E-commerce is booming, and with more people shopping online than ever before, having a streamlined and efficient checkout process is essential. However, with so many payment methods and processors available, and so many new payment trends, it can be overwhelming to know where to start.
When you have a trusted eCommerce payment processor, platform or service provider, you spend less time maintaining the back end of your commerce experience and more time managing orders, improving customer experience and growing your business. Having a great payment processing setup gives you the freedom to work on business priorities like finding new customers and providing a sterling customer experience.
In this definitive guide to eCommerce payment processing, you’ll learn everything you need to know about accepting payments online, from the different types of payment methods to choosing the best payment processor for your business.
What is eCommerce Payment Processing?
E-commerce payment processing is the process of accepting payments online. E-commerce payment processing first involves the customer entering payment information, which the payment gateway validates and uses to process the transaction through the merchant account. The goal of e-commerce payment processing is to provide a safe, reliable and convenient way for customers to pay for online purchases, while ensuring that merchants receive payments quickly and efficiently.
As digital commerce has grown, reliable and secure payment solutions are needed to handle the high volume of online transactions. E-commerce payment processing is now essential for any online business as it allows merchants to accept payments from customers around the world. And with the rise of mobile and digital payments, e-commerce payment processing will become even more important in the future.
What is a payment gateway?
A payment gateway is a software program that makes it easy for businesses to accept and process customer payments online. Payment gateways act as a bridge between the merchant’s website and the financial institution handling the customer’s payments, ensuring that sensitive information such as credit card information is properly encrypted.
While most payment gateways come with fees, there are many different options available in the market today. Businesses can choose the one that best suits their needs and start accepting online payments quickly and easily.
Examples of payment gateways
With so many choices, choosing the best payment gateway for your business can be difficult. Here are some leading payment gateways that may suit your unique business needs:
- PayPal: PayPal is a popular online payment gateway that allows individuals and businesses to make and receive payments online. Users can link their bank account, credit card or debit card to their account and use it to make or receive payments for goods and services.
- Strip. Stripe integrates with business websites and mobile apps, allowing customers to enter their payment information and complete the transaction securely. Stripe often processes payments, deducts fees, and transfers funds directly to the business’s bank account.
- Square. Square is a digital payment processing platform with a variety of features and services for businesses, including point-of-sale (POS) hardware and software, online payment processing, invoicing and analytics. The platform is designed to be easy to use and accessible to businesses of all sizes, with no setup fees, monthly fees, or long-term contracts.
- Elastic Path Payments Powered by Stripe. Elastic Path Payments, powered by Stripe, is a fantastic all-in-one eCommerce payment processing solution for businesses of all sizes. With a robust and secure payment processing platform and a wide range of plug-and-play integrations and solutions, this state-of-the-art payment system will take your business to a new level of efficiency and profitability.
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Factors to Consider When Choosing an Ecommerce Payment Gateway
While there are many payment gateway options available, brands should still look for a few specific factors when choosing a payment gateway. Here are some key factors that brands should consider when choosing an e-commerce payment processing system:
- Security. To protect your business from the stress and potential liability of a data breach, rest assured that your payment gateway is as committed to security as you are and can protect your sensitive business and customer information.
- Integration. Your payment gateway should integrate seamlessly with your website or e-commerce platform to ensure a smooth checkout process for customers.
- Fees: Consider the fees charged by the payment gateway, including transaction, monthly and setup fees, and make sure they are affordable for your business.
- Customer support. Choose a payment gateway that offers reliable customer support to handle unforeseen issues in the payment process.
What is a payment processor in e-commerce?
A payment processor is a third-party service provider that facilitates transactions between a merchant and their customers. Payment processors authorize, process and settle payment transactions in a secure environment.
E-commerce payment processors act as a bridge between the merchant’s bank account and the customer’s bank account, ensuring the secure transfer of payments. While payment gateways act as a conduit between the merchant and the payment processor, it is the payment processor that handles the actual transaction.
Best practices for e-commerce payment security
Shopping online is simple and convenient, but has also historically come with risks, particularly related to payment security. As a result, businesses must take extra steps to secure their e-commerce payment processing systems and protect their (and their customers’) sensitive information. Here are the best practices for e-commerce payment security.
- Use HTTPS and SSL encryption for security. HTTPS and SSL encryption ensures that all data transmitted between the client’s browser and the website is encrypted and cannot be intercepted by hackers.
- Implement two-factor authentication. Two-factor authentication adds an extra layer of security by requiring customers to enter a code or use a separate device to verify their identity before completing a transaction.
- Keep customer data safe. Proper safeguarding of customer data involves a number of techniques, including the use of strong passwords, limiting access to sensitive data, and regularly backing up data to prevent loss in the event of a breach.
- Conduct regular security checks and updates; Security audits and updates include regularly reviewing and updating security protocols, testing for vulnerabilities, and staying current with the latest security threats and technologies.
Streamline your eCommerce payment processing in an elastic way
Clearly, e-commerce payment processing involves many moving parts. Your customers expect a strong, seamless shopping experience and will do business elsewhere if payment is a hassle or their data is compromised.
At Elastic Path, we provide the best eCommerce payment processing solutions for businesses of all sizes. Our experts are always ready to help you choose and create an eCommerce payment solution that works for your brand. Get in touch and learn how Elastic Path can provide an eCommerce payment processing solution that serves your customers, promotes your brand and grows your business.