Online Payment Processing Systems – A guide for small businesses

Product Information 29 June 2018

What is an online payment system?

Want to sell online? Why wouldn’t you? Firstly, you’ll need to work how you want to get paid. Without a physical shop, you’ll need to accept payments remotely this can be done through a website, by email or over the phone. Our payment gateway ticks all the boxes. You’ll be able to take card payments online and securely deposit money into your bank account.

So where do you start? Luckily we’ve got you covered. We’ll help you decide which online payment system is best for you and tell you what you need to get up and running.

Online payment processing – How it works

When you’re customers are ready to pay, an online payment system will send their card details to the card processing company through an encrypted connection. They then send the details onto the customer’s bank to confirm there are enough funds. The confirmation is then sent to our payment processor and back to the business, ready for payment to be approved or denied. It sounds like a lot, but it happens in seconds.

Whichever online payment system you choose, you’re going to need a merchant account to accept the money. Combination systems, those which combine payment gateways and merchant accounts, are the cheapest option with our prices starting from £8.30 per month.

How many types of online payment systems are there?

Online businesses typically use one or a combination of the three following systems:

  • Online Payment gateway — allows you to accept payments through a website
  • Virtual terminal — allows you to accept payments over the phone
  • Pay by Link — allows you to email a link to your customers so that they can make a payment from their computer / mobile / tablet

1. Online payment gateway

Being able to take card payments on your site is an easy way to get more customers and get more sales. To process payments you’ll need a payment gateway which acts as a secure link between a company website, the customer’s card issuer and the seller’s merchant account. It’s the perfect choice for businesses selling products and services online.

Online Payment Processing Benefits

Most payment gateways can be tailored to work with a company website. This means you can integrate different types of plugins with the most popular shopping carts, making it easier for your customers to pay. You can also customise and brand your checkout pages, which could help boost conversions.

2. Virtual terminal

This is an online payment system for taking payments over the phone. Customers simply call with their credit or debit card details to pay you. It’s a bit like a digital card machine. Using a secure online dashboard, you can enter their payment information on your computer, tablet or mobile, so wherever you are. It means restaurants and takeaways can get paid before delivery.

Over the Phone Payment Processing Benefits

Taking payments over the phone may sound a tad old fashioned, however, a virtual terminal is nice addition and can help boost your conversion rate. You can take payments directly from the customer and process transactions manually. Another benefit is that that a virtual terminal can easily integrate with accounting software, which means more accurate figures and less mistakes.

3. Pay by link or email

You can get paid with a single click, that’s the beauty of accepting payments by email. By emailing your customers a secure link, all they need to do is click it and enter their card details. It’s quick and simple.

Pay by Link Payment Processing Benefits

Paying by email is a simple way to invoice customers and settle bills, which is perfect for hotels and tradespeople. All you have to do is log in to an online portal from a computer or mobile device and send an email with the invoice and payment link. You can even brand your emails to fit the look and feel of the rest of your marketing materials. There’s no need to set up an online shop, so you’ll save a bit of money.

Secure Online Payment Systems

Our secure online payment systems are the most reliable in the industry, with 0% downtime and the highest level of data security. All our systems are processed by our secure servers, which never store customers’ card details. Moreover your MMS (Merchant Management System) lets you keep track of all transactions, including those denied, to help you manage customer queries about their payments. At Paymentsense, the security of your customers is always our top priority.

Online Payment Systems Costs

We’ve got everything you need to start accepting credit cards, whether you pick payment gateway, virtual terminal or pay by link. We’ll provide all the latest technology to accept secure card payments whatever online payment system you choose. They say time is money, that’s why we get you up and running in just 24 hours so you can start taking online payments as quick as possible. You can find out more about the costs here.

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