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E-commerce Essentials

Leading card payment gateway provider, CardPAYGO explains how to get the most out of your e-commerce strategy…

No matter how great your e-commerce store may look and function, achieving success in your online endeavour really depends on how well your products are being sold to your customers. And to sell products, you’ll first have to win the trust of your site visitors. A payment gateway is a powerful tool that helps to reassure visitors of your store about your trustworthiness.

In essence, a payment gateway is an e-commerce service that allows merchants to accept credit card and other forms of Internet transactions, securely via your website. Remember, if the payment options on your e-store aren’t set up in the right manner, you could suffer a loss of orders placed on your store. This means you’ll experience a significant drop in sales, because of unsatisfied customers. Implementing the right payment gateways, however, can prove the key to ensuring long-term success of your online business.

Since not all the payment gateways function in the same manner, it’s crucial to make the right choice. Below are a few factors you should consider, when deciding on which payment gateway you should choose:

• Check out the transition fees associated with a payment gateway.

• Make sure that it falls withing your budget.

• Evaluate whether the payment gateway requires you to go through a sign-up process. If yes, then it’s better to avoid such payment gateways.

• Look out for whether the payment gateway comes with multi-currency support, especially when you want to expand your online business globally.

• In order to know what products (digital or physical) you can sell, check out the terms and conditions of the payment gateways…

• That’s because some may only allow selling physical goods.

• Check out whether your payment gateway accepts credit card, debit card and PayPal payments.

• Make sure that the payment gateway does not require your users

to fill up unnecessary fields and so on.

The Future for Card Payments

Biometrics, contactless payments and wearable tech are among the technologies that will transform the way we pay in 2017, spelling the beginning of the end of cash.

Biometric data will begin to replace your PIN

Biometrics have enjoyed explosive growth in Asia and it won’t be long before it becomes the norm in Britain where novelty, combined with increased security benefits, mean it will have instant appeal. Security isn’t the only plus however with some retailers already using it to learn more about their customers to provide better service. All it will take is the adoption by one major bank or retailer to reach the tipping point.

Wearable tech will become a reality

Few companies are better than Apple and Google at bringing emerging technologies to the masses and the launch of the Apple Watch and then Google Wear will make wearable tech a reality in 2015. Other brands will swiftly follow suit and, with the market in wearable technology expected to be worth up to $50 billion by 2019, the benefits will soon be felt by both consumers and businesses alike.

Chinese payment providers come of age

One rarely discussed aspect of China’s rise as a global powerhouse is the growth of payment providers such as UnionPay, Alipay and TenPay. The first of these alone has over 3.5 billion cards in circulation and, as China continues to grow and its citizens travel the world (7 million Chinese tourists set to visit Europe alone this year) the influence of these companies will grow with it, making them a viable payment method to rival their more established Western competitors.

Contactless will leave cash in the shade

We’ve seen a rise of over 150% in contactless transactions over the last six months and it’s a trend that isn’t slowing down. In businesses with lots of transactions and where queues can build up quickly contactless is already considered a no-brainer and, with the limit on payments increasing to £30 next year, 2015 could be when contactless becomes second nature for British consumers.

Smartphones will begin to replace your wallet

With the number of smartphones worldwide predicted to grow to 5.6 billion by 2019 the only surprise is they have taken this long to impact upon the world of payments. Transactions through mobile digital wallets will reach $1.5 trillion by 2017 and the use of Near Field Communication in mobile phones, in particular, Apple Pay and Google Wallet will be instrumental in this growth.

Top Tips for International E-Commerce

• Seize the opportunity. Most companies are ready to export a long time before they feel they’re ready. The UK is one of the world’s most advanced e-commerce economies in terms of the brands, service and facilities we have online. Our businesses are truly world class; consumers globally recognise that and shop on UK sites as a result.

• Look at which countries customers visiting your domestic website are coming from, it will give you a good idea of which countries to prioritise initially.

• Don’t narrow your target audience too much. For example, we know that 81% of SMEs on eBay export to five or more countries and much of that international trade is from buyers around the world visiting the merchant’s domestic store.

• Ensure you accept international payment methods. If customers can’t pay for goods… they won’t buy from you!

• Getting shipping right. Consumers are looking for speedy (3-5  day delivery in EU, 10-14 days in rest of world), low cost, and reliable shipping services. In some countries (e.g. the US)  tracking is also considered to be the retail standard. Many good merchants offer the customer a choice of shipping service: one cheap, untracked service and one tracked, fast but more expensive service.

• Once you’ve built up an international business from customers visiting your domestic site, consider translating your products into other languages.

• On average your best selling products domestically will be your best selling products internationally, so focus on those first.

• Minimise your upfront investment whilst you test and learn which markets and products are going to maximise profits for you. Test as many countries with as many products/propositions as you can to find the right combination for you before committing to any significant investment.

• Don’t forget about your home market: offering free shipping domestically will have a significant impact on conversion rates and sales growth.

E-Commerce Security

Use SSL certificates and ensure PCI compliance

The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is a set of standards that the credit and debit card industry has set for merchants who process card payments. In order to be in compliant, you need to guarantee protection for cardholder data and implement strong access control measures, among other things.

Even if you are using payment gateways, you’ll be handling customer data and should ensure PCI compliance. The same goes for using Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) authentication which is a must

to ensure secure communication between your customers and your server. Your customers are putting a great deal of trust in any transactions they undertake on your website, so ensuring that every web page on your site that deals with secure data is SSL certified and your payment gateway is PCI compliant, is the minimum you can do to protect customers.

Don’t hang on to customer data

Under most circumstances, there is no need to hold onto thousands of records on your customers, especially when it comes to credit card numbers, CVV2 numbers and expiration dates. In fact, under PCI standards, it’s forbidden.

Security experts say you should regularly purge old customer records and keep a small amount of data on your servers to process refunds and charge-backs. For email and marketing campaigns you’ll want a record of names, emails, phone numbers, and perhaps addresses of your customers, but you need to think carefully about what and how much data you do store considering the risk you are putting your customers under.

CardPayGo is a trusted Online Payment Gateway provider, our customers have peace of mind in knowing our highest level of security delivers each and every transaction to their bank account safely.

We offer the most advanced and secure Level 1 PCI:DSS compliant online payment processing to merchants and cardholders. Our Online Payment Gateway is highly flexible and can be integrated easily into numerous shopping cart systems. From startups to global corporations and charities, we have the online payment solution for your needs. Start accepting debit and credit card payments online and over the phone with our guaranteed lowest rates here! 

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