How To Accept Online Payments / Online Payment Processing for E-Commerce Businesses in 2022
If you are looking for the single best way to take payments online for 2022, the short answer is that there isn’t one. Today’s wide range of online purchasing options has created a boom in online purchasing. All combined, there were over two billion online purchases in 2020 alone. And when it comes to selecting options, the more you provide, the better your chances for a sale.
For anyone running an e-commerce business, online payment has become a necessity for remaining competitive. At the same time, companies in the e-commerce industry are looking for ways to make it easier to collect money online. Business owners with an e-commerce site can select an individual payment type that best suits their industry and blend multiple solutions for even greater returns. No matter which you choose, each payment method is designed to make the entire payment process more accessible.
How do you get started with online payments as a small business owner? This article will show you how, as well as provide the top online payment methods for 2022.
How To Accept Online Payments In 2022
In this guide, we’ll be talking about how to accept payments online. Payments are a crucial component of e-commerce and can have many different forms – from ACH deposits to credit card processing! The complete list of options includes:
Examples of popular online payment options for 2022 include:
- Credit or Debit Cards
- Mobile Payments
- ACH Processing
- Digital Wallets
- Email Invoicing
- Sale Emails
We will cover each method further in the article, but first, how do you set up online payments?
Understanding the Online Payment Process
How do I accept online payments?
You can take online payments directly through your website or connect your website to an outside payment portal, such as PayPal. The entire process involves using a payment gateway, payment processor, merchant account provider, and merchant services, provider. Let’s look at each.
How an Online Payment Gateway Handles Payments from Customers
It helps to define a few terms first:
- A payment gateway is software that works as a virtual portal linking your website to an outside payment processor.
- A payment processor is a company that submits electronic payment requests, connecting payment to outside networks such as credit card networks and the ACH network.
- A payment network is a network that facilitates the actual approvals of money movements from one bank or institution to the other.
In general, the process works as follows:
- The gateway takes the payment information supplied by a customer on an online form you provide containing credit card details or, in the case of bank-to-bank transactions, the customer’s bank account information. The gateway then encrypts the data and sends it to a payment processor.
There are different gateways to fulfill other payment methods (credit cards, ACH, Google Pay, Apple Pay, etc.) The more gateways you offer, the more options you provide customers for payment.
- The payment processor then routes the payment request to the appropriate payment network, such as VISA, Mastercard, or ACH.
- The payment network verifies the payment data before submitting the request for payment to the bank institution connected to the customer. In the case of a credit card, the consumer credit approval comes from the card’s bank (Chase, etc.). In the case of bank-to-bank transactions, it is the customer’s bank.
- The institution verifies the funds are available and then sends back approval or declines the request, sending the answer to the payment gateway, which then tells you the results.
All of this approval process is, in most cases, instantaneous, but the completion can run in a few business days.
The gateway can be built into your website or housed separately, and some gateway providers offer both capabilities. When housed independently, they are called “hosted payment pages.” In some cases, these providers can sync directly with your online form to resemble your branding.
How Online Payment Gateways and Merchant Accounts Work Together
Merchant accounts are special business bank accounts provided by merchant account providers that allow electronic payments (EMTs). These business accounts hold funds collected from customers until the funds are authenticated and cleared for placement into main business accounts. In many cases, merchant accounts are provided to online businesses when enrolling in payment gateways.
These bank accounts come as one of two options:
- A dedicated merchant account is an account set up solely by your company
- An intermediary holding account (or aggregated account) is a single merchant account providing credit card processing capabilities to multiple companies. PayPal is an example of this type of system.
What is a Merchant Services Provider
A merchant service provider is a company that sets up payment gateways for online and brick-and-mortar businesses and offers all the hardware and software systems needed to conduct these online transactions. We offer these services here at BNG Payments.
