with information

Understanding Payments

It is absolutely essential to understand where, when and why you can use payments to your advantage. It is crucial to make all the necessary changes in the structure of your website to ensure that you can host payments. This is the eCommerce world we are living in and we need to follow the set rules. What does this mean exactly? Well, if you are operating an online business, in the SaaS area and not only, you should be able to process payments. You need to keep things as simple as possible and make the entire process smooth and fast. However, to ensure that this actually happens, you need to surround yourself with relevant pieces of information that will allow you to make the right decision when the time comes, more specifically, when you need to select the right eCommerce solution for your needs. But let’s get this party started and see what the world of online payments is really all about.

The WHY

It’s best to start with your motivation, because as you surely know, as long as your motivation is strong enough, you can do anything you plan to. So, why should you look towards online payments?

# The heat of expectations

First of all, know that your customers are ready. They expect to pay online if you wouldn’t mind us saying so. The faster, the better. In fact, if you were to research the market a bit, you might discover that websites that are only there as a brochure, being completely unprepared to accept online payments are quickly pushed aside by customers.

# Keep that line moving

Secondly, we keep mentioning speed and yes, this is a defining trait of the eCommerce market. And since you are part of this market, you need to make it your own. By allowing your customers to make online payments, you will speed up the process, register completed payments, which are visible in your company’s account within seconds. Think of the long and short-term financial improvements this decision alone could bring to your company.

# Get rid of all the work

Apart from being fast, you also need to work in an effective manner. Luckily, online payments are of great help in this respect as well. As mentioned before, the entire process, if conducted by a team of experts, can be completed within seconds. In the old scenario, where you wouldn’t accept online payments and everything had to be done manually, you can imagine the amount of time and work that had to be invested in this otherwise crucial matter. Speed, as well as effectiveness, are essential in terms of having a successful business.

Online payments and in the light of the recent changes regarding customer privacy, GDPR to be more exact, you are not obliged to hold on to credit card information.

# Everything in life has a cost

Indeed it does. There is no such thing as a free thing and as a business owner, you should know this lesson by now. However, there is a difference between costs, as these can be justified and unjustified. Yes, when it comes to eCommerce solutions, we are not talking about one fee, but multiple ones. Are they justified? More or less, of course depending on the value, but in essence, considering all the facts mentioned above, anyone would quickly answer with a definite yes. There is no question regarding the necessity of a solution that would allow you to accept online payments, as these would help you grow in more ways than one. So, yes, these fees are justified and they are acceptable (more or less) as long as the long-term benefits come waltzing in.

The WHERE

Best to know what you are dealing with. So, let’s clarify the basics of the online payment world so in the future when important decisions need to be made, you’ll know exactly what you need and where you can find it.

When discussing online payments, you might stumble upon the following terms:

  • Payment gateway
  • Payment processor
  • Payment provider
  • Payment system/service
  • Merchant account

Although in the end, all of them refer to one very important idea and that is the method through which your website can accept online payments, there are still some differences between them and these need to be clarified.

Payment Gateway

The request to make an online payment coming from your website is redirected to the payment process through a payment gateway.

Payment Processor

This is actually the system that makes all the magic. Basically, through the payment processor, the customer’s card details are verified, as well as the number of available funds, determining whether or not the current payment can be completed. If everything checks out and if there are enough funds to sustain the payment, then the payment is made. You are informed regarding the status of the transaction by means of the payment gateway.

Payment provider

The payment gateway and the payment processor need to be operated by a company. That is the payment provider. While this can sustain either one of the two, it can also hold responsibility for both.

Payment service

A payment provider can offer customers several types of payment gateways. These usually differ in terms of features and consequently, pricing. Each of the types offered is referred to as a payment service/system.

Merchant account

This actually refers to the account you have set up with your payment provider, which is necessary in order to accept online payments. This merchant account is where all your payments from customers stock up. On a regular basis, as accommodated between your payment provider and yourself, the funds accumulated in your merchant account are then transferred to your company’s bank account.

The WHEN

Online payments are an absolute must. There is no doubt in anyone’s mind. It is the kind of feature any company with a future in e-Commerce needs to have. In this day and age, having a brochure website that does not allow you to accept online payments is pretty much like not having a website at all. So, if you are wondering about the right time to install this feature, then the right answer would be yesterday.

However, necessity should in no way make you hurry things along. You should do your research and choose the right payment provider for your needs and preferably you should go as far as to invest in an eCommerce solution, which brings forward other relevant features.

Online payments can help you grow, which is why choosing the right partner is essential to your business.