Today, consumers in the US are 40% more likely to use a credit card when making a purchase. This is an important statistic to know since, in 2022, there were 268 million online shoppers in the US. That number also is projected to reach almost 285 million in 2025, making e-commerce more important than ever to consider. If you’re interested in setting up an e-commerce shop, you’ll need to know how to accept credit card payments online.
If you haven’t done your research, it can seem overwhelming, but there’s no need to overcomplicate things. Most importantly, you’ll need a payment processor. They should be able to minimize fraud, provide a secure experience, and have the flexibility to grow with your business. The global payment processing market size was valued at USD 47.61 billion in 2022 and continues to grow every year.
How to set up online credit card payments
Merchants can accept online payments with a merchant account and a payment gateway. A merchant account is a bank account that’s designated for businesses to accept credit card payments. Once a sale is completed, the profits land in your merchant account before being transferred to your business account. The money is usually held in the merchant account for a certain period before it’s transferred out. Merchant accounts are essential in knowing how to accept credit card payments online; otherwise, the money has nowhere to go.
The merchant account links to a payment gateway, where your customers input the information needed to pay you. The payment gateway is the online equivalent of a card processing terminal you can find in almost any physical store. It connects the different parties in the transaction and facilitates the delivery of funds. Using a payment gateway means you’ll have more personalized customer service since these providers are typically associated with larger companies. Meaning if you have any issues, you can likely get a real person on the phone to help you out.
With merchant accounts and payment gateways, you should expect fees, though some providers will be more competitive than others. Depending on who you choose, your transaction fees might be lower than average, or you might not have to pay setup fees.
Fees and Application Process
To get a merchant account or payment gateway for accepting payments online, you’ll need to apply for both. This is another crucial aspect of knowing how to accept credit card payments online. You’ll be asked for financial and business information, and once you submit everything, it takes just a few days for processing. Once you’re approved, you’ll set everything up by connecting the account to the gateway and the gateway to your store. Once you’ve completed the setup process, you’ll be ready to begin processing payments.
Some providers offer a merchant account and payment gateway as an all-in-one solution. Many of these solutions don’t charge monthly or setup fees, but you might have to pay more if you want extra features. Because this combo streamlines the transaction process, all-in-one solutions are quicker to set up, making it faster to accept payments online. Though these services are becoming increasingly popular, you should use at least one other payment processor. Doing this will allow customers to use their preferred method of payment. This makes another important factor of knowing how to accept credit card payments online.
Simplified Payment Processors
A simplified payment processor is a type of payment processor that offers a streamlined and user-friendly payment processing experience. Some simplified payment processors don’t need a merchant service account or payment gateway, typically meaning fewer fees for merchants. Their rates are competitive, and many don’t have setup or monthly fees. These payment processors integrate with your checkout pages, so your customers never have to leave the shop. Like all-in-one solutions, they’re easy to set up. Knowing the difference between types of payment processors is important in understanding how to accept credit card payments online.
Security and Fraud Prevention
Another important aspect in understanding how to accept credit card payments online is security and fraud prevention. As e-commerce grows, the fraud associated with it also grows and is expected to exceed $200 billion this year. There are several measures you can take to be secure and prevent fraud when accepting payments online. Here are some best practices:
- Use a secure payment gateway: Choose a reliable and secure payment gateway provider that uses encryption to protect sensitive data during online transactions.
- Verify customer information: Verify the customer’s name, billing address, and card verification value (CVV) to ensure the transaction is legitimate.
- Monitor transactions: Monitor transactions in real-time to identify suspicious activity, such as multiple transactions from the same IP address.
- Implement fraud detection tools: Use fraud detection tools to identify potentially fraudulent transactions based on specific patterns.
- Educate yourself and your staff: Stay up to date with fraud prevention techniques and educate yourself and your staff on how to prevent fraudulent activity.
- Use strong passwords and two-factor authentication: Use strong passwords and two-factor authentication to prevent unauthorized access to your payment system.
- Keep your software up to date: Keep your payment software up to date with the latest security updates to protect against fraud.
By implementing these best practices, you can minimize the risk of fraud and keep your online payments secure.
How can PAYARC help with accepting payments online?
PAYARC helps businesses accept payments online by providing merchant accounts and payment gateways that allow customers to securely input their payment information. PAYARC also offers fraud prevention tools, chargeback management, and customer service support.
Reach out to us today and start accepting credit card payments online!