Whether you’re new to accepting credit card payments or you’re looking to switch your provider, trying to find a reputable and reliable payment gateway can be a hassle.
There are a ton of options out there, and it can be overwhelming to try and assess each and every one to see if it’s a good fit for your company.
How can you find the best payment gateway for your business?
There are a few telltale signs that will indicate whether or not a payment gateway is worth your time and money. Here are the four key features to look for in a payment gateway:
1. Strong security
Accepting credit card payments means that you have to deal with safely storing or transferring sensitive customer data. And if something goes wrong, there’s a good chance you’ll be held liable. If a data breach occurs, you may have to pay hefty fines, sustain damage to your reputation, and lose the trust and respect of your customers. Nothing could be worse.
So secure your business and your customers’ data with a payment gateway that won’t let you down. Look for secure data storage methods such as encryption and tokenization, which will prevent any hackers from getting their hands on valuable data. And of course, search for a payment gateway that’s fully PCI compliant and adheres to the Data Security Standard. Anything less will not be worth your investment.
2. 24/7 support
When you accept credit cards, you need an around-the-clock team to help you with crises and problems that can emerge even at the latest hours. You don’t want to be stuck dealing with an irate customer at 1:00 a.m. on a Saturday without any hope of reaching support staff. So when searching for a payment gateway, ensure that you’ll be able to access the support and assistance you need, whenever you need it. Look for in-house teams located in the U.S. to get the best quality of customer service.
3. Tools and features
The best payment gateways incorporate powerful tools to help you quickly assess and analyze your credit card sales and manage transactions.
Look for robust search functions that let you sift through transactions with criteria like time, date, dollar amount, or the last four digits of the card. And take advantage of payment gateways that allow you to release funds for next-day funding, quickly issue credits and voids, generate customizable reports, and view an unlimited batch history. With powerful tools and a great user experience, your payment gateway has the potential to streamline your business and help bolster the bottom line.
Some businesses accept credit card payments over the phone, while others use an eCommerce shopping cart or physical terminal machine. A good payment gateway should be flexible enough to adapt to every situation you can throw at it. And, as a bonus, some payment gateways feature ERP/accounting software integrations that allow you to accept credit cards directly within the native environment of commonly used ERPs like QuickBooks, Sage 100, or Microsoft Dynamics GP. Whatever your methods for accepting credit cards, make sure the payment gateway you choose is flexible enough to accommodate you and adapt to your growing needs in the future.
Though finding a payment gateway can be a difficult task, all the research and comparison will be worth it in the end. Finding a stellar payment gateway can make all the difference, and you’ll feel the benefits every day. A great payment gateway will become a trusted partner, while a mediocre payment gateway can drag you down, wasting time and energy.
So follow these guidelines for the four key features to look for in a payment gateway, put in the effort, and you’ll be rewarded with a payment gateway that fits your needs and amplifies your credit card processing experience.