Choosing a company to process payments on your e-Commerce site is one of the most important decisions that you will make in setting up the venture. You have to choose a company that is right for you, but more importantly one that is good for your customers.
You don’t want to start accepting payments through a company that has questionable business practices. Certainly, you don’t want your customers to get double billed, or experience other problems with their credit card transactions. Something like this could kill off your site quickly! So, you need to choose somebody that is reliable, both for you and for your customers.
If you are located in the USA or in Europe, you can most likely set up a real merchant account for accepting credit card payments on your site. You can shop around and find the best merchant account for you. Check with your bank and with others offering the service. Costco stores in the USA offer merchant accounts that are very competitive, and probably among the cheapest such accounts that you will find. In addition to that, they are honest and reliable. Really, no matter who you choose to handle your merchant account, just do some research by Googling the name of the company to see if any horror stories about their service can be found online. Keep in mind that just because you find negative things online, that doesn’t mean it’s a bad company. Even good companies can get a bad writeup from time time. I know that I have some companies that you can find people saying bad things about on the net. I know that the statements are not true, but everybody is entitled to their own opinion, just keep that in mind.
For people like me who live in the Philippines, your choices are more limited. I have been using two different payment processing companies over the years. At first, I was using Paypal, and I still use them from time to time. They have been reliable for my customers, although I have experienced a few problems with them. Until a year or so ago, they did not officially do business in the Philippines, which is what lead to the problems that I experienced. When they found out that I was in the Philippines, they would freeze my account, and I basically lost access to my money. Those issues are all resolved now, because Paypal is now doing business with people in the Philippines. One thing, though… when I used Paypal as one of my payment methods on my site, a lot of people who chose the Paypal Payment option would end up abandoning their shopping carts and not complete the purchase. I don’t know for sure why, but for some reason my customers disliked something about Paypal.
The company that I use most is called 2Checkout.com. 2Checkout has been very good in my experience. This is another case where you can find a lot of negative things on the net about 2Checkout, but I have been using them for about years now, and have never experienced any problems with their service. I recommend 2Checkout highly. One drawback on 2Checkout is that their fees are rather high, 5.5% per transaction. I don’t mind that, though, as they have been quite reliable, and as I said earlier, the choices for payment processors here in the Philippines is quite limited.
So, while I do recommend 2Checkout quite highly, I also feel that you should shop around and see what options are available in your area. Also, don’t forget that you are not just looking for the company that is best for you – it is most important that they are a good fit for your clients!
Tomorrow we will conclude our series on e-Commerce sites by looking at an issue that could put you out of business in an instant – online fraud!