Making a choice as to which payment gateway provider to use for your online business is not a trivial concern. This choice requires careful thought and planning.
Depending on several factors, the choice can make your business profitable or have a negative effect on your success.
3dcart offers you many choices in this regard. In some cases, too many choices can be daunting, overwhelming and create confusion. However, a wide range of choices also gives you the ability to make a proper, informed decision when getting into a financial relationship with another entity like a payment gateway.
Here are some of the factors that should be considered when shopping for a Payment Gateway
Sign Up Fees
Most Payment Gateway services will charge sign up fees when you establish an account with them. The cost of the sign up fee can be factored into your budget if you expect a high volume of transactions or require a specific set of features that other payment gateways might not provide such as a recurring billing service via tokenization. However, start up fees can also tie up capital that a startup business might not have or be willing to part with at the start of the business endeavor.
All payment gateways charge transaction fees; this is usually how they get paid for their services. Some gateways have higher transaction fees than others. It is important to note that transaction fees are not dependent on any specific factor such as interest rates or other banking rules. Instead, transaction fees are arbitrary and set by the provider as they see fit. The more popular the gateway, the greater the transaction fees may be. Remember, just because they are popular or have high (or low) transaction fees does not necessarily mean that they are the right payment gateway for your store. Do some comparison research, study the features, etc., before making a decision. And keep in mind that some gateways even charge for cancelling contracts early.
Some gateway providers force your customer to be redirected to their site to complete the purchase, this is referred to as "off site" payment processing. This can impact your bottom line as customers are sometimes spooked by redirection to other sites when trying to buy online. Some gateways such as PayPal are very well known and would not have this effect. However, this may not be true with other gateways. This is another area which should be carefully weighed when making a decision.
Which Currencies and Countries are supported by the Gateway?
If you plan on doing business internationally, supported currencies might be an issue. Most payment gateways will accept US dollars for payment. However, acceptance of other forms of currency may be an issue. Make sure that your gateway of choice takes payments from international customers using their local currency.
How quickly do you need your collected revenue from the Gateway?
Payment gateways reconcile at different time intervals. Some might pay out every three days, others might take up to 7 days (a working week) or 5 days, excluding weekends and holidays. If you need your funds sooner, this may impact the fees you pay, but make sure that the gateway reconciles at an acceptable interval that works best for you.
What types of businesses and product lines are accepted by the gateway?
The type of business your store is in would also be a factor to consider, as some gateways would not allow you to create an account with them. Tobacco products, alcohol, guns and ammunition, adult related services and products; these are all markets which might limit your ability to get an account with a particular gateway. Make sure that the gateway of your choice accepts your type of business before applying. If they do not, move on, this is not negotiable and you would be wasting time attempting to get accepted.
How well regarded is the gateway’s customer service and support
Finally, a service which you may seldom use but, when needed, becomes indispensable - Customer service and support. Make sure that you are aware of their services and if they offer 24/7 support, in your language or if you are limited to normal business hours, Monday - Friday, 9am to 6pm. This might impact your business and relationship with your customers.
Once your choice is made and you have a gateway in place, you will rarely need to switch services. Perhaps starting with a gateway with no monthly fees might make sense. Once your business ramps up, it might be a better deal to pay a monthly charge to get more favorable transaction fees and faster reconciliation. These are business decisions you will have to make immediately upon establishing your online retail presence. However, it is a decision that you should make very early on.
Regardless of which service you use, hopefully, this article helps you make an informed decision for this important component of your online store.