Depending on the type of product or service that you offer through your online business, there are different payment options available to your customers. Gone are the days when a credit or debit card was the only way to complete an online transaction. It seems like new online payment services are popping up every day with each proposing a slightly different take on the online shopping game.
If you’re just starting up your company, or you want to add a little bit of diversity to your payment options, here’s a closer look at some of the most popular choices. As you weigh your options, keep in mind how the payment method’s features will appeal to your client base.
Card services are the most traditional form of online payment and they consist of customers paying for goods or services with a credit or debit card. Credit cards are typically pretty easy and safe to use and, due to their extensive use, banks usually have good fraud protection programs. The major downside to credit cards for customers is that they can be stolen, either physically or online. A stolen card could mean a major inconvenience for customers, requiring hours of changing auto-payments and auto-billing across multiple different platforms.
Debit cards also usually offer fraud protection, but the difference is that your money was removed almost immediately- even if it was a fraudulent transaction. This can be very frustrating for customers who get hacked because it can take the bank a lot longer to return their money than it would to just stop a credit card transaction.
Payment services include well-known companies like PayPal and Google Wallet, but in recent years, many new faces have appeared with their own take on how payment services should be. Some payment services offer buyer protection if someone hacks into your account. If you contest too many transactions, however, these companies tend to get upset and could end up blocking your account. That said, here are some of the biggest players in the payment service game:
Google Wallet: The major pro to this option is that it allows anyone to use it, even if they don’t have the app on their phone. It also enables automatic transfers and the fees are minimal when you send money elsewhere. Another perk is that if your phone is stolen, Google Wallet is able to erase your wallet from anywhere.
Stripe: Stripe is a progressive company when it comes to payment solutions. It allows for fast transfers and it has very low fees with no additional international fees. It also accepts payment from bitcoin, debit, credit, and Android and Apple Pay.
PayPal: PayPal has a strong reputation because it has been around for a long time. Its security is robust and it takes great pride in making sure that your money stays safe. That said, the fees can really add up- especially if you are sending or accepting international payments. Also, it is not accepted everywhere.
TransferWise: TransferWise is a good choice for your online business if you’re making or receiving a lot of international payments. It has a fairly quick deposit time (two to three days), and its website offers real-time exchange rates. It also has very low fees considering you are mostly sending or accepting international payments.
Shopify: Shopify is nice because it integrates with other apps – including accounting apps. This makes it easy to merge your business expense data. It also receives international payments without a fee. One thing to note is that there are monthly fees that depend on the level of membership you buy into.
There isn’t a right or wrong answer as to which online payment program you should use for your business. Consider your clientele when deciding which method (or methods) you would like to offer and keep records on which of these methods your customers use the most to buy your products or services.
Attend Amazon sellers events to stay on top of the latest payment options for online vendors; you may find new platforms that you like even better than your current offerings.