There are a number of different ways to take payments if you are running an Ecommerce website, and it can be very important to offer payment methods that your customers want to use. One of the major reasons for a customer to choose one business over another is purely because they allow them to pay using a payment method they to prefer to use. Ecommerce websites can lose out on significant business by not being aware of this.
Paypal has become increasingly popular over the years, starting out as a payment method on the eBay platform and now a global payment service available almost everywhere. Years ago, Paypal had the image of being an ‘amateur’ or ‘dodgy’ payment method, but nowadays its accepted by some of the biggest companies in the world. The big advantage with Paypal is the convenience to the customer who already has a Paypal account, it’s just so much easier to pay by logging into Paypal than providing other payment details. Many potential customers will make a choice between you or your competitor based purely on who it’s easier to make payment to. Amazon also offer a service similar in convenience called Amazon Pay, where anyone who already has an Amazon account can simply pay using that. For the very large number of existing Amazon customers this could be the difference between you making the sale or not.
There is also a flip side to all of these convenient payment methods where customers already have accounts. Paypal and Amazon make it easy for any website to take payments and they redirect the customer to their own platform to take the payment, so it’s great that the customer knows its all above board and secure and convenient, but at the end of the day they are only payment processors and it can be an advantage to display the professionalism and independence of your business by processing payments directly on your own website while still trying to make things as convenient as possible.
This is where direct credit/debit card processing on your own website can give you an edge. The beauty of this is that you can process credit/debit card payments directly on your own website without any compliance or security worries using a service like Stripe. At Problue Solutions we use Stripe to build credit/debit card payment systems where all of the financial transactions occur on the Stripe platform but the website user never leaves your website.
Another Ecommerce payment method that gets less focus is bank transfers/direct debits. Bank transfers are very common for business-to-business payments, but if you are running an e-commerce website it’s not really on your radar - except for recurring subscriptions/payments. At Problue Solutions we have partnered with an innovative company called GoCardless who make it possible to provide our clients with the option of taking direct debit payments for regular/recurring payments. This isn’t just a bank transfer, it’s an official direct debit payment under the official direct debit system and guarantee. Using the Direct Debit system means that both you and your customer know you are using a system that works in the interests of both parties.
We can provide all of the above payment methods in our Ecommerce websites at Problue Solutions. The important thing is knowing who your customer is and ensuring that your are offering a payment method that is appropriate, and that you are not losing out to a competitor simply because they want to pay you in a way that you are not offering.