If you’re researching how to accept credit card payments online, you might have the same concerns as lots of other small business owners and sole traders:
E-commerce platforms and payment gateways can be complicated to set up. As a sole trader or small business owner, you probably take care of a lot of business-related tasks yourself. This means you might not feel very confident with particularly techy stuff and want a solution that’s simple to set up.
It can take a while to get set up to take card payments online. The longer it takes, the more likely you are to lose sales or put off setting up online card payments for when you have more time.
Methods of taking payment online can be expensive and would reduce your profits.
Customers are concerned about security and professionalism, particularly online where there are so many scams.
What you need is a secure solution for taking card payments online that’s easy to use and that you can get up and running fast.
Let’s take a look at the available options.
Note: looking to get started and accept credit card payments right away? Download the Parpera App to accept QR code payments and send payment links!
How to accept credit card payments online
There are three solutions that allow you to accept credit card payments online:
How to take online credit card payments with Parpera
One quick and easy way of taking credit card payments online is to use a Parpera payment link.
With a payment link, you simply send the link to your customers and they can add their details or complete a payment (either in person or online). You can also add the payment link to a button on your website to make the process even more seamless.
You can use this versatile payment method online and in person. The only charge is a monthly membership fee to access the Parpera App and a payment gateway processing fee of 2.25% + $0.30 for domestic cards and 3.4% + $0.30 for international cards when you take a payment.
Let’s take a look at how to do this, step by step.
Your customer then visits the payment page, where they tap the button to pay. They can enter their card details or pay with Google Pay or Apple Pay if they use a device that supports this
When your customer has paid, you’ll both get an email receipt, and Stripe will pay out the funds to your account in line with its processing times.
Currently, the first payment takes 7-14 days, and after that, funds take two business days to become available, although payouts on cleared funds are available daily.
Take credit card payments online with a payment gateway provider
You could also choose to use a payment gateway provider to take online credit card payments.
When someone makes a card payment online, the transaction goes through multiple players before hitting your bank account: the issuing bank, the acquiring bank and the card scheme.
The payment gateway makes sure this happens smoothly and also tells you if the payment is approved or declined.
The pros and cons of using a payment gateway provider are:
Payment gateways are secure.
They offer a certain level of compliance, called the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, or PCI DSS, which is designed to protect credit and debit card transactions from data theft and fraud, like chargebacks that aren't genuine.
Many are quite flexible so that you can adapt them to your payment service needs.
Some offer technical support.
There are many providers offering different options for taking online payments, so it can be tricky to know if you’re choosing the best solution for your business.
They can be complex to set up.
They’re often best suited to tech-minded business owners, as you need to make sure the one you choose is compatible with both the way your website works and how it looks.
Some payment processors are quite basic in what they offer and don't allow returns or repeat payments for example.
Some offer a more DIY approach, which means they aren’t all able to walk you through the set-up process.
They often charge multiple fees, such as a set-up fee, monthly fees, and then a payment processing fee too.
Here are the main features of some of the most popular payment gateway providers in Australia:
Has a global reach
Offers popular payment methods
Level 1 PCI compliant service provider
Built to scale as your business grows
One easy integration
Optimised for web and mobile
Flat-rate transaction fee for both domestic and international credit card processing
Free fraud protection
Bank-level encryption and payment methods
Level 1 PCI DSS compliant
Simple and accessible tools
Payments deposited in 1-3 business days, subject to approval
24/7 technical support
Suitable for small and large businesses
Offers global coverage
Built to scale as your business grows
Multiple options available to suit a variety of business types, with varying degrees of complexity
PayPal Checkout allows you to accept debit and credit cards, PayPal, and 10+ alternative payment methods in over 100 currencies from 200+ markets around the world
Recurring payments and subscriptions
Easily sell on social media
Multiple payment options for customers
No contract or bank details needed
Dynamic 3D Secure authentication
Automated dispute handling
24/7 email, chat and phone support
Take credit card payments online with an ecommerce platform
The third option for taking online card payments is to use an ecommerce platform, which includes a website and payment processing all in one. Examples of e-commerce platforms include Square, Squarespace and Shopify. Some will also offer you a point-of-sale (POS) virtual terminal if you’re hoping to take in-person payments.
The major advantage of using an e-commerce platform for your website and payments is one provider takes care of everything. This makes things a lot easier for you and means you don’t have to worry about integrating different tools or trying to fix bugs if things don’t work seamlessly together.
There are a few disadvantages, too:
Takes time to set up: You’ll be setting up a website from scratch. E-commerce platforms generally have templates you can use, but if you already have a website you want to take payments with, it's a waste of time to create a brand new site.
Can be complicated: Unless you’re already familiar with the e-commerce platform you choose, you need to learn a new system, which can be tricky, and, again is time-consuming.
Not the cheapest option: A limited e-commerce site is available for free with Square, but for more customisation options, you’re looking at $15 per month, billed annually. For Squarespace, the monthly cost (if you pay annually) is $25, but for more flexibility and options, you’ll need the next plan up, which is $34. Shopify costs $26 per month when billed annually.
What do you need to accept credit card payments online?
Now you know your options for taking card payments online, let’s look at the specifics of what you need to get up and running.
What you need with Parpera:
The Parpera App, which you can set up and have ready to use in a few quick steps.
What you need if you decide to use a payment gateway:
An account with the payment provider of your choice.
If the payment gateway provider doesn’t include an account to store the money taken by card payments, you’ll also need an Australian merchant account. Most online payment gateway providers include an account, but if you choose a provider that doesn’t and you need to open a merchant account with a bank, bear in mind that this can be a difficult and slow process when starting out.
A business bank account to transfer the money from the merchant account.
A website featuring your products or services.
What you need if you decide to choose an e-commerce platform:
A business bank account to transfer and receive money from the platform
What else do you get with Parpera?
Parpera doesn’t just offer you the ability to quickly and easily take credit card payments online – you can also get paid instantly in person with QR code payments and create and manage invoices in the app.
Get paid in person instantly with QR code payments
QR code payments allow you to take card payments in person when you need to – at any time and anywhere.
They’re a quick and easy option, both for you to set up and for the customer who’s paying. Just create a payment link using the process above, and then your customer can scan the QR code and pay instantly. Read more about this payment solution in our article: QR code payments: how to set them up and why you’d want to.
Using QR code payments eliminates concerns about losing sales due to customers not having cash or being unable to take payments due to an unreliable card terminal.
Plus, they’re encrypted so they’re very secure which means you don’t need to process any customer data. And QR codes are a technology people are familiar with, which is another reassuring point for your customers.
Easy in-app invoicing
Another feature of the Parpera App is creating a professional-looking invoice in just a few clicks.
It’s simple to create and send an invoice to a client which means you won’t be left wondering which invoice template to use. Plus, you can use existing information to prepopulate future invoices, saving you time and cutting down possible mistakes from typing details multiple times.
It’s also easy to see which invoices have been paid and which are still unpaid with the mobile app’s auto reconciliation feature.
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