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Payment gateways – do you need one? | Bitlab

Payment gateways – do you need one?

by Esther Tyreman / Website Design

If your company makes money by selling things online, you need to make sure that your customers can make a secure payment. You don’t need to be selling physical goods, a payment gateway is required for selling a subscription or a download. There are a lot of options available when it comes to payment gateways, so which one is best?

You will have undoubtedly used a payment gateway at some point. A payment gateway is a third party application that complies with Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS) and allows the customer to submit their payment information securely, authorise the payment and instructs the customers bank to transfer the money. You can also provide the client with a choice of payment methods.

Decide if you would prefer an on-site or off-site gateway, there are benefits to both, so it depends on what you want from the gateway. An on-site gateway provides a much smoother purchase process for your customers whereas an off-site gateway directs clients away from your website to complete the transaction. The benefit of an off-site gateway is that the responsibility for the security of the payment lies with the gateway provider, taking away some of the pressure to comply with regulations.

One of the most important factors when it comes to using gateways is to ensure that your website is secure. There is only one way to do this, and that is to get an SSL certificate (Secure Sockets Layer). This encrypts all sensitive information that a client enters on your site. Some gateways will charge you more to deposit funds into a business bank account, so you may want to consider opening a merchant account, coincidentally most payment gateway companies offer merchant account services.

At Bitlab, we have previously spoken about how important it is for your website to be mobile friendly, that is also true of your payment gateway. A large proportion of your clients will go to make a purchase on a mobile device, if your gateway isn’t mobile friendly, they will not be able to complete the transaction, and they will most likely abandon their cart.

If you need to implement recurring payments, for example, if you offer a monthly subscription service, then you need to make sure that the payment gateway you choose has the capabilities for this. Similarly, if you provide an international service, you need to ensure the payment gateway can deal with international transactions. It isn’t just the price of the product you need to worry about, if you charge a postage fee or if you are VAT registered then you need the payment gateway to calculate this and add it on to the final bill.

At Bitlab, we know what it takes to create a secure and trustworthy website that will encourage your clients to complete a purchase. We take the time to understand your business so that we can set up the most suitable gateway for you; if you want to discuss your requirements then contact Bitlab on 0191 4350 030, use our contact form or email info@bitlab.co.uk.

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