28 April 2010

9 Key Features of a Competitive Payment Gateway to Serve Your Needs

A good payment gateway features a virtual terminal, provides fast and secure service, includes fraud prevention tools, supports wide range of shopping cart software, accepts different payment forms, features customizable payment forms, allows customer base and transaction viewing and monitoring, offers additional features, and caters to your queries and needs promptly.

In order for your website to accept credit card payments safely and effectively, you need not just any payment gateway.  You need to find one that is reliable, competitive, and one that strives to make your business more efficient and profitable.  Here are the key features of a good payment gateway for your online business:

Features a virtual terminal

A virtual terminal is an online terminal that you can access with your payment gateway.  This allows you to manually process credit card payments, such as for mobile or telephone purchases.  You can also use the virtual terminal if you need to void a processed transaction or issue some returns.

Provides fast and secure service

A good payment gateway provides fast and safe processing of customer's credit card information.  It involves real-time processing of transactions through a secure connection from your shopping cart to credit card processors.

Includes fraud-prevention tools

To  lessen risks of fraudulent transactions, your payment gateway must at least have Address Verification