Accepting Payments

How to accept credit card payments online?

It might surprise you to learn that the UK is the largest e-commerce market in Europe. Sales reached a staggering £133 billion in 2016[1] and a further 14% growth is forecast for 2017.

17 Jul 2018

Starting an online business could help significantly increase your profits and ability to reach new customers. With an e-commerce site you could even start to expand internationally, exposing your products to sizeable markets in Asia, the Middle East and elsewhere.

Taking payments online is a vital step to starting your e-commerce business. It might sound daunting, but it doesn’t need to be. Here are a few pointers.

Online payments: the options

Online payments allow you to sell goods and services via the internet.

The customer payment journey is as follows:

  1. Customer visits your website.
  2. Customer adds item to their online shopping basket on your website.
  3. They enter card details on either a hosted or integrated payment page.
  4. Their details are sent to the Online Payment Gateway where payment is authorised.
  5. Funds are paid into your Online Merchant Account and then settled into your bank account.

Two elements are needed to get started when wanting to accept payments online:

Firstly, an Online Merchant Account is an essential first step, allowing you to accept card payments. Your customer funds will be paid into this account when they transact on your website and then settled by your provider (e.g. Worldpay) into your nominated bank account.

The Second requirement is an Online Payments Gateway to enable online transactions to be processed through your e-commerce site. As part of this you’ll need to choose one of two main options to facilitate the process:

The first option is a hosted payment page. This is often chosen by new online businesses. Why? Because Worldpay manages all card processing on your behalf so you and your customers can be assured it’s being done securely in compliance with industry standards (PCI DSS) by a leading industry provider.

You can still accept all major credit/debit cards through your online site and there’s no impairment of the shopping experience for the customer. Customers are simply directed from the shopping basket stage on your site to the Worldpay payment page, and then back to your site once payment has been authorised.

The second option is an integrated payment page. With this customers don’t leave your site to complete payment. Instead, you take the payment details on a secure payment page. The customers are then sent to the Worldpay gateway for authorisation.

With this option, you get the benefit of total control over the look and feel of the payment page. However, as you’re collecting, storing and transferring customer card data, it’s your responsibility to meet strict industry security requirements (PCI DSS).

With the payment piece sorted, you’re all set to start growing your business online. Good luck!

 

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