Online payments: best options for small businesses
When it comes to receiving online payments, budding entrepreneurs and small businesses need to be especially aware of their options, as a smooth checkout process is vital to delighting and retaining customers.
There are several online payment methods available for SMEs, from credit and debit cards to digital wallets.
Check out everything you need to know to start selling online effectively and safely.
What do small businesses need to do to receive online payments?
To successfully receive online payments, small companies need to establish a solid and secure infrastructure.
First of all, you must have a business bank account configured to receive electronic payments.
To do this, research banks that offer services for small businesses and compare fees, services and requirements. Choose a bank that meets the specific needs of your business.
It is important to make it clear that if you are a self-employed professional who provides small services, as is the case with many online course creators, it is not strictly necessary to have a business account.
Many professionals choose to use their personal accounts to manage their finances, especially when they are starting out or have a low sales volume.
However, although it is not mandatory to have a business account, it is recommended to separate your personal finances from your business activities. This facilitates the tracking earnings and expenses work-related.
Main ways to receive online payments
The next step is to choose a trusted payment gateway.
A payment gateway is a technology that facilitates the transfer of information between an e-commerce website (or any online platform) and the payment processor, allowing financial transactions to occur securely and efficiently.
Platforms such as Stripe and PayPal serve as interfaces that connect the company’s website to the payment processor, facilitating transactions and ensuring a smooth shopping experience for customers.
Payment gateways are designed to be easily integrated into various platforms, such as e-commerce websites, mobile apps, and point-of-sale systems.
These systems also offer support a variety of payment methods, such as credit cards, debit cards, digital wallets and others, allowing merchants to serve a wider audience.
Choosing a gateway depends on the specific needs of each business, fees, ease of integration and desired payment methods.
Let’s understand a little better about how the main online payments methods used today work.
Stripe is an online payment processing platform that offers several advantages for small businesses, such as:
- Ease of Integration: provides comprehensive documentation and user-friendly tools to facilitate implementation.
- Diversity of Payment Methods: supports a wide variety of payment methods, including credit and debit cards, mobile payments, digital solutions such as Apple Pay and Google Pay, among others.
- Subscription Resources: a very interesting feature for online course creators who want to charge monthly fees, Stripe makes it possible to receive recurring payments.
- Support for International Transactions: allows transactions in multiple currencies.
- Detailed Reports: provides detailed reporting and analysis tools, allowing small businesses to easily track their online payments and other financial data.
- Personalized Checkout: allows companies to personalize their checkout processes, providing a more fluid and brand-adapted shopping experience.
- Risk Assessment: uses advanced algorithms for risk assessment, helping to reduce fraud and chargebacks.
Overall, Stripe stands out for its versatility, security, and ease of use, making it a popular choice for many small businesses around the world.
Among the features and advantages that PayPal offers for SMEs, we can mention:
- Global Acceptance: known and accepted globally, it provides greater accessibility and convenience for buyers in different regions of the world.
- Ease of Integration: small businesses can quickly implement this solution on their digital platforms, without the need for complex development.
- Security: recognized for its robust security features, it offers buyer protection, which helps increase customer confidence.
- Diversity of Payment Methods: in addition to traditional online card payments, PayPal supports several other options, including bank transfers, debit and even payment in installments.
- Simplicity for Buyers: customers can carry out transactions without having to repeatedly enter financial information. PayPal stores this data securely, making shopping faster and easier.
- Recurring Payments: it also offers features for recurring payments, being useful for companies that offer subscription services or products with periodic billing.
- Instant Transfers: allows instant fund transfers between PayPal accounts, facilitating quick transactions between businesses and suppliers.
- Detailed Reports: provides detailed reports on transactions, income and other financial data.
It’s important to keep in mind that fees associated with PayPal can vary, so analyze your costs carefully to ensure it meets your company’s needs and budget.
Credit and Debit Card
Many consumers still prefer to pay by card.
According to data from Statista, 55% of consumers use debit cards and 47% credit cards as means of shopping on the internet. For this reason, it is essential that small business owners accept cards for online payments.
This payment method allows for a quick and smooth checkout process. Additionally, consumers can finance larger transactions on credit, allowing small businesses to reach a wider audience.
However, there are some downsides, including relatively high fees, chargebacks, and the possibility of a customer having this payment method declined.
It’s also important to be aware that the issue of fraud has plagued card payments, so you’ll also need to ensure you’re using a secure payment gateway to protect customer information.
Digital wallets have become the preferred payment method for many small businesses, especially for service-oriented industries and start-ups.
Also known as e-wallets or electronic wallets, they are virtual platforms that allow users to store, manage and use payment information electronically.
They offer convenience and security for online payments and can also be used in physical stores.
Here are some common features and functionalities of digital wallets:
- Storage of payment information: it stores details of credit, debit cards and other forms of payment, allowing users to access this information without having to enter card details for each transaction.
- Ease of use: users can add funds to their wallet through bank transfers, credit/debit cards or other funding sources.
- Security: utilize encryption and other advanced security measures to protect user information and financial transactions. They can offer two-step authentication, PINs or fingerprints to ensure the security of the operation.
- Wide Acceptance: accepted in online stores, mobile applications, food delivery services, transportation and other physical establishments, they facilitate payment at various points of sale.
Popular examples of digital wallets include PayPal, Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay, Venmo, Cash App and many others, with different features and acceptance levels depending on the region and market.
Digital wallets are especially popular for shopping on mobile devices, as many of them offer integration with smartphones and wearable devices.
They can also be used to make payments in physical stores.You’ll just need a mobile point of sale system to store customer details and issue receipts to get started.
Digital wallets like Google Pay and Apple Pay allow customers to pay with a tap on their phone using the near-field communication (NFC) technology.
However, while convenient for consumers, digital wallets have several disadvantages for SMEs.
Relatively high charges are always a problem for companies, as are the number of different wallets available and the time and costs required to integrate them.
You will also need an up-to-date reader that can handle NFC payments.
Choose the right platform and prioritize the security and versatility of your business
For those who work with online payments, security is undoubtedly a priority.
Implementing an SSL certificate It is imperative to encrypt information during transactions. Additionally, companies must ensure PCI DSS compliance by following strict standards to protect customers’ credit card data.
Who wants to sell online courses need to invest in a platform with all these seals and security criteria, such as Coursify.me, to create a robust virtual presence.
Transparency is also key to building trust. Privacy, security, returns and refunds policies should be clearly communicated on the company website.
The implementation of APIs for integration and the use of reports and analysis tools help companies in financial performance monitoring and making informed decisions.
In summary, by addressing these elements, small businesses can receive online payments securely and conveniently.
Complete eLearning platform, Coursify.me has integration with PagSeguro, PayPal and Stripe, allowing you to receive payment in the currency of your choice.
Simple to use, your students can pay online easily, securely and from any location.
To make it even easier for our customers, Coursify.me allows the integration of your online school with all three payment platforms, increasing the range of options for you and your students.
Ideal solution to create, sell and advertise courses on the internet, visit our website, test the platform and learn why we are the best option for your business.