Success in modern business has gone from relying solely on credit cards to expanding online merchant services which, in addition to making it easier for the customer to make a purchase, will allow you to grow financially.
What is a merchant account?
An merchant online account is a banking instrument that allows you to send and receive money from transactions through different payment methods.
Banks offer sellers many possibilities to process payments and sellers simply have to authorize the ones that suit them before starting their online sales.
Some companies even offer the possibility to access local payment methods – something which will increase conversion and, therefore, online sales. In addition to traditional electronic sales through POS systems, there are other options that fall under the heading of online merchant services and which are highly necessary to meet the buying needs of your customers.
How do merchant online services work?
Merchant services are the services that a merchant uses to accept and process payments during the sales process.
Generally, credit card processing over the internet works as follows:
- The customer provides their card information and passes it through a processing terminal that is responsible for verifying the payment information.
- The equipment processes the data and issues an approval or rejection order.
- If the payment was approved, the purchase will be completed through the terminal used.
- Finally, once the transaction is approved, the bank charges its service fee and the rest of the funds are transferred to the merchant’s bank account.
Having a company like PayRetailers which specializes in the best online merchant services could help you to improve your payment options and increase your sales.
What merchant online services products to use?
Keep in mind that ease of accepting payments depends on the decisions you make to select the most appropriate payment methods for your business. Here are the most common merchant services on the market.
Types of merchant online services include:
- Credit and debit cards payment processing.
- Check guarantee and check conversion services.
- Automated clearing house check drafting and payment services.
- Gift card and loyalty programs.
- Payment gateways.
- Merchant cash advances.
- Online transaction processing.
- Point of sale systems.
- Electronic benefit transfer programs.
Next, we will talk about the two most important: credit cards and e-commerce or online transaction processing:
Credit card payments can be made physically or virtually. In the event that the merchant has a physical store, they will probably use point of sale equipment to process the card payment.
Some payment platforms even offer their own card readers or special conditions that act as a base for online credit card transactions and, thus, allow for transactions through a smartphone.
E-commerce involves the sale of goods through digital means, such as via websites and mobile applications. This process includes online retail and electronic transactions, both of which allow for the acquisition of goods or services without the need to go to a physical store.
In addition to business-to-consumer (B2C) transactions, there are other forms of e-commerce such as online auctions, the use of virtual banking, the purchase and booking of airline tickets, payments for services, and business-to-business (B2B) transactions.
Another subcategory divides online sales into:
- Sale of physical products: Tangible goods are sold, such as food, clothing, appliances, etc.
- Sale of digital products: This includes downloadable products like courses or books, audiovisual content, NFTs, and cryptocurrencies.
Among the most noteworthy advantages of e-commerce, one can find:
- Unlimited reach: Unlike a physical store, an online store reaches places you never imagined. Thanks to efficient shipping services, you can offer your products around the country and beyond its borders.
- Work 24 hours a day: Another advantage is the opening hours, as automation of the buying process allows customers to make a purchase at any time of the day, without restrictions in terms of hours.
- Lower costs: the operating costs of an e-commerce site are significantly lower in terms of employees and physical space – and this makes it easy for many entrepreneurs to start an online business with little to no resources.
Online payment processing for internet businesses or: Payment gateways
These are online portals that link a bank account to a processor, from which various types of transactions can be undertaken like payments with credit cards and digital wallets.
For an electronic business to be efficient in terms of sales, it needs a payment gateway to guarantee to its customers that their personal and sales data will be secure.
Depending on the nature of the transaction, payment gateway types can be divided into:
- Redirect gateways: These take the customer to a special payment page. These are ideal for small businesses and they allow for promotions to be applied.
- Buy on the site and pay on another site: The customer chooses their products on the merchant’s website and will only be redirected when making payment.
- Buy and pay on the site: This system is used by large merchants, with both the selection of items and payment processes being undertaken on the seller´s own page with the e-commerce site’s own resources.
What is the best merchant online services for an e-commerce site?
There is really no «best» merchant service; each one has its own benefits and characteristics and the choice you make will depend on your needs as a merchant.
To make your choice, you must take into account certain criteria that will guide you when selecting the proper payment channels. Some of these criteria are:
- The payment method to accept: Decide if you will accept online or personal payments. Will you accept credit and debit cards? Will you accept other types of payments?
- The hardware and software needed: Will you need a POS system and, in addition to this, will you rely on the support of a payment gateway?
- Cost structure: What are the fees you must pay for merchant services? How do these fees influence the price of your products?
Answering these questions carefully will help you to have a clearer picture of what you really need in terms of payment services.
PayRetailers is a solid ally to accompany you in the sales process and provide you with online merchant services – no matter what the size of your business is. All of this is of the utmost importance to increase your profits.