As small businesses do more business virtually, being able to process payments electronically is a must.
Watch the 4-minute video to learn about five options, or read on for the tips!
#1 Credit Cards
No mystery here. Credit cards are the obvious way to pay for things electronically.
You’ll need a credit card processor to make this happen – this is the company that actually processes the charge and then deposits the money into your bank account. Common processes are Stripe, Authorize.net and PayPal.
You can expect to pay a fee for the service (usually around 2.2% of the transaction), but the speed and convenience is worth it. Plus you can deduct any of these processing fees on your taxes.
#2 ACH & Wire Transfers
If you’ve ever gotten a direct deposit, than you know all about ACH transfers.
These bank transfers are a way to move money directly between accounts, and you can expect your bank to charge you for the convenience. Unlike credit card fees, these type of transfers are usually flat fees, not a percentage of the total.
You can leverage these bank transfers without having to build anything into your website, but it also means you will need to share your bank account information with anyone you’d like a payment from. That’s generally fine if you’re dealing with a reputable company, but maybe not something you’d want to worry about if you’re doing a lot of small transfers with individuals.
Cryptocurrency may not be exactly mainstream, but there are more and more options for it, so it’s worth considering – especially if you work with industries that use it regularly, such as cannabis.
One of the original reasons cryptocurrencies were developed was to create an alternative to the banking system, so transfers are directly between two people and don’t incur any fees. However, because they are unregulated currencies, they can be volatile and their values are likely to fluctuate in relation to the dollar.
If this is something you want to offer, look into a digital wallet, such as CoinBase to help manage the process.
#4 Mobile Wallets
If you’ve ever whipped out your phone to pay for a Starbucks order with their app, you know all about mobile wallets. It’s a quick and convenient way for people to pay, especially if they don’t want lug around their wallets.
While a number of companies create their own apps to utilize a mobile wallet, you can also look at:
- Apple Pay
- Android Pay
- Visa Checkout
It’s definitely an option worth considering for both brick and mortar stores, as well as businesses that see the majority of their online visits through mobile devices.
The credit card processor Stripe allows people to accept payments through certain mobile wallets, so if you already have a credit card processor set up on your website it may be worth giving your customers additional options.
#5 Third Party Checkouts
PayPal, Google Pay, Amazon Pay, and Alipay (popular in Asia), are all forms of third party checkout systems that can be integrated into a website.
Think about when you click on a “buy now” button and are prompted to log into PayPal to complete your purchase. Because the transaction is actually processed on PayPal.com, not the vendor site, it means the vendor doesn’t have to worry about the security around credit cards. It’s also a piece of cake to get set up and running with them.
That makes these third party check out systems great for people that want to take money through their website, but don’t want to manage security or a full ecommerce system.
Interested in getting feedback on the best choice for you? Take advantage of a free website audit and get some recommendations – no strings attached.