You have product or service that is in demand. People keep asking you where they can get it. They want to know if they can order online.
But unfortunately, you have to tell them they can’t buy directly from your website. You don’t offer a way for customers to purchase your products or services online. So, you are disappointing customers, losing sales, and missing opportunities to build your client base.
The information in this article will help you change that.
Use these tips for choosing a merchant account and ecommerce platform so you can sell products online — and start making money fast.
What’s the difference between a payment gateway and a merchant account?
Before you search for an online sales solution, start by learning the difference between a payment gateway and a merchant account.
A payment gateway is a service that authorizes transactions (usually credit cards) and processes payments. This service collects money and sends the funds to a merchant or bank account.
A merchant account is a service that holds money collected through a payment gateway until it is sent to a regular bank account. Many online merchant accounts also have a payment gateway that collects funds.
In this post, we are going to look at online merchant accounts that have a payment gateway so you can start to sell online.
The following services enable your customers to make purchases and provide payment information in a secure setting. The services then hold the money for you until you distribute the funds to your designated bank account.
What to consider when selecting a merchant account
As you begin your search for a merchant account provider, consider the following questions. Your merchant account must be able to meet the unique needs of your business.
- What currency do I want and need to accept?
- Do I need recurring billing features?
- Do I need payment forms and/or shopping carts?
- Am I selling digital products?
- Do I want my merchant account to process payments online and offline?
Once you find a few merchant accounts that meet your needs, ask yourself the following questions about each of your choices.
- How much are the processing/transaction fees?
- How much are the annual fees?
- Does the service integrate with my accounting software?
- Do I need an SSL certificate on my website to use the service?
- Does this service integrate with my current website or platform?
Platforms that support merchant account integration
To sell online, you need more than a payment gateway to collect money and a merchant account to hold money. You need an ecommerce website or shopping platform that enables users to browse, select, and buy.
If you already have a web platform that enables ecommerce transactions, look for merchant accounts that integrate with your platform. If you are starting from scratch, consider using one of the following ecommerce platforms to launch your store. Each of these options offers integration with merchant accounts.
This WordPress ecommerce plugin integrates with 120 payment gateways. Learn how to start selling on WordPress with WooCommerce.
This easy-to-use, ecommerce website solution features baked-in payment processing, with Stripe and Paypal Express already integrated. You can also create custom payment methods.
This popular online storefront includes a built-in payment gateway, Shopify Payments, and also integrates with more than 70 other payment gateways.
This is a sales page and shopping cart option that integrates with Stripe, PayPal and Authorize.net, among other payment gateways.
This is a more complex merchant account that serves both online and offline payment needs.
Top five merchant accounts to choose from
Now that you understand what a merchant account is and how to integrate it into your platform, you can start to browse your options.
Paypal is one of the most well-known and widely used merchant accounts. Due to its popularity, it is trusted and recognized by shoppers and offered as a merchant options for most ecommerce platforms.
“We wanted that magical, instantaneous experience for payments.” ~ Stripe Founder Patrick Collison
Rising in popularity, Stripe is becoming a leading merchant option due to its powerful API options, which allow users to customize it to match a website or app’s unique payment gateway needs.
Authorize.net offers all of the valuable features of a powerful merchant account plus free, award-winning support.
A branch of Mastercard, Simplify Commerce does more than accept payments. It includes rich features such as e-invoicing and dashboard reports.
A PayPal company, Braintree provides options for some non-traditional transaction methods such as Apple Pay, Venmo, Coinbase, JCB, and Diner’s Club.
The trick to finding the merchant account that is right for you is not being overwhelmed by your choices.
Before you begin your search, be ultra-specific about your needs. Then as you browse options, go down your list of requirements and choose the merchant account with the features that best match your unique business needs.
Once you set up a payment processor that meets your requirements, you will no longer disappoint your customers when they ask if they can buy your product or service online. You’ll be able to send them to your online platform and start bringing in extra revenue as they make purchases directly from your website.
Have any other questions about setting up payment gateways and choosing a merchant account? Tweet me at @RaubiMarie and let me know what else you want to know.