Choosing an Online Payment Processor

You should choose the right payment processor when you have a business that accepts credit and debit cards online. An online payment processor will handle the heavy lifting of transactions from recording the sale to sending you a billing statement and working with your bank to ensure you are paid.

When a customer buys something on your site or in person at your brick-and mortar store the credit or debit card data passes through a payment gateway or PoS terminal. The gateway encrypts data to ensure its security. It sends it to the payment processor, who then sends it to the card network of the customer. The card network then checks with the bank of the customer to see if they have enough money to pay for the item. If the bank approves the purchase then the card issuer will transfer the funds from their account to the merchant’s bank. The payment processor will transmit this information to the merchant’s website or PoS terminal that will notify the customer that the transaction was successful.

When choosing a processor, consider aspects like security, ease-of-use, and compatibility with current systems. Look for a processor that includes APIs or plugins which seamlessly integrate with an ecommerce system or POS. You should also evaluate the checkout experience of your customers and the reporting and management experience for your staff. Don’t forget to ensure you understand the contract and how it will be easy to switch providers in the future.

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