Selling goods or services online means making lots of choices these days—from identifying your ideal buyer to crafting slick funnels guiding customers to check out. But one decision that makes or breaks the experience for both merchants and shoppers alike? Choosing the right payment gateway for seamless, secure transactions every time.
With seemingly endless options on the table though, where should eCommerce players even start separating the smooth operators from those leaving you stuck in buffering mode? From customization capabilities to fraud protection features, not all gateways are created equal. Sorting difference-makers from simple standard offerings clears barriers to business growth and delightful customer experiences.
This post breaks down eight must-know payment gateway dos and don’ts when building or optimizing your website’s checkout flow. Follow the insights here, and watch payments go from painful cost center to frictionless profit driver.
Kicking things off, it’s crucial to select a payment gateway designed specifically to handle your core business operations. The payment processing needs of an eCommerce store selling tangible products vary greatly from a SaaS company billing monthly subscriptions, for example.
While some payment gateways exclusively focus on certain models, more versatile services cater to multiple use cases under one roof. Just ensure no glaring gaps exist between your needs and partner capabilities before moving forward.
For eCommerce companies, key considerations include smooth integration across online store platforms, eliminating checkout friction through features like saved payment options, and enabling alternative payment methods popular internationally.
For SaaS companies, subscription management and recurring billing take priority so customers stick around long-term. Automating manual tasks like payment reminders and failed charge recovery also lifts burdens.
Moving beyond basic payment processing, customization capabilities empower deeper personalization that builds trust and loyalty. Make sure to seek out payment gateways enabling tailored checkout matching your brand style, differentiated offers for customer tiers, and control over messaging guiding customers along their journey.
Maintaining access to shopper data also unlocks the power to continually refine experiences based on insights versus guessing what sticks. And white-label solutions keeping third-party branding off of key pages reinforce your business as the sole trusted merchant that buyers return to.
With personalization driving more decisions every day, leverage tools to intentionally curate customer journeys that lock in relationships over the long haul. Don’t leave UX to chance.
The biggest pricing differences hide in the nooks and crannies – so don’t just lead with baseline rates when selecting payment gateways thinking that tells the whole story. Make sure to model complete expenses factoring monthly fees, payment facilitator charges, interchange costs, and more based on your current and projected yearly sales volumes across segments.
Account for seasonal spikes, average order values, and regional payment method mixes that shift math. Many teaser rates only last 3 months before significant hikes too so validate contract terms in writing. Having clarity on true costs rather than ballpark figures or crafted samples prevents painful surprises and revenue-impacting decisions as your business scales. No pricing shocks mean smoother scaling ahead.
Security can’t be an afterthought when handling payments. Reputable gateways hold certifications like PCI DSS demonstrating compliance with data safety requirements. Checking for SOC 2 attestations provides assurances on security practices as well as disaster recovery protections if things ever go south.
Plus, fraud prevention and threat monitoring capabilities add additional shields— see what’s baseline versus available add-ons. While essentials limit financial and legal risk on your end, going further inspires consumer confidence.
Even the most feature-rich payment gateways fall flat if integrating clunky experiences chipping away at trust during checkout. Seek out providers with robust dev portals including detailed API documentation, code libraries for popular platforms, live technical support, and sandbox testing environments mirroring real-world conditions.
Vetting deployment assistance upfront ensures your team can tap guidance launching and optimizing payments with minimal heavy lifting. Checking for developer-friendly protocols like REST APIs and webhook events enables building custom flows and reactions as well so your options stay open. Don’t downplay self-service dev resources speeding seamless adoption.
In addition to rock-solid current capabilities, look for payment gateways committed to advancing the state of art – not resting on reputations. Progress-focused providers continually expand functionality around emerging payment methods, cross-border commerce, and fraud-fighting algorithms leveraging the latest techniques like machine learning.
Forward-thinking roadmaps catering to market trends can future-proof investments in technology stacks while also keeping customers happy as preferences evolve. Press releases, case studies, and newsletter briefings all provide visibility into what’s now and what’s new. The key is confirming steady innovation momentum.
Even well-designed technology hits snags or confuses users over time, so assessing available customer service and support programs provides key indicators of partner reliability when issues inevitably arise.
Vet everything from online self-help resources like knowledge bases and FAQs to direct channels like phone, email, or chat support. Check if dedicated account managers are assigned as your lifeline as sales volumes grow. And confirm if multiple regions are covered as your business expands globally. While hopefully needed infrequently, customer care capabilities deliver peace of mind your gateway has your back.
With commerce increasingly happening on-the-go via mobile, overlooking seamless mobile payment support leaves money on the table. International surveys show over 60% of online purchases now originate from smartphones or tablets—a number only poised to grow further.
As such, make sure candidate gateways enable popular mobile wallets, click-to-pay standardization across devices, and optimized checkouts for smaller screens. Integrations with key mobile commerce platforms provide coverage as well. Prioritizing mobile-first pays dividends reaching customers wherever they are.
Payments are the lifeline for any business, so choosing a processor is no small deal. Do your research – ask other founders what works best for their setup. Think long-term – how will your needs evolve as you scale? Go with an option known for flexibility along with killer customer care. Compliance is crucial too, so make sure they’ve got that on lock. Overall trust your gut, then relax and let the funds flow hassle-free behind the scenes as you focus on what really sparks your business.