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Selecting a payment provider

What to Look for When Choosing a Payment Provider

When it comes to commerce today, the increasing turn of the modern world has traditional owners opening up stores online. This option, offered by the expansion of modern technology transports the world of commerce to the world of e-commerce, a global cross-border marketplace for everyone. For companies wishing to continue that expansion and succeed, selecting a payment provider is the only way to ensure safe, dependable sales and transfer of funds for both the seller and the consumer.

For new eCommerce start-ups, building a website to market products and services is hassle enough but add-in the need for research into the optimal payment provider and the whole process becomes so overwhelming that many startup eCommerce businesses stagnate and delay launch.

In order to separate the best from the worst in terms of payment providers, here is a simple checklist of necessary features only the best of payment providers should be able to provide.

Keep it simple - To start, a payment provider that involves very simple technical integration is key. Technology, especially in terms of the technology surrounding the scope of a payment provider shouldn’t be complex and require a professional to decipher. Rather, choose a payment provider that already works with your e-commerce platform or POS provider without requiring any additional development on your part. 

Uptime - Always consider a provider that offers a stable, compliant and secure service. With all things commerce, the transfer of money and funds is a serious business. The need for only the safest of connections is the only way to keep a company and a customer safe. Even worse, if a site goes down due to an influx of user traffic and transactions, a company cannot survive. Choose a payment provider that offers 99.999% availability and a robust backup plan. Looks for customer testimonials on their website and don’t be afraid to pick-up the phone and call these companies direct to get an unfiltered view of their provider. Lastly look for a provider that processes transactions in-market – in other words has local data centers in your primary market. This avoids latency (or slowness) in processing transactions as well as risk of international connections going down resulting in your provider being unavailable to a customer when wanting to complete payment.

Security – Always chose a provider that complies with PCI-DSS Level 1 requirements. This ensures they operate to the leading standard of credit card security.

Always there to assist - Make sure to choose a provider that offers around the clock support. If, and when, a technological difficulty arises, excellent customer support systems are the only way to keep a business running. Online commerce is a 24/7 business and your provider should be also. Try phoning their customer support line to see how long it takes to get a support rep on the 'phone.

Going global? Then consider a payment provider that gives international currency options. This allows customers to pay in their local currency and provides less friction at check-out.
In-store and on-line? If you also have a physical store look for a provider that can supply both online and in-store solutions, including terminal hardware. This will allow you to negotiate the best rate possible and have a single supplier for support. Always consider important requirements such as hardware that will accept chip-cards (EMV), will encrypt card details at the terminal (point-to-point encryption or P2PE) and offers tokenization. These three features will provide a robust and secure environment. To further reduce your PCI scope add a device like Generator’s Mako network appliances to your network for even better security to your store operation.
Price – always, always review pricing before signing. Look for additional fees related to PCI, statements/admins etc. Look closely at the % rate and per transaction fee you'll be charged and comapre with 1-2 other providers. Avoid lengthy contracts, especially if you are sourcing terminals and always look at the final price you’ll be paying for a terminal. That monthly cost may look great but you could end up paying 3-4 times the outright purchase price in the long-run

Generator can help guide you further – we offer independent and unbiased advise when selecting vendors for your store and online technology. Contact our team for a discussion today.

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