One advantage of doing business online is the speed and convenience of electronic payments. If you plan to sell goods or services online, you will need a secure way to accept payments. Common ways of paying electronically include:
- Credit cards
- Debit cards
- Gift cards
- Prepaid credit cards
- Electronic bank transfers
Payments need to be secure because the information used to make them is sensitive and could be misused. Information like account numbers, card verification numbers, in addition to billing and shipping addresses, must all be protected. Your customers have to be able to trust your business with their information.
There are two basic ways you can accept payments:
Payment gateways: These companies should be reputable and take steps to keep payment information secure. They work by redirecting your customers from your website to theirs, processing the payment, and then sending them back to your website. This could be a good solution for smaller businesses.
Processing your own payments: You have the option of processing your own payments. This involves several extra steps if you are setting up your website, but it could be the right option for you if you will be processing a lot of online transactions. However, this option means taking on greater responsibility for customer information.