The way you do business has changed in the recent times. The world is indeed becoming a small global village where the consumers can buy products and services with just a few mouse clicks. Along with it has come the era of the cashless economy with more and more world economies adopting the plastic money and transitioning to e-payments. As a result, you have many online payment platforms coming into the scenario. However, when it comes to choosing a payment platform for your business you have to do in-depth research before zeroing in on one. The requirements of every business are different. Therefore, you need to choose a payment solution that fits your business best. The following are the pointers that you have to keep in mind while choosing a payment platform.
Understand The Fee Structure
Payment platforms charge a nominal fee and it can vary across the industry. Therefore, choose a platform with the right fee structure. There are various types of fees that you need to know about.
- Transactional Fees - Each time a transaction takes places, a small about of fee is applied to the merchant. The industry standard is 2.9 percent and an additional $0.30 per transaction.
- Annual/Monthly Fees - These are the amount that is charged annually or monthly.
- Interchange Fees - These are the amount charged by the issuing banks and are included in the transactional fees as the platform’s “Markup”.
- Hidden Charges - The fees that are not revealed or advertised at the time of signing the contract. If you are not careful, it can be detrimental to the cash flow.
Some banks offer flat rates irrespective of the number of transactions. However, there are financial institutions that provide mixed offerings. Whatever, the offerings maybe, you need to choose a fee structure that suits the requirements of your business.
Check Whether All The Major Card Types Are Accepted
You have to ensure that all the major credit and debit cards such as Visa, MasterCard, Amex, and so on are accepted. Some platforms may offer card packages where they may charge extra. You need to look into this before choosing the payment platform.
Ensure That The Software Is Efficient
Payment experience will vary from one payment platform to another depending on their technology. When comparing the technological capability between various payment platforms here is what you need to look for
- Number of steps a customer has to go through before completing his payment. This is very important if you are planning to integrate payment platform for your e-commerce business.
- If you have an online store, it’s wise to integrate the plug-in and review the API documentation with your development team.
- Again, as your business grows, the payment platform should be able to keep up with growth. This is important otherwise you will be facing many issues as your business grows.
Check Your Payment Turnaround Period
As a small business owner, you would want to see the money deposited in your bank account as soon as possible. The turnaround period varies between the payment platforms. Generally, the amount is deposited in batches. The batch time will be usually with 2-3 business days. Any transaction that has been made after the cut off time will be pushed back to the next batch. This can at times cause a bit of confusion. Therefore, get the turnaround period clarified and also find a platform provider who deposits the amount the next day.
This is very important and you need to assess the level of support based on the size of your business. For instance, if you are located in the US and you have a customer halfway across the globe, you need to be prepared to assist them in the issues such as the duplicate charge as soon as possible. You also need to enquire about the charge back support to the service provider. A charge back will happen when a customer disputes a purchase that has been made. There are a few payment platforms that serve as a mediator in a negotiation while others will automatically credit back the customer without any further investigation. The latter can affect your cash flow.
Choose a payment platform that is payment card Industry compliant. That is the payment platform is vetted by a third party, is up to date with industry regulations and standards. Therefore, ensure that the payment platform that you choose will keep your customers’ critical data secure and is compliant with your businesses transactional volumes.
As a small business owner, you would know what your business’ requirements are before choosing a payment platform. Choose a service that complies with your business.