Despite the emergence of new payment avenues, credit cards remain a popular method among internet shoppers.
But what are a startup, mid-sized, or established company’s options when looking to set up card payments?
Your 2 Credit Card Acceptance Options
- Merchant account & Gateway Service
- All-inclusive solutions
Merchant Account & Gateway Service
The old-school method of taking credit cards involves combining a merchant account and payment gateway.
Merchant accounts are a form of account that temporarily holds a store’s credit card payments before they are forwarded to a business bank account.
Meanwhile, the online gateway service links your e-shop and merchant account while enabling transactions by connecting the various parties, i.e., your merchant (or acquiring) bank and issuing (or the card issuer’s) bank.
Both merchant account and virtual payment gateway services come at a cost. But you can explore the numerous options and strike a better deal, e.g., with providers charging cheaper transaction fees or setting up accounts for free.
- Better authority over payment security policies
- You customize your payment journey with APIs
- You enjoy unswerving support from your service providers
- You must apply for a separate merchant account and payment gateway then configure the two.
- Applications last 2-3 days
This arrangement may be complicated for a startup but is well suited for an established company that needs to customize its platform for a diverse audience.
All-inclusive solutions like PayPal Commerce merge a business account and payment gateway into a complete solution.
Bundling these services into one simplifies the setup process and can get a merchant up and running in 2 to 3 days hence perfect for startups and microbusinesses.
Most platforms that follow this approach allow you to take primary credit & debit cards and have a less-strenuous pricing model.
Furthermore, they don’t require account setup or per-month charges for basic accounts. However, some still charge a monthly fee for their premium services.
- Payment Account and Gateway Service merged into one; hence no need to sign up for separate accounts.
- Simple, stress-free setup
- Partnerships with One-touch tech from Braintree now enable merchants to customize the PayPal payment experience for their audiences.
- These solutions may be popular but not a staple for everyone, so you must combine them with another alternative to appeal to a larger group.
The Bottom line
Both options have their pros and challenges. It’s best to decide based on your business’s size and needs.
Payment industry guru Taylor Cole is a passionate payments expert from bestpaymentproviders.co.uk who understands the complex world of merchant accounts. He also writes non-fiction on subjects ranging from personal finance to stocks to cryptopay. He enjoys eating pie with ice cream on his backyard porch, as should all right-thinking people.