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Accepting payments on your website

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015 by Servage

online-paymentThe ability to accept online payments is crucial for many website owners. There are quite a few obstacles before your can make a sale to a customer, and at that point you really do not want any problems during the final step of the payment process.

Developers take many actions to improve the conversion funnel. It starts with optimizing advertising actions to target the desired audience better, and ends with tons of ongoing improvements to parts of the own website. Adapting to user desires is an ongoing and never ending process. However, too many services neglect that last step: The payment.

The payment process matters

From a business perspective you could argue that the payment process does not need priority, since at that point the customer is already hooked and likely a binding agreement is in place. Managers sometimes do not pay enough attention to checking if the payment process provides obstacles. However, from the customer perspective the payment process matters a great deal.

User surveys indicate that secure, trustworthy and smooth payment is expected. It is considered a trivial step that simply must work without problems or raising an eyebrow. That means users will not always notice when it goes smoothly, but they will definitely notice if it does not. Making a great payment experience is therefore not just a required step to get your money – it is the last step in a series of steps that provide your customers with an overall impression of your site. The payment process is therefore significantly adding to the factors that users consider before coming back.

Available payment providers

There are many payment providers available. They differentiate both in pricing and which part of the payment process they actually help you with. Some provide technical handling of payments, and some provide the actual credit card processing. Some combine it all. Choosing the right payment provider is therefore a very individual process, which depends on your origin, your customers, and your technical platform.

Payment modules for common platforms

WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, Magento and OS Commerce users will likely find many ready-made plugins for their systems. Payment providers compete by making it easy to integrate their solutions. You will probably only need to develop something custom, if you are already using a custom platform, like an own framework or similar. However, even for such advanced uses, you will likely find libraries for various languages by the providers that help you in the process.

Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard

In the old days website owners simply asked their customers for their credit card number and submitted it in a payment request to a payment provider. Credit card information was stored in a local database and could even be reused for later use. For example to implement One-Click purchase options. Nowadays the standards for handling payment information is much stricter as numerous attacks on payment systems have proven it very important to handle payment data with extreme caution. Therefore it is recommend to be very careful when implementing payment acceptance on your website. Make sure you get a good provider and that your implementation is working according to the relevant regulations.

References & more reading

 

Accepting payments on your website, 3.5 out of 5 based on 2 ratings
Categories: Business, Tips & Tricks

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