5 ways NOT to lose money with online payments
Blog •Oct 10, 2017
You know you should not open spammy emails and download suspicious attachments. But can you really lose money from legitimate online transactions via legitimate payment methods? Yes.
1. Choose a Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliant payment processor or PSP
PCI Data Security Standard (DSS) is a globally recognized set of requirements set by major payment card providers such as Visa, MasterCard and American Express. Its purpose is to enhance payment account security and reduce the risk of fraud.
Always make sure your payment provider is PCI compliant, especially if they are a new company. New gateways that delay PCI compliance are often targeted by fraudsters, looking for weak links in the payment chain to steam payment data. Choosing a cheaper but unreliable gateway is risky: a payment data leak can cost you disproportionate amounts of cash and may forever destroy your customer’s trust.
The quickest way to check if your gateway is compliant is to ask for a PCI DSS compliance certificate. And pay attention to its expiry date.
2. Choose a merchant account with quick withdrawals
Why do payment providers delay withdrawals? If you are a high-risk business, they do it to secure their own operations and protect end users: high-risk businesses are more likely to incur fraud and chargebacks. If you are not, look for a better provider.
Money flow is the bloodline of any business. If your payment provider takes too long to turn over your money, you risk paying late payment fees from suppliers and getting bad reviews from customers for slow service. Quick withdrawals are especially important for companies that need to pay for their goods upfront: ecommerce retailers, travel companies, resellers, and manufacturers. It is less important for services such as gaming or SaaS products, though it never hurts.
Make sure you know how fast you can withdraw incoming funds. For example, Decta Core™ merchant account lets you withdraw funds every day.
3. Make sure your payment provider has 24/7 support
Sure, it will take some time to compare support strength of different vendors. But it’s is worth it.
You don’t want to see a big Asian client walk away because your payment provider only works Californian hours. Yes, you may only be selling in one timezone right now. Still, make sure you don’t need to migrate all your payment processing to a different vendor, when more global customers start loving your product.
Choose a payment provider who guarantees 24/7 support for you and your customers. Even if they charge a little more, the cost of lost clients or migrating to a new platform is much higher.
4. Only integrate what’s necessary
Why do we still have shops that only take cash? Because POS terminals cost money every month. If you are a fresh fruit merchant at a farmers’ market, you may not need to integrate card payments. If you are a duty free supermarket in world’s biggest airport, you probably do.
For an online store, card payments are a must. But what about PayPal, Stripe, Bitcoin, SMS payments and the rest? If you read the news, most articles tell you to integrate as much as possible. Don’t listen to them, listen to your customers.
Not sure where to start? You can easily see which country brings the most visitors to your site. Then, find out what local payment methods are popular there. If you sell to Russians, integrate Qiwi. If you sell to Germans - prioritize SOFORT. For EU in general - think about PayPal, Neteller and Skrill. Each market has its own peculiarities.
Your payment gateway may offer 100+ different payment methods. But each extra wallet and payment method requires extra support, which costs extra money. New methods keep coming daily and with the PSD2 directive, we expect even more. Don’t just add them all: choose only what your customers need.
5. Do you track data of their carts/abandonment/decisions?
Every retailer wants to have the suggestive upselling power of Amazon. Done right, upsales can double or even triple your average cart value. But how can a small e-shop do it? Turns out, many payment providers offer this data.
Start with these questions:
- What data do you provide about buyer’s behaviour on my site?
- Can I see which products are often bought together? Can I suggest them to buyers before checkout?
- Can I get an alerts about abandoned carts and send an automated follow-up message?
- Can I see on which step buyers drop out the most? Is it choosing products, payment options, shipping?
- How do you hedge me against exchange rate fluctuations?
- How do you handle chargeback requests from buyers?
Always choose a provider who cares about growing your business before growing their margin. Many can code a payment gateway, few can give real business value.