How to Improve Your Online Payment Processing

Online Payment Processing

Ecommerce is worth nearly £100bn to the UK economy.

More shoppers than ever are turning to online to buy goods and services from the comfort of their own home.

Internet sales in the UK now account for around 27% of all retail sales.

While that might be down from the record high of 38% in January 2021 when the UK was in the midst of another COVID-19 lockdown, it’s still significantly higher than the pre-pandemic levels of January 2020 when internet sales accounted for 20% of all sales.

Online payments processing opens your business up to a world of opportunities to make more money.

But only if you’ve got the best online payment processing in place.

Without it, you’ll have a clunky payment process that won’t only fail to make you more money, but could actually cost you money, and damage your reputation in the process.

Here we look at how you can improve your online payment processing to make more money and improve your business’ reputation with customers.

But first…

What do you need to start taking online payments?

Merchant Account

A merchant account allows you to take and process card payments.

When a customer makes a card payment, the merchant account sends the details to the bank card provider to be verified.

When verified, the account will let you (the business) and the customer know the payment has gone through.

It makes accepting card payments a lot easier and more secure.

To set up a merchant account you first need to think about what popular bank cards you’ll accept and the payment model you’ll use (in-store, online or over the phone – or a combination of all three).

You also need to be aware of the turnover and credit background of your business.

This can affect the rates you’ll be offered by the merchant account provider, so it’s good to get to grips with it before you go looking.

You need a business bank account to be able to accept payments through a merchant account, so set one up if you don’t have one already.

You then need to apply for an account through a provider. 

Payment Gateway 

A payment gateway is crucial for accepting online payments.

When a customer goes to checkout, they’re directed to a payment gateway, which is the card terminal of the online world.

The customer enters their card details for the payment to be authorised.

All this information is stored on the gateway and not by the business, meaning the customer’s details are safe and you won’t be responsible for keeping their data secure.

Being able to take payments online means your products and services are not limited by location or opening hours, giving you a much wider audience.

By using our payment gateway, you can expect affordable prices and a merchant account included.

Get in touch now for a free quote and support to get the right payment gateway for you.

How to improve your online payment processing in 7 easy steps

1. Make sure your website is secure

Without a secure website, you’re unlikely to have much online success.

Make sure you have an SSL certificate to authenticate your website and enable an encrypted connection.

These can be set up when you purchase your website domain.

When it comes to online payments, it’s important you have an SSL set up as it will ensure secure transactions.

It prevents information that is transferred between two systems from being shared.

You know your website is secure when you see the closed padlock sign next to your URL in the search bar.

This also shows customers that they can trust your website and anything on it, including online payments.

2. Use ‘pay as guest’

Having a ‘pay as guest’ option is really helpful for customers when it comes to making a purchase online.

Some consumers might only be shopping with you as a one off and they don’t want to go through the hassle of creating an account.

Allowing this means customers can make a quick purchase without having to receive regular marketing emails and promotions.

Because of this, your website will be more appealing to customers, as they can buy things quickly and easily.

3. Only collect the details you need to complete the transaction

There are many companies that use the fact a customer is buying something as a way of collecting loads of information for future marketing.

All this does is alienate the customer and risk them walking away from the purchase because there are too many things to fill in and agree to.

By collecting the minimum amount of information you need for the customer to complete a purchase, you make the process a lot simpler and easier.

You can then ask for additional information after the payment has been accepted, such as saving an email address to receive seasonal offers.

4. Use field error messages

Yes, you do want to make the payment section of the purchase as hassle free as possible for the customer, but you still need to make sure you get all the key information you need to verify the sale.

By using field error messages, customers will be alerted when a section hasn’t been filled out properly.

You need to make sure this is obvious to users so they know where they’ve gone wrong.

Use a highlighted message over the incorrect field so your customer knows what they’ve missed out or filled in incorrectly.

5. Add one click payment for repeat customers

When customers go through the process of entering all their details, including name, address and any relevant bank details, you should include the option to securely save these details for any future purchases.

If you have regular customers who’ve chosen to create an account, creating a ‘one click’ payment option will make things a lot quicker and easier.

By offering this, it saves the customer entering all their payment details again and makes the purchase more convenient.

Because of how quick and easy it will be for customers, it’ll reduce the chances of them changing their mind.

6. Use abandoned cart messages

Sometimes a customer will put items in an online basket, get distracted by something and then forget to come back.

Obviously, you want to do what you can to encourage customers to make a purchase from you.

By sending them an email or text reminding them they’ve got items in their cart is a proven way to get them to complete the purchase.

It’s been found that 40% of abandoned cart emails are opened, which is a high percentage when it comes to email marketing.

10% of the customers who open these emails are likely to visit their cart and continue with the purchase, so it’s worth having a go to bring back those customers.

7. Accept multiple payment methods

It can be quite annoying going to make an online purchase and seeing the retailer doesn’t have your preferred payment method available.

By the end of 2020, over 17 million people had registered for mobile payments.

Another popular method of payment that can increase conversions is a ‘buy now pay later’ service like Klarna and Clearpay, which enables customers to spread the cost of purchases over a few months.

37% of Brits have said they use these services when making an online purchase, so it’s clearly favoured by many.

You shouldn’t limit your business on the types of payments you accept, as you’ll be closing yourself off from potential customers.

It’s important these options are clearly displayed in the checkout section, so customers are made aware of them.

See the benefits of online payment processing with Handepay

Online payment processing is only becoming more important for businesses everywhere.

With over 75% of people shopping online once a month, it’s important that businesses cater to customers’ needs.

Choose Handepay now to help you accept online payments.

With affordable prices and 24/7 support, you’re guaranteed success.

The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of The World Financial Review.