Security and Fraud Protection
Using the internet for payment often brings up questions of data safety. In reality, this type of payment is safer than cash, a paper check, and even a wire transfer because there is in-depth fraud management at each transaction stage. An independent fraud check by the payment gateway, payment processor, and payment network, resulting in multi-layered fraud protection.
7 Ways To Accept Online Transactions In 2021
Let’s look at each of the above payment options in detail.
Credit Cards and Debit Cards, including Chip Cards
Credit card payments are the most popular online payment option because customers can collect airlines miles and cashback payments. Accepting debit and credit cards is one of the easiest ways for your company to accept online payments.
In this option, customers can make purchases from a mobile device using mobile payment apps. As a business owner, you can also collect payments. Al you need is a smartphone, processing app, and a swipe or chip card reader. Other compatible devices include tablets and proprietary handheld devices.
Benefits extend beyond mobile capability. You can receive instant confirmations, and email receipts are sent immediately to customers. You can also access cash flow reporting, manage customer accounts, and send invoices anywhere there is a phone signal.
More than half of all US payments online are taken on mobile platforms, and these platforms are quickly becoming the norm for many customers and businesses. For this reason alone, your gateway should offer a robust mobile experience.
To circumvent security concerns customers might have about storing their credit card information on a mobile app, your company should consider offering a secure payment acceptance method to provide more value to your customers.
ACH Transfer Processing: Direct Debit and More
Automated Clearing House (ACH) is an electronic bank network offering direct bank-to-bank transfers. The cost of ACH processing is lower than traditional credit card payments, debit card payments, and all other forms of electronic payment. Combined with recurring payment capabilities, ACH has brought improved conveniences for both customers and businesses. When also factoring in its ability to take eChecks, this payment process has grown by as much as 6.7 billion in 2019.
ACH is a fantastic way to receive ongoing, future purchases from customers, pay bills to vendors, and pay employees via direct deposit. You can choose payment options such as a per-transaction, per-percentage, or per-month fee. Some banks offering ACH services may not charge a fee at all.
Electronic Checks (eChecks)
Electronic checks allow your customers to input bank information online, much like a standard paper check, or you can process a customer’s actual paper check through your ACH system. These eChecks cost less than a bank fee, and you get funds faster.
Digital wallets are specialized software that stores funds inside of an electronic account. This option is an ultra-convenient way for customers to make contactless payments through their smartphones or smartwatches.
Click-to-Pay Email Invoicing
This invoicing tool lets you send a link inside an email that customers can then click to access your online payments system. After just a few clicks, receive payment for your invoice, and your customers receive a receipt/instant payment confirmation within seconds. The invoice is also automatically marked as paid in your accounting software.
This payment method, along with other online payment options, meets customer demand for paperless billing – a growing desire from customers today. If you are looking to add customers to this option, be sure to mention this benefit for improved interest.
Just like email invoicing, you can install links for payment right inside a sale email. A sale email with a hyperlink is a strong option for immediate purchasing.
Bitcoin and other blockchain digital payments are increasing in popularity, with even conventional businesses like Starbucks, Whole Foods, and AT&T joining. As with all other options on this list, this payment method will require the right gateway to honor payment.
The Costs of Payment Gateways
Each gateway requires an additional cost to cover operational costs but offers omnichannel payment options. Some charge a monthly fee and per-transaction fees as either a percentage or price per transaction. In addition, you will have your regular rates for each network, such as a credit card network or ACH network.
How To Start Accepting Customer Payments Online
A payment processor and merchant services provider can help set up your online payment gateway and any needed hardware and software. A company that offers both benefits for businesses makes the entire conversion process more manageable.
BNG Payments offers the full range of merchant services to connect you with payment networks and conduct online transactions. We are your all-in-one payment provider for any online payment processing needs. We know the leading hardware and software systems on the market, regularly offer the full range of devices for mobile and eCheck payments, and assist with syncing these systems to your current accounting software for immediate billing and sales readings. Our in-depth experience in the industry has made us a vital source for eCommerce businesses.
To learn more about these and other services we offer, click here.