The art of mastering ecommerce payment gateways

Payment gateways are such a crucial part of the customer journey that you can’t afford to take a ‘hit and miss’ approach. It doesn’t matter what you sell, if your payment gateway isn’t working effectively you could risk driving your customers away.

Ultimately a low-cost solution could end up forcing your customers away with an unpleasant checkout experience. As much as aesthetics and user experience count for these days, your payment gateway is essentially the ‘gateway’ between a sale and an unhappy customer.

So here’s a little something to help you avoid payment gateway pitfalls:

What is a payment gateway?

A payment gateway is essentially the middle man between the merchant and the customer, it works to authorise the payment through transferring key information between your website and the bank.

Payment gateways also have a myriad of helpful features from data security and fraud detection to saving customer profiles for speedier payment processing.

With the rise of digital technologies, it is imperative to provide some sort of online payment.

The fight between Hosting vs Integration

Whilst payment gateways can work silently in the background, individually processing thousands of transactions, the choice between hosted or integrated solutions could make the world of difference.

Hosted payment gateways are simply hosted on another site, customers are taken to another website to enter their payment details and then returned. Whilst this takes the pressure of data security off your back, it can cause a bumpy checkout experience.

Integrated payment gateways may be more hassle to set up but allow for the checkout experience to happen in one place. An integrated solution allows your customers to enter their details on your site, which then is collected and sent to the bank via an API.

Security is a must

“7/10 consumers make payment decisions based on which payment method is most secure.”

If you’re asking your customers to enter sensitive data on your website, it’s your job to make sure it’s safe. With the rise in popularity of ecommerce platforms also comes the rise of cyber criminals.

So, it begs the question; what makes a payment gateway secure?

The most common of them all is the use of SSL to encrypt sensitive data along with PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards). From anti-fraud tools to address verification, make sure you protect your customers data.

Unrivalled customer experience

User experience is the deciding factor for customers.

The rules apply to ecommerce payment gateways just as they do for websites and applications. One of the best ways to ensure a good experience for your customers is minimising the number of steps to reach the end goal. If there’s one thing that customers appreciate, it’s an efficient process.

Another important thing to mention is that they are reassured about the security of their data, this will help make sure they don’t click off in the middle of a purchase.

Conclusion

Everything has shifted towards digital, so why should payment processes be any different?

Payment is a very important step in the customer journey and therefore should produce both a seamless and secure experience.

If you’ve adopted a poor payment gateway, you could be losing out to your competitors, find a superior solution and climb back on top.