The owner of any online store has to solve an important task – to allow customers to make payments quickly, reliably, and safely. The chosen solution should meet your customers’ needs as much as possible because their comfort when paying for goods or services depends directly on the number of successful sales.
An online store needs to connect payment gateway to process payments from credit and debit cards, e-wallets, or other sources. When choosing a gateway, it is necessary to evaluate a number of factors – the size of the commission, the list of supported currencies, the speed of financial transactions, supported payment methods, etc. It is important to choose the right software so that it meets the needs of both customers and online businesses as much as possible.
According to Invespcro.com, about 23% of customers abandon their carts due to payment processing issues. Of these, 11% of bounces are due to an overly complex checkout process, and 12% are due to the need to provide too much information. This statistic confirms that choosing the right payment solution is really important to the success of your business. We will tell you what a payment gateway is, how it works, and how to integrate credit card payment on websites.
A payment gateway is a software application that authorizes a payment on a website. As a rule, it is a special application synchronized with the acquiring bank (the bank where the seller’s account is opened). Using this gateway, the buyer can pay from any convenient place. One can make a purchase through a computer, mobile devices, or any other gadget.
Payment gateways are used not only by online stores but also by all kinds of non-profit organizations. For example, to collect donations. There are hundreds of payment gateways, including Google Checkout, PayPal, Authorize.net, and others. Each service has its own advantages and disadvantages, and each has different transaction fees. So, if you want to add Visa payment to your website, check the requirements and fees first.
There are three main methods for integrating payment gateways into a website. When choosing, you need to pay attention to 2 factors:
Wonder how to set up payment on a website? Let’s take a closer look at the main ways to implement a payment gateway and talk about their pros and cons.
Hosted gateway is actually a third-party solution. The client needs to leave your site and go to the payment gateway page to pay for the order. When the transaction data is sent, the gateway redirects the client back to the site where they have made the order. All the payment data in this case can be collected on the URL of the provider only.
This method has several advantages. In particular, only the service provider handles payment processing. The online store owner does not need to deal with such issues. The merchant doesn’t store the customer’s bank card details. The use of a hosted gateway does not require the seller to comply with PCI requirements.
As for the disadvantages of such a solution, it is worth highlighting the lack of control over the hosted gateway. The customer may be confused by the fact that in order to pay, they need to leave the site. In addition, a redirect from the main site reduces the conversion rate, which does not help in website promotion.
The integration of such payment gateways is quite simple. As a rule, there is detailed integration instruction on service providers’ websites. The gateway is connected via the API. For example, if you use PayPal Checkout, the integration is in the form of a Smart Payment Button. In fact, this is a piece of HTML code that provides the display of the PayPal button on the order page. This solution is best suited for small businesses or online stores operating at the regional level. Due to low turnover, an external payment processor is more suitable for such companies. Also, one major problem for this type of solution is that it is not possible to track the customer payment journey and apply the payment routing and cascading within one payment session.
Direct post is an integration method in which the buyer does not need to leave the site. Payment gateways of this type mean that information about the transaction will be sent instantly after the client clicks the “Buy” button. User data is immediately sent to the gateway and processor, this method is available for card payments only, moreover, it requires PCI DSS certificate to collect card data, as they should be securely stored and tokenized within the database of the provider.
The advantages of this method are the same as those of hosted gateway. There is another important benefit. The client does not need to leave the site, so there will be no negative impact on the conversion. There is only one disadvantage of the direct post, but it is significant.
The principle of integration is that the service provider sets up an API connection between the shopping cart on the store website and the payment gateway. The participation of the store owner is minimal. Such solutions for accepting electronic payments can be used for both small and large businesses.
A payment gateway is a mandatory option for any online store. However, before starting a business, you need to decide which payment gateway is right for you. There can be no unequivocal opinion; it all depends on the approximate volume of your sales, as well as on the characteristics of the audience. However, it is important to remember that choosing the right payment gateway will help you avoid a large number of refusals, which will affect your company’s profits.