There are a lot of things to think about when you’re setting up a business website, and doubly so if your business will be doing all of its tradings online. Either you or your team of web designers will spend hours poring over potential logos, slogans, color schemes, graphical styles, fonts, and ‘feature’ products in an attempt to put together the perfect homepage. When the homepage is sorted, the rest of your time will probably be spent building a sales funnel to get visitors from there to your checkout page as quickly as possible. It’s highly likely that in all that excitement, you’ll forget one very important question, which is this:- How is your customer going to pay you?
If this is the first time you’ve set up a web-based business, you might be laboring under the misapprehension that people are happy to enter their debit or credit card details into a website they’ve never used before in order to make payment for goods or services. We’re sorry if this comes as a shock to you, but they’re not. Some people will, but a significant number of web users are a lot more security conscious than they were ten years ago. They’ve been spooked by stories about all the things that cybercriminals can do with their card details, and they don’t intend to take the risk of it happening to them. That means you have to be smarter and savvier about finding ways to allow your customers to pay you.
Fortunately, you’re not short of options. There are dozens of ways you could accept payment from a customer without asking them to give you their card details directly, and here are a few of the more popular ones.
Almost everywhere takes PayPal these days, and it’s more uncommon to find a website that doesn’t offer it than one that does. If you’re not offering the facility for your customers to pay via PayPal, you’re doing them a disservice and also making your business appear to be behind the times. Not only is PayPal everywhere, but it’s growing rapidly. The service added more than twenty million new users during the first quarter of 2020, and by the end of the third quarter of the year, it had surpassed 350 million in total. Aside from opening the doors to all of those people, PayPal effectively allows you to accept payment via any means – credit card, debit card, Venmo, or other – through one single portal. Not only is it more convenient for your customers, but it’s also more convenient for you. All you need to be mindful of is the transaction fees.
While it might not be as popular as PayPal yet, Apple Pay is becoming an increasingly popular way for users of Apple devices – and especially iPhones – to make payment for goods. So long as the person you’re looking to sell to has Apple Pay set up on their device, they can complete their purchase with a single click. They don’t need to spend any time entering name or address details – it’s as quick and easy as the ‘buy it now’ button on Amazon. There’s even a small material advantage with Apple Pay over PayPal because Apple Pay doesn’t currently charge merchants for accepting payments via the platform. It’s very quick and very easy to implement.
If you have a customer who’s into the idea of digital payments but doesn’t have an Apple Pay account, chances are they have a Google Pay account instead. That’s why it’s so important that you accept payment via either means rather than focusing on a single one of them. The first household name to start accepting payments via Google Pay was Airbnb, and so it’s probably safe to say that if it’s good enough for Airbnb, it’s good enough for your company, too. Aside from offering all the same conveniences as Apple Pay and making payments easy to handle through mobile devices (never forget that the majority of people visiting your site use a mobile phone to do so), Google’s API can also integrate with other payment methods. That means you can offer access to people using Stripe, Shopify, and a few other less well-known platforms.
We’ve mentioned Stripe in passing, but we should also list it as an option in its own right. This is one of the internet’s most versatile payment processing platforms, and it’s been in the game for a long time. It’s a reliable, trustworthy product that does exactly what you’d want it to do for you, and it’s also a name that the general public trusts. Similar, newer platforms are available, but if your customer seems a payment gateway leading them through to something they’ve never heard of, they might be disinclined to use it. Stripe, on the other hand, has been known to help e-commerce websites increase their conversion rate by upward of five percent. There are a couple of downsides, though. The first is that your customer will still be required to enter a few details that they might be shy of entering. The second is the fees – Stripe charges 2.9% of every transaction fee, plus thirty cents in the United States of America. Quality comes at a cost.
Yes, you read that right. The 2020s are likely to be the decade of cryptocurrency, and Bitcoin is still king as far as crypto is concerned. If you don’t believe that you need to start looking into accepting payments via Bitcoin, log in to an online slots website, and check out their payment methods. The internet-based casino games and online slots sector is a multi-billion dollar industry that would still make huge amounts of money if they rejected Bitcoin payments, but an increasing number of the companies active in it have seen a convincing business case for accepting them. If customers are being taught that they can pay for online slots using Bitcoin, they’ll soon expect to be able to use it to pay for almost anything. PayPal has even recently started allowing customers to use its platform to buy and sell Bitcoin, so mainstream acceptance is very close. You can get ahead of the curve by starting to accept it now – and take a step ahead of your rivals at the same time by doing so!