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ARTICLE PaymentsMarch 17, 2014

Are you ready to implement a payment gateway for online sales?

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While many online businesses are familiar with third-party payment processors like PayPal, as your business starts to grow, at what point should you start thinking about having your own payment gateway?

As an e-commerce retailer, secure and efficient online payments are at the heart of your business. While a “middleman” solution like PayPal may have worked when you started out, as your transaction volumes grow, a payment gateway can offer a more cost-effective solution, as well as a host of other benefits for your business.

So, how will you know when your business is ready for a payment gateway?

Angelo Triandos, National E-commerce Manager at SecurePay, explains what you need to know.

What is a payment gateway and what does it do for a business?

"A payment gateway is a secure connection between an online business, card providers and banks. It allows a business to accept payments online, over the phone and via direct entry (recurring electronic debit and credit payments).

"Having a payment gateway in place ensures that customers’ banking details are transmitted securely when they transact with your e-commerce store. The business does not have direct access to a customer’s credit card and debit card details, which gives customers peace of mind and helps to reduce business risk."

SecurePay's Angelo Triandos.

Many small e-commerce businesses are comfortable using a middleman payment solution. Why should they think about moving to a payment gateway?

"From a merchant’s perspective, it’s about providing more payment choices to online customers. If you have a payment gateway, customers can pay you directly, rather than having to register with an intermediary. This removes one potential barrier to purchase. You may also find that the costs per transaction are lower with a payment gateway.

"Then, there are additional business benefits, like simpler bank reconciliations and cash flow management, as you can log in and check the status of transactions and orders.

"A payment gateway provides more flexibility. You can manage payments from anywhere in the world by simply logging into a dedicated administration portal via a mobile, tablet or laptop."

Does a business need to be doing a large number of transactions or high-value sales to make the move?

"No – as long as it is serious about its online presence and its ability to take payments in a safe and trusted way, a business of any size can implement a payment gateway.

"There are no minimum transaction requirements. Transaction fees vary according to the volumes the business anticipates. When you are doing very low volumes, the starting point is around 45 cents per transaction. As volumes grow, this fee can be further reduced."

"If you have a payment gateway, customers can pay you directly, rather than having to register with an intermediary."

Angelo Triandos, SecurePay

Are there other payment gateway set-up costs?

"The costs depend on the payment plan that you choose. Some plans have an annual fee, while others just charge per transaction, and you can select pay-as-you-go plans and just pay for the transactions you process, or select a prepaid plan if you know roughly how many transactions your business usually processes."

How does a business go about setting up a payment gateway?

"A merchant must set up an internet merchant account, which is similar to a bricks-and-mortar store having to have a physical EFTPOS terminal. The payment gateway can then be integrated with the internet merchant account and most of the mainstream shopping carts your site might be using for e-commerce. As long as the shopping cart is compatible and the internet merchant account has been set up, the process is straightforward."

How long does it take to get up and running?

"Once you have an internet merchant account, you complete an application form and the payment gateway can be activated within 48 hours."

What are the features of the SecurePay payment gateway?

"SecurePay is recognised as one of the most sophisticated payment technologies available in the Asia-Pacific region. This allows it to cater to business of all sizes, from small start-ups to large enterprises. All e-commerce businesses can benefit from the technology SecurePay uses.

"SecurePay accepts all kinds of card schemes, including Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Diners Club and JCB. PayPal is also available as a payment option, giving customers even more choice and flexibility.

"The SecurePay gateway also features robust security, through FraudGuard . This is SecurePay’s most popular fraud screening and prevention tool, which was built to combat the most common fraud scenarios."

Once a business chooses SecurePay, what support is available to them?

"We have a dedicated support team, based in Australia, to help businesses with any enquiries. Our support team is there to ensure there is service continuity, to make our customers’ lives easier and to help them get the most out of the features a SecurePay payment gateway offers."

How long is a business tied into a SecurePay payment gateway contract?

"Generally, the restrictions are minimal once a payment gateway is implemented. If the payment gateway isn’t working for a business, then a 30-day notice period is all that is required."

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