How to take online payments.
Have you moved your business online but still not sure how to take online payments? There are several options but which online payment system works best?
With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, most businesses have to turn to online payments in order to take money from their customers, because there are risks to seeing customers in person. It’s safer to take orders and payments online, and then deliver the goods (or organise a collection) which requires minimum contact between employees and customers.
However not all businesses are set up for online payments. Some customers prefer to pay in cash rather than through an online payment system. This has now changed. Businesses all over the world are converting their payment systems to an online system.
This is more easily said than done. Online payment systems require set up and fees - this doesn’t even touch on the fact that customers need to be able to trust and understand the online payment system, however it is done. And there are many ways to do it. The options below are the best ones available - it’s up to you to decide what works best for you, your business, and - some would argue most importantly - your customers.
1. Payment Gateway e.g. Stripe or Worldpay
Setting up a payment gateway on your e-commerce platform has some consistent cost implications. Firstly, you’ll have to build an e-commerce website, if you don’t have one already, and this will have higher costs than a basic site. Secondly, each payment gateway takes a % cost for each transaction - this will increase if there’s multiple products in an order.
2. Third-party payment provider on website e.g. Paypal
You can set up an independent payment method on your website so you don’t have the extensive set up time or overhead costs that payment gateways usually have. Paypal completes payment transfers every day - but these still come with their own transaction fees. The benefit of this is it doesn’t require the user to have a Paypal account - they can make a payment using their credit or debit card.
3. Third-party payment provider on mobile e.g. mMoney or Venmo
This simple tool is a great option for persons who wish to make a payment and don’t want to set up a payment gateway on their website. Download the app and you can transfer money immediately between you and your customer. The downside to this is that each person has to have the app. However, it’s beneficial because the money moves directly from account to account, so your money isn’t held by the third party at any point.
4. Instructions on Website - Bank Transfer
This is the simplest and cheapest way to take payments. Place your details on the website and allow customers to transfer their money directly from their bank account. You will have a lot of admin to marry up the transactions to the sales, but despite this, direct bank payments may be the best option for you.
5. Cash In Hand on Delivery/Collection
Simple and effective - the only issue is when you don’t have change! Often businesses need to deliver, or organise a collection, to exchange goods. At this point, payment can be made and can be made with cash in hand. This normal behaviour has decreased since the pandemic but with the correct regulations and hygiene equipment, it can be done safely.
There are so many options for payment it almost seems too good to be true - but, all the options have their benefits and their drawbacks. You have to decide what works for you and your business.
What’s your preference out of these options? Have we missed anything you would like to suggest? Let us know in the comments below.
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