Being paid for provided services or products is what makes you a business. It’s an essential part of operations for a business of any shape or size. To facilitate online payments between your business and its clients, you need a practical, scalable, and secure payment solution. But most importantly, this solution needs to be exceptionally user-friendly at both ends: for your employees and especially for your clients.
What makes an online payment system easy to use?
The presence of certain features qualifies an online payment system as easier to use by your clients than others. These features include:
Support for various payment methods
Most clients expect to see a variety of accepted payment options during checkout. Of course, not every possible payment method in existence has to be included. But ideally, the online payment system of your choice should support at minimum those methods that your target audience uses.
For example, it is now expected that many businesses support major credit cards, PayPal, or coupons. If your audience is likely to use cryptocurrencies, it would be beneficial to provide them with this option, as well.
Requiring essential information only
A proper payment system should not ask your clients to divulge more than is necessary as this might turn them away. And it makes sense – no one wants to be stuck filling out a long form whenever they want to make a simple purchase. You want your clients to go through the entire checkout process as quickly and easily as possible.
Also, make sure to explain why you’re asking for certain additional information so they don’t become suspicious and abandon the checkout process.
When entering their payment information, your client can easily make a mistake. For instance, they may miss a symbol or two (such as a number in the credit card field or the ‘@’ symbol in the email address). Some checkout pages will recognize this is and display an error message, but the client is left to discover by themselves where the mistake is.
A smart system can not only recognize these mistakes and warn about them but will also show the warning next to the relevant field (or inside the field itself). Thanks to this, your clients can easily fix the errors and proceed with the checkout process.
Lack of distractions
The checkout process should be as simple as possible, you don’t want any unnecessary details distracting your client from completing it. An ideal online payment system should not include any unnecessary images, advertisements, or other distracting details. It has to focus on completing the payment – nothing more and nothing less.
The online payment system of your choice should be customizable to reflect your brand’s specific colors, fonts, and website design. You don’t want to confuse or even scare away your clients with dramatic changes in the flow of your payment process, as this might result in abandoned carts.
Nothing turns away a client more than concerns over questionable or lacking security and privacy policies. After all, they’re entrusting you with their personal and financial information.
This is why you need to assure them it won’t end up in the wrong hands or be used for malicious purposes. The best way to do this is through the presence of a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate and the PCI Security Standards Council compliance badge.
What are the most commonly used features of a payment system?
Some payment system features are regularly used by both customers and businesses, so your chosen solution should offer them. They include:
This is the most obvious feature of a payment system. Through payment processing, your business receives money for the service or product that it provided for a client. A good online payment platform offers this service, be it by an in-house payment gateway or through processors like PayPal, GooglePay, Square, or Stripe.
One of the most used features of a payment system during the checkout process by your customer is the button that they click to carry it out. It is of utmost importance that it is clearly visible and not easily confused with other buttons so that the clients don’t have to waste time on finding it.
Before completing their purchase, your clients need to be provided with an opportunity to review their cart, allowing them to change the number of items or remove them. This way, they could also check their information, shipping method, and price once more before finalizing the purchase.
A portion of your clients may prefer purchasing on their mobile device instead of a desktop computer. Due to the increasing popularity of this method, online payment systems now regularly offer support and functionality for accepting mobile payments.
Your clients must be made aware that they carried out a successful purchase as soon as possible, and a capable online payment system will facilitate this. Immediately upon completion, the client receives a confirmation email that includes their order number, purchased product/service information, payment details, delivery information, and your refund/returns policy. Sometimes, there’s even an option to send an accompanying text message.
Billing and invoicing
Automation of billing and invoicing is an important feature in every payment system, allowing a service-providing business to get paid more quickly. Not having to worry about this part of your operations saves you a lot of time and resources, allowing you to devote attention to other important things.
Once you and the client agree upon the estimate and/or the service is provided, a good payment platform will send your client an invoice. This way, you’ll be able to keep track of both paid and unpaid services.
The top 5 online payment systems
Now that we have the most common features out of the way, let’s take a look at the most popular and straightforward payments systems for clients and businesses alike:
Although its features include payment processing, vcita is not a simple payment gateway. It’s a full payment solution equipped with every payment-related feature a small business needs. Unlike many payment gateways out there, vcita is a full payment solution, equipped with numerous features and extras, including online scheduling, invoice and billing, as well as payment processing.
Thanks to vcita, a business can accept payments via Square, PayPal, and Stripe, making it an ideal solution for small businesses that mainly accept payments online. The platform includes a user-friendly self-service portal where clients can book appointments and pay their invoices at any time, from any device, or at any location.
vcita’s essential features (including payment processing) are available at as little as $19/month when billed annually.
A subscription billing and revenue management SaaS platform, Chargebee offers options to integrate with various payment gateways to collect online payments. Currently, it supports over 30 payment gateways in more than 150 countries around the world.
It facilitates the creation of recurring monthly and yearly payments (not other lengths though), but the feature especially liked by its users is its coupon support. Chargebee also offers billing, invoicing, reporting, as well as simplifies accounting and taxes operations.
The pricing for this provider’s services starts at $249/month, under the annual subscription.
With a partner base ranging from small businesses to major enterprise chains, Elavon provides more than just the card processing capability. Its offering includes scalable payment technologies, ranging from online to contactless payments.
Elavon has two different payment gateway options – Converge and Fusebox, each with its own set of capabilities and catering to a different category of users.
Converge provides payment management and supports a wide range of payment types. Fusebox is mainly targeted at large hotel and restaurant chains, property management companies, and other accommodation and entertainment businesses. It provides them with access to major payment processors, point of sale solutions, and property management software.
If you’re interested in this provider’s pricing, it is available upon inquiry. The pricing structure is quote-based.
A global payment processing service expert, Fibonatix provides businesses with its payment gateway called Paragon and an API that can be customized by in-house developers. This payment gateway supports debit and credit card payments.
It also offers a pay-by-link service that generates payable links for your clients and allows you to track the transactions. With Fibonatix, you’ll also get support for recurring billing, data analytics, and risk management services.
Pricing details are available upon inquiry.
Offering two distinct payment processing options, Authorize.net caters both to businesses with a merchant account and those without one. To achieve this, it offers a separate payment gateway service and an all-in-one payment system that sets you up with both a merchant account and a payment system.
This provider specializes in invoicing, credit card payments, eChecks, as well as contactless payments, protecting the clients’ sensitive data with robust security measures.
Both the gateway service and the all-in-one system start their pricing at $25/month but charge differently per transaction. The former charges 10¢ per transaction or a daily batch fee of 10¢. If you go for the latter, you’ll pay 2.9% + 30¢ per transaction.
Which one will it be?
And there you have it. These are the five choices among today’s online payment systems that are both popular and exceptionally user-friendly. That said, every business has different payment processing needs, so matching these criteria will ultimately decide on which of the five is the most suitable for you.
Whether you need a simple payment gateway or a comprehensive solution that takes care of all of your payment-related needs, this is where you should start your search. Whichever solution you choose, we hope it works out for the best.