Taking online payments for your start up or small business

So you’re in business, and unless you like giving away free stuff… taking payments should be top of the agenda. You need to eat right?

In 2015, that’s easier than ever, most shopping carts and website builders will automatically integrate this for you – meaning you can start taking payments almost immediately.

Choosing the right payment solution can be complicated, if you’re small then you don’t have the bargaining power over fees, if you’re large – the options are vast and complex. In this post, and the next few updates, I’ll look at some of the options available to help make that choice easier.

As a small business, you’ll only really be interested in:

  • Credit and debit cards online
  • Mobile Card solutions (real world retail)
  • Wallet / electronic currency payments
  • Direct transfer and invoicing

How do I choose the right provider?

What is it you are selling? Whats the most convenient way for your customers to part with their cash? Will they feel secure about making that payment? Credit and debit card payments are the most popular, providers have tried to make this much easier for the consumer – with really quick data entry fields – as well as options like PayPal, which doesn’t require you to even have your card at checkout.

Examples include:

It’s good to try and offer as many payment methods as possible so customers have a wide choice, PayPal is always a wise addition, if not as your primary payment partner – but always include the ”buy now” shortcut, they have 170million account holders and can increase your conversion by 22% over a straight credit card checkout.

This always makes good commercial sense, as your business doesn’t want to lose a sale because your company didn’t offer the payment method your customer wanted to use.

5 questions to ask yourself to help choose your payment provider

  • Does your business trade online and with a physical store?
  • Is your store online only? – Payment systems like PayPal will be expected that offer fast and efficient payment and checkout solutions for small businesses
  • Does your business sell to other businesses only? You should look at invoicing solutions and direct bank transfer, possibly escrow for high risk items
  • Do you sell internationally? – That’s rarely a problem these days, but check this out – and maker sure you read my blog on Going Global – Cross Border Trade
  • Are you mobile, is your audience buying on a mobile device? – Mobile payment methods are growing up and offer capable, slick and safe checkouts

The next blogs in this series will look at how to implement your payment solution, the third installment will look at Mobile PDQ Card Readers – and you can WIN one of 3 devices on that post!

Start sharing my posts, and I’ll be choosing 1 sharer each month to receive a free PayPal Here (TM) device

I’ll also follow up with a super-tech post, talking tax, subscriptions ans more.. in July

Contact me with any questions, and I’m always available for consulting!