COVID-19 has caused major disruptions to small businesses worldwide. One consequence is that many companies are now looking for digital payment options to help keep their businesses running.
Global retail online sales are expected to grow in the coming years. This makes sense as more than 75% of consumers today shop online at least once a month.
However, although customers are notified about the success of their online payments within seconds, transactions through wireless credit card machines for small businesses are quite a complex ecosystem.
In this post, we will demystify online payment procedures to help you make wireless payments with confidence.
What Exactly Is the Path of Online Payments?
It’s easy not to see the complexity of an online transaction. For your customers, the whole process happens instantaneously. The reality however is somewhat different.
Once you accept online payments through a payment device or your website, the transacted money leaves the online infrastructure and enters a payment ecosystem. And this ecosystem consists of different steps which need to be checked before the payment confirmation message pops up on your screen.
As a small business owner, understanding each step in the payment ecosystem will help you make vital decisions related to wireless payments for your business. It will also make you aware of how exactly the transacted money enters your business’s bank account through an online payment.
- Payment Gateways: Once your customer makes their payment, their card details are collected by the payment gateway. Then, the gateway authorizes the transaction through their security compliance protocols and sends it through to the payment processor. You can build your own payment gateway, but you can better handle the payment functions through a payment technology partner like Soft Tech Payment.
- Payment Processor: A payment processor is a financial technology partner licensed as a member of the card association that maintains the client’s account; for example, Soft Tech Payment. We can help you integrate a payment processor which accepts details from the payment gateway and submits the transaction request to the various card networks.
- Card Networks: Some examples of card networks include Visa, Mastercard, and American Express. The role of these card networks is to receive the request from the payment processor who can appropriate the card issuer, so the request for payment can be validated.
- Issuer: This is the financial entity that issued the card. Typically, it’s the customer’s bank that validates the card details corresponding to a bank account. The issuer also ensures that there are sufficient funds or available credit in the customer’s account. It will also prompt you whether the card security information has been entered correctly before authorizing the payment.
Selling Online Securely
The next step that you should be aware of is how to make the online sale secure. Instilling trust in your customers is the thin line of difference between making a sale and losing it. According to one study by Baymard, almost 20% of consumers abandon an online shopping transaction due to trust issues during checkout. So, here’s how you can make your online payments secure for customers:
- SSL Certification: SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is an industry-standard certification used by millions of websites to protect online consumer transactions by encrypting their personal transaction details. When your business has an SSL certification with a lock symbol in the URL bar, your customers are far less likely to abandon your business due to trust issues.
- PCI Compliance: This is required for all businesses that take credit or debit card payments for selling goods or services. This designation helps your customers know that you are properly storing and handling their payment details and information for a secure transaction. If you’re a new business, be sure to make yourself PCI-compliant and communicate the same to your customers during the checkout process by showing the PCI-DSS trust logo.
- Virtual Terminal Assistance: Online payment processing can be tiresome if you do not know anything about it. So, it’s best to use a virtual terminal assistance service provider to make it easier to track your online sales and organize payments for your records. In case of fraudulent payments, these assistance providers will track the same for your protection.
Accepting cashless payments is much more than letting customers shop through your website or tapping their cards on wireless credit card machines for your small business. Now that you have an idea about the path of an online transaction, you’ll be able to make your online selling secure and safe. You and your team will also be able to confidently create an online payment strategy that best aligns with your business’s vision. To integrate the most seamless payment solutions for your small business in Canada, get in touch with us today.