Did you know that while 33% of millennials use cash, only 18% of Gen Z-ers say the same? The way we pay is constantly shifting toward quick, easy digital payments, so if your business doesn’t have a designated payment gateway, it’s time to choose one.
A payment gateway is the service that connects your online store to your bank or other financial services, accepting and validating card or bank information online in order to complete purchases.
It’s also a crucial point in the sales funnel. According to Baymard Institute, 27% of shopping cart abandonment occurs because of a bad checkout process. This could reflect too few payment methods being offered, or too many details being requested before customers can complete their order.
The right payment gateway prioritizes ease, speed, and security, but with many new competing options on the market, it’s important to make an informed decision on which works best for your business needs.
Read on to discover how to pick the perfect payment gateway provider.
There are many factors to consider when it comes to seamlessly integrating a payment gateway with your existing online store structure. The first is which providers are compatible with your shopping platform and ecommerce marketing automation solutions.
SaaS shopping platforms such as Shopify may have their own gateways or popular solutions built specifically to work alongside them. However, if you’re selling from a self-hosted site using WordPress or similar, you’ll need a payment gateway plugin. Pick one with established reviews, as newer plugins may still be working out some issues.
You’ll also need to narrow down which platforms are available in your location, and the locations of your clients. It may seem that a platform dealing with international payments should be available worldwide, but this isn’t always the case. Platforms are limited by the laws governing the financial institutions they work with, leaving some regions uncovered.
Once you’ve pinpointed the options which are compatible with your business, it’s time to put yourself in your customers’ shoes. Consider the flow of their journey from browsing to completing a purchase, and select the most appropriate gateway for their needs.
One option is an integrated payment form on your site, which sends customers’ information to a secure payment gateway. This can be a pricier option to implement, as the sensitive information it deals with can require extra programming. However, by keeping customers on your site rather than redirecting them, you can create a more streamlined experience.
Redirecting customers to a hosted payment page takes less time and cost to integrate, making it a good option for newer or smaller businesses. However, consider that your payment gateway of choice should be able to scale along with your growing business.
Finally, for businesses that act as intermediaries between customers, an Escrow system could provide a specific solution, withholding funds securely until authority is granted for the transaction to go through. This is an ideal option for bidding or trading transactions.
A streamlined and uniform checkout experience, via a trusted payment gateway, can make a world of difference when it comes to building customer trust. In this case, choosing a widely recognized payment provider can stand in your favor, as a familiar name and look will keep customers from second-guessing the validity of their purchase.
Choose a payment gateway that allows you to customize the user experience, reflecting your branding with fonts, logos, and colorways. This will give customers a sense of continuity while checking out, even if they’re redirected to a secure third-party page.
You can further reassure customers by picking a provider with the option of an automated receipt email once the transaction is complete, and following up with an advanced shipping notice once the goods are on their way.
Above all, pick a provider which is certified with security standards such as PCI-DSS. Publish information about security compliance in an accessible place, like the Terms and Conditions page of your site.
Check The Price
Budget is a worthy consideration when it comes to your payment gateway provider, but with a wide variety of payment plans and fee structures, it’s important to work out whether there are any extra costs to you or your customers.
Pricing can be based on types of transaction and market, as well as business sales, revenue consistency, and transaction frequency. It pays to take stock of your business’s sales trends to date when it comes to working out whether you can make better savings with a different provider.
According to the Baymard Institute, extra costs are responsible for 49% of abandoned shopping carts. Keep an eye on where your customers may have to foot the bill, including transaction fees or commissions for exchanging currencies. These could be flat-rate or a percentage of the total payment, so consider where they might add up.
Keep it Simple
The same study found 24% of respondents abandoning carts because they were forced to sign up for an account. Enrollment procedures leave shoppers with a sense of unease, as they’re not sure how their information will be used. Besides, who has the time to fill out details for every purchase?
Your customers are used to making single-click purchases from major retailers such as Amazon, so the simpler you can make the checkout experience, the more likely they are to stick with you.
Pick a provider with a guest checkout option to keep customers with you until completion. Likewise, find a gateway with form customization options so you can winnow down the form fields and create a simpler process. Something as simple as a button to copy billing address info into the shipping address field can help maintain customer attention.
Your payment gateway may seem like a technicality, but it has the power to impact upon your customers’ buying experience for better or worse. This will directly affect your sales, reputation, and chances of repeat custom.
Make your payment gateway an intrinsic part of your order to cash automation, customizing it to the type of business you do, and the audience you reach. With an increasing number of options out there, a little research should help you find one that checks every box, from compatibility to compliance to convenience.