There are many decisions to be made when starting a business. While attorneys like Aaron Kelly who specialize in entrepreneurial law can help guide you through the process of protecting your intellectual property, developing an ecommerce startup business plan, and ensure compliance with online regulations, ultimately the decisions and details are left to you. From choosing a creative company name, developing a marketing strategy that works, designing a professional website and store, and monitoring your online presence, there is a great deal to consider.
Consumers are busier than ever, and nothing is more annoying than a site that is not user-friendly. Be sure that your ecommerce business is set up intuitively, and that there are plenty of options. Enabled by technology, online shopping has been fueled by a new generation of consumers who demand greater convenience, value, and options. An online shopping experience enhanced by personalized ordering, as well as a plethora of payment and delivery options, will leave a positive impression on your customers and encourage them to come back for more.
One of the most important items in this list is also one of the most often overlooked until the final stages of planning: How will you receive and remit payments? If you’re looking to compare payment platforms and solutions for future consumers of your online ecommerce business or need to think about ways to pay the expenses of your company, we can help.
Debit and Credit Card payments. The most common forms of online payment include credit card and debit card payments. Debit cards are often called a bank card or check card, and remain an easy way to pay directly through a draw of cash for purchase directly from a bank account, subsequently transferring those funds to an account held by the seller. Most online merchants will accept both credit and debit card purchases.
PayPal and Bill Me Later. PayPal is an e-commerce payment processing company owned by eBay. Your customers can set up a PayPal account and pay a fee for each cash transaction. Rules and fees vary for currencies used and cash amounts transacted. The PayPal website has an easy, step-by-step sign-on process. Rules of used are spelled out in detail, and many consumers find PayPal an efficient payment portal. Sellers, too, can find ease and effectiveness of use but should be aware of the tips and suggestions for safe selling and buying online.
Bill Me Later is a way to use PayPal and pay for the product or service at a later date without the use of a credit card. Users provide their birthday, the last four digits of their Social Security number and agree to accept the contract terms of the service. Once this process is concluded, the purchase is made, and the bill is sent later. Users are subject to a credit check before being approved.
Electronic Checks and ACH. The electronic check or eCheck is a method of payment that draws cash from a checking account, thus eliminating the paper check and the inconvenience of mailing it. It requires the payer’s name, amount of the payment, the routing number, and the account number. The user must authorize the transfer of funds from his or her bank website to the payee.
An ACH (Automatic Clearing House) is a service that uses an intermediary clearinghouse to settle payments between two banks. ACH credit and ACH debit transactions process quickly. The transfer of funds from one financial institution to another to complete the transaction generally happens next day, and the settlements are usually handled in a batch system. Understanding and comparing the payment solutions is critical to determine which you would prefer to use.
Consider the benefits of Cryptocurrencies. If you’re a forward-thinking entrepreneur like Thomas Zaccagnino, you may want to provide a payment platform that utilizes cryptocurrencies supported by Blockchain technology. Consider this definition provided by Coindesk:
“On the one hand, you have bitcoin-the-token, a snippet of code that represents ownership of a digital concept – sort of like a virtual IOU. On the other hand, you have bitcoin-the-protocol, a distributed network that maintains a ledger of balances of bitcoin-the-token. Both are referred to as ‘bitcoin.’The system enables payments to be sent between users without passing through a central authority, such as a bank or payment gateway. It is created and held electronically. Bitcoins aren’t printed, like dollars or euros – they’re produced by computers all around the world, using free software.”
Bitcoin is not the only cryptocurrency currently available. While it is the oldest and most popular form of digital currency, others include Ethereum, Ripple, DASH, and Litecoin, and they are quickly catching up to Bitcoin in terms of market value and consumer appeal.
What payment options do you prefer as a consumer? Share your thoughts here.