If you run an eCommerce store, one of the major things you have to figure out before hand is how to receive payments. To figure this out, you should know how to integrate credit card payment on website and how to accept credit card payments online.

how to integrate credit card payment on website

To achieve this you need to know the difference between a payment gateway and a merchant account. For example, in Africa, a payment gateway could mean Paystack and a merchant account could mean your business or personal bank account that enables you to receive payment from Paystack.

This is same for others, in Europe or the US for example, PayPal is the prevalent payment gateway and owning a PayPal account is your merchant account. There are also other payment processors or gateways such as VoguePay, Stripe, see Top 10 Payment Processors in the world.

What does a payment gateway help you do?

What these payment processors or gateway help you do is to receive payments on your behalf.

Some payment processors have a merchant account option while others doesn’t. The later simply help you receive a range of payments from other processors, and this is where Paystack is at the moment, as there is really no Paystack to Paystack payment like we have in Paypal or Stripe.

Sometimes such formalities doesn’t matter much, especially when there is an option for bank withdrawals. Many of the reasons people transport money from one paypal account to the other is simply because they cannot withdraw such funds directly to their bank account

So they rather utilize the service of a PayPal exchanger to convert their money from USD to NGN. This has been a pain in the ass of online marketers and eCommerce service agents or companies domiciled in developing economies.

Functions of Payment Gateways

To appreciate the beauty of having to know how to integrate credit card payment on website, you need to properly understand the functions of payment gateways in order to dig right with the most suitable payment processor for your store.

The major functions of payment gateways is to help you bypass the rigors of having always to discuss payment options with your customers.

Just imagine a store like Aliexpress, not having a range of payment options for customers. Each time you go on their site to make purchase as a Nigerian for example, you would need to email the seller and ask for how you can make payment.

Or assuming they already stated that you pay them with Yuan for example, how do you convert your Naira to Yuan?

Maybe you get to your bank and ask for Yuan from their forex department and you know what will become of you?

Apart from the slow bank process and red tape, you will pay higher than the market rate and most of it is that you may likely dump the idea of purchasing that product.

This is how to see it as a seller. Most people will abandon their cart when they don’t see a payment method they are familiar with.

But with a payment Gateway like VoguePay integrated in your website, you necessarily doesnt have to own a Yuan account or a USD account and not even a Euro account but you have these options displayed to buyers each time they want to checkout their cart from your store.

That is the power of payment gateways and how they work.

It is also good to understand that these gateways go on an individual agreement with these payment processors companies. For example, VoguePay could have an individual agreement with Mastercard, Visa, Alipay, PayPal and the rest.

That is why not all payment processors is available to all regions.

Paypal for example is not available to some countries, meaning to integrate Paypal on your website, you may need to do that on an individual level, maybe by implementing the PayPal code on your website after you must have signup on PayPal.

This can be hard for developing countries, nevertheless a step is to open a PayPal account and you can get that sorted here.

So,

To integrate integrate credit card payment on your website, you need to follow certain steps depending on if you are using a payment gateway or integrating your merchant account directly on your website.

Commonly used is a payment gateway such as WooCommerce, Shopify, VoguePay etc. And if you want to know about how to integrate your merchant account directly to your website, you may need to see the documentation of each of the merchant account you want to integrate

how to accept credit card payments online

One thing is that if you are not a developer, you may find content in those links offensive and more reasons to procrastinate starting your eCommerce store.

The Process

To use a payment gateway such as Woocommerce, all you need is to install the Woocommerce plugin in your website and an addon for the specific payment processor you want to use.

If you are running your eCommerce store on WordPress, you will need this WooCommerce plugin and the payment processor plugin that is compatible with WooCommerce such as this VoguePay Plugin for WooCommerce.

Also Read: How to withdraw from PayPal in Nigeria

Let’s Get Started

Choosing the best ways to integrate and accept credit card payments on your website can be quite overwhelming when setting it up. This is the lifeblood of every e-commerce operation and an essential cost for consideration when selling online. If your website is not fully optimized to take online payments, then you have no business. Before checking out credit card integration processes, here are a few things to know.

  • Over one-third of consumers hesitate to buy online due to security concerns.
  • Average businesses lose 5% of annual revenues to fraud, while 50% of small businesses are fraud victims at some point in their business lifecycle.
  • Your businesses’ international expansion can depend on your choice of credit card processor. Common questions arising include – Do international buyers trust your chosen solution? Does that solution work cross-borders?

When you consider things like each provider’s fees and fine prints, including contract terms, you have a hugely complex decision to make. You need to analyze a myriad of factors and how each could affect your business. 

Ensure you do some comparison shopping before deciding on a solution to accept credit card payments. This article will assist you in setting up an online payment solution, providing all the required information you need to find the ideal match for your brand.

Types of Payment Processors

There are three payment processors: merchant account + payment gateway, all-in-one solutions, and simplified credit card processors. Below is an overview of each of them.

Merchant Account + Payment Gateway

The conventional method for accepting credit card payments has been to combine a merchant account and a payment gateway. SecureNet (USA), eWay (Australia and UK), and Authorize.Net (USA) are examples of providers within this category.

Merchant accounts are specialized types of business bank accounts that authorizes the user to accept online payments.

A payment gateway is an online tool that links your store and your merchant service account and responsible for facilitating the processing of payment transactions between the different parties involved, including your bank and the card issuer’s bank. In traditional terms, it is the digital equivalent of POS card swipe machines.

There are fees associated with both the merchant account and payment gateway. However, there are many options out there, with competitive transaction fees or no setup fees.

Payment gateways can also provide higher control over security rules and customization. This may be a better solution for bigger businesses seeking a more tailored solution.

When using a merchant account/payment gateway combination, you will need to apply for both. This usually requires filling out forms and providing a few financial information. Processing these applications span for a few days, so you won’t start accepting payments right away.  Once both applications are approved, you need to connect your merchant account to your gateway and your gateway to your store. This involves the configuration of your store with API keys, shared secrets, and tokens.

All-in-One Solutions

Online services like 2Checkout and PayPal combine a merchant account and payment gateway into a single solution, quickening the setup processes.

They allow you to accept payments from all major credit cards and while often offering favorable transaction rates. Additionally, most of these platforms have zero setup and monthly fees for basic accounts. However, monthly payment is required for added features on some services.

Initially, a potential downside was the lack of a seamless checkout experience. Customers were often redirected off your website to complete payments, depending on which solution you used. This has been fixed as services like PayPal powered by Braintree and One-Touch technology, allows businesses to decide what their customers’ checkout experience is like.

Simplified Credit Card Payment Processor

Payment services like Stripe fall into this category. They are more similar to all-in-one solutions. They are usually integrated seamlessly with your store’s checkout. This implies that shoppers are never redirected away from your website. They are also faster to set up, and you can start accepting various payment methods in minutes. Transaction rates are competitive, and most of them do not have set up and monthly fees.

One thing to constantly remember before choosing a simplified processor is that you won’t get the same level of traditional support compared to the other two payment processor types. However, they are very easy to use, so you may not need it. 

Top Questions You Should Ask a Payment Provider

To obtain the ideal online payment service integration for your website, here are some questions to ask providers to assist you with your decision making.

Are there different fees or rates associated with various types of cards?

Some payment services providers request different rates to process different types of card transactions, including personal, debit, reward, and business cards. There are also different charges associated with different transaction amounts. Make sure you are conscious of exactly how much you are charged per transaction type.

What rates or fees do you charge when I swipe credit cards, enter them manually (key-enter), or accept them online?

To compensate for the risk of fraud, processors charge different rates depending on how you process a payment. Because there is less fraud associated with cards that are physically swiped in a terminal (after all, you check IDs, right?), there is usually a lower rate. If someone calls you to buy something and gives you their phone number, the chance of foul play goes up a bit, as does the processing fee.

Online purchases have the highest incidence of fraud, so payment processors cover their risk by charging a higher rate. Make sure you know what those rates are and then figure out how much of each type of processing you’ll do to get a roughly blended rate.

how to accept credit card payments online

Do you charge a separate fee for your gateway?

It’s pretty common for processors to charge a separate fee for their payment gateway, usually on a per-transaction basis. So, in addition to the standard transaction fee –– say 2.9% + $0.30 –– you’ll pay a gateway fee for each transaction.

When I refund a transaction, do I get back any of the initial fees?

The majority of credit card processors keep all of the fees for return transactions, and may most likely request an additional fee to complete the refund process. This implies that you lose money every time a customer returns a product. Ensure you fully understand how this process works, as it would inform your return policy. Many merchants sidestep this cost by issuing store credit for a returned item, rather than a refund.