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How to Accept Credit Card Payments Online

Thinking about allowing customers to pay you virtually? Then it's time to learn how to accept credit card payments online. Learn more about it here.

5 min read

Consumers have several ways to make payments to a business. They can use eWallets, cash, checks, and eChecks. But the payment methods that continue to trump all are cards and digital wallets.

One survey shows that 54% of consumers prefer to pay with a debit card, 26% prefer credit cards, and only 14% choose cash.

As more people use mobile phones to make purchases, it makes sense for businesses to process card payments. Especially if you're a local business looking to book appointments or sell goods online.

But you may be wondering:

How to accept credit card payments online?

Let's find out.

The Benefits of Accepting Credit Card Payments Online

You're a local business accepting cash, checks, and credit card transactions. Why do you need to know how to accept credit card payments online?

Well, it just so happens that there are a variety of benefits in doing so. For instance, accepting online credit card payments can:

  • Offer convenience and boost your sales (a lot of people like to shop and make purchases digitally)
  • Legitimize your business (reputable companies offer multiple payment options)
  • Enhance your cash flow (credit card transactions process quicker than checks)
  • Attract more customers (86% of Americans use their credit or debit card)
  • The setup is quick and easy (and affordable) when you use virtual tools that don't require equipment

You can guarantee this is something your competitors are doing or planning to do in the near future. So you don't want to ignore doing the same if you wish to maintain a competitive edge.

Accept credit card payments online

How Do Payment Gateways Work?

Understanding how to accept credit card payments online is simple -- you need a payment gateway. If you've ever made a purchase online, then you're more familiar with this than you think.

You know the drill:

When you check out, you're taken to a page to fill out a form with your name, billing address, shipping address, and credit card details. Some payment gateways, such as GoSite, allow you to pay using eWallets, such as Apple Pay and Google Pay.

The payment is authorized with your bank or credit card company and -- voila! The purchase is complete.

What Should I Look for in a Payment Gateway?

Once you finish reading up on how to accept credit card payments online, it's time to shop for a payment processor.

Here are several factors to keep in mind.

Will it allow you to scale?

Your local business is continuously growing and expanding -- or at least you expect it to once you start accepting credit card payments online. Be sure that your payment gateway will scale with you.

Does it accept credit card payments online and offline?

You don't want to only accept credit card payments online. It's good to have a flexible payment gateway that also allows you to process payments in person or manually.

Accept credit card payments online

Will it allow me to book appointments online?

If you're in an industry that involves consulting, then it's good to have a tool that will allow you to schedule appointments virtually. Or better yet--allow prospects to book it for you.

It's also recommended that you charge upfront for appointments to ensure prospects are committed (and don't waste your time).

GoSite's payment tool allows you to accept credit card payments online, as well as book appointments.

Is the platform secure?

Before you commit to a payment gateway, you need to ensure that the processor is secure. The best way to guarantee this is to check whether it's PCI-compliant.

This regulates how payment gateways process payments online so that your customers' data is secure. It's also critical that the gateway offers anti-fraud protection. This way, your business is protected from hackers, thieves, and ill-willed customers.

Are there any hidden fees?

The last thing you need is a surprise bill. Ask about the fees you'll have to pay to accept credit card payments online. And don't stop there -- be sure to read the fine print of your agreement.

The hidden fees are generally kept in the dark, so you'll have to do your own due diligence.

If you want to avoid costly setup fees and contracts, then it's best to go with a virtual platform. GoSite's payment tool doesn't require a contract, and since there's no equipment to buy, you won't have to worry about setup costs.

Will payments process efficiently on all devices?

Offering your customers ultimate convenience is one of the top reasons to learn how to accept credit card payments online. So you want to opt for a payment gateway that'll allow your customers to checkout on any device.

As you'd imagine, mobile payments are on the rise. So be vigilant about finding a gateway that's flexible and functional on different types of smartphones and tablets.

Now that You Know How to Accept Credit Card Payments Online...

You made the decision to accept credit card payments online. Your local business is that much closer to gaining a competitive edge and attracting more customers.

But before you tie the knot with a payment gateway, we urge you to learn more about how online payments work.

Download our free fact sheet on payment processing today!

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