When it comes to accepting payments from your customers, no two payment gateways are the same. In fact, you should research a payment gateway before you opt to use it. Find out about the features of the gateway and any design flaws that might exist. You want to provide customers with a safe, secure gateway at all times.
There are so many options available, which can make choosing one seem daunting. Fortunately, there are ways to find a safe, secure gateway that your customers can trust. Authorize is one option that seems to offer plenty of benefits that might just suit your merchant needs.
Ask the Right Questions
Before opting in for any credit card processing payment gateway, such as Authorize, there are a few questions you should ask, first. Asking the right questions can help you choose a gateway that is safe, secure, and works best for your ecommerce customers. When making an online payment, customers want to know their information is protected. Asking questions about a gateway can ensure the safety of their sensitive data.
What Is Authorize?
If you are new to the ecommerce sector, you might not know what Authorize is or or how it works. Primarily, a gateway is a service that checks the validity of your customer’s credit card information and authorizes payments. You can use a gateway both online and offline. It acts as a point of sale machine when used online.
What is the Difference Between a Gateway and a Merchant Account?
Again, if you are just entering the ecommerce sector, there are a few things that might seem confusing. For instance, it is common for ecommerce business owners to confuse a merchant account with a payment gateway. These two services are entirely different from one another, though you will need both.
Whereas Authorize allows you to accept payment from your customers for goods and services, a merchant account provides you with a place where you can store customer payments. In most cases, fees do not go directly to your bank account. Instead, payments sit in a merchant account until that time and then transfer to your bank.
Keep in mind that you want to make sure you choose a payment gateway and a merchant account that is easy to use. Fortunately, many merchants agree that Authorize is a simple payment gateway that is easy to navigate, which makes it a worthwhile option when searching for payment gateway options.
What Can You Expect From A Gateway Like Authorize?
Payment gateways like Authorize typically consist of a four-step process, which includes:
- Collection: The gateway collects information entered by your customers about their payment information for products or services they wish to purchase.
- Authentication: The gateway authorizes the payment by sending information to your bank account through a secure connection.
- Authorization: The gateway will notify you that the payment information is correct and the sale is valid, allowing you to deliver the products or services to your customer.
- Settlement: The final step verifies information with your bank, which allows the deposit of your customer’s payment into your account.
Keep in mind that the number of days it takes a customer payment to reach your bank account will depend on the gateway you use. Many people say that Authorize offers the fast delivery of customer payments. However, some gateways have a wait of 21 business days. Make sure you choose a gateway that is secure and delivers your money in a reasonable time like Authorize.net.
As an example of a payment gateway with long wait times, all you have to do is look at PayPal. PayPal was once the primarily used form of payment on eBay. Unfortunately, sellers looking to run a profitable business had to wait 21 days to receive funds for the sales they made. PayPal made claims that the wait increased buyer protection, but all it did was lead to agitation.
How Do I Know Which Option Is Best?
There are several different gateway options available for you to use. Some of the most popular gateways include:
When you sign up for a gateway, you will receive credentials that allow you to log in and monitor activity. For instance, you will use your Authorize.net login username and password to ensure that everything is running smoothly. You want to make sure you check on your gateway frequently to ensure the safety and security of your customer’s financial information.
Considering how many options there are, narrowing it down to one gateway can seem nearly impossible. How are you ever supposed to choose the best one? Start by looking at customer reviews. Other ecommerce business owners will leave reviews about a gateway so you can determine how well it works or doesn’t work.
Keep in mind that you will commonly find a mix of positive and negative reviews. It is unlikely that you will find a gateway that receives positive praise from every single customer. However, the reviews should lean more positive than negative. If you notice any negative reviews, check for repetition. If you notice negative trends that make you feel uneasy, go with a different gateway.
As it currently stands, Authorize seems to lean more toward the negative, though there are some negative reviews, too. You must realize that just because Authorize works for one merchant does not mean it works best for all merchants. Merchants will have different wants and needs. It is up to you to determine if Authorize.net satisfies your payment gateway wants and needs.
Build Trust With Your Customers
Customers should always trust you, your products and services, and your ecommerce website. Make sure you build trust in a variety of ways. One way to build trust is to provide customers with security information. Authorize offers specific layers of security, so make sure you add logos to your website highlighting what security measures they use to protect data.
Logos provide customers with peace of mind that their sensitive information is safe and secure. By placing security logos on your site, you build trust with your customers. They receive verifiable proof that your website is safe and secure. They also can see that they can pay for goods and services without the worry of someone stealing their personal information.
Offer Different Payment Methods
When searching for a gateway, make sure you look for one that allows different payment methods. Not everyone wishes to pay using a credit card. You should find a gateway that accepts credit cards, debit cards, and checking account payment methods. Fortunately, Authorize.net is one such payment gateway that accepts these payments.
By accepting different payment methods, you are providing your customers with convenience. Also, accepting different payment methods allows you to expand your customer base. If you accept credit card payments only, you limit your customer base to those who have a credit card. However, some people prefer the option of paying in a way that best suits them.
Allow Guest Access Checkout
Although you want to build customer loyalty, you will find that some customers prefer the convenience of a faster checkout. For that reason, you should offer two options to your customers. One option should allow them to sign up for an account. Upon signing up, they can access their account for future orders using certain saved billing and shipping information.
However, you should also make sure you provide guest access and checkout. A guest account allows one-time customers to select the items they want and make a payment quickly and securely. Even repeat customers hate to sign up for an ecommerce account. Many of them fear that they will receive a ton of promotional emails, which is something they would rather avoid.
Avoid Any Redirects
When you sign up for a payment gateway, make sure you find one that does not redirect your customer. The goal is to attract people to your website, not away from it. Gateways like PayPal often redirect the customer away from your website, even if it is only for a moment. Unfortunately, a redirect makes customers feel less secure.
When a gateway redirects your customers, they may feel as though they are giving their money to another business rather than to you. The last thing your customers should see when they finish their purchase is your business name and webpage. Choose a gateway that keeps your customers on your website page rather than redirecting them away from it.
Stick to the Essentials
When choosing a gateway, choose one that sticks to the essentials. The more information a gateway requests, the more uneasy your customers will feel. A gateway should only ask for necessary information needed to complete the payment and nothing more. Many customers are willing to abandon a purchase if they feel a website asks for too much personal information.
If additional information such as a phone number or social security number is necessary, make sure the gateway specifies the reasons why. For instance, you may need to explain to your customers that the information is necessary to verify their identity and protect against the threat of identity theft, which may ease their minds and make them feel comfortable. Authorize is pretty good about sticking to the basics.
Overall, choosing a payment gateway should be an easy experience. It shouldn’t feel as though you are running through a gauntlet filled with fire and booby traps. The information above allows you to get started and makes it easier for you to find a gateway that works best for you and your customers. It also assists you in making sure you use it properly to make your customers feel as comfortable as possible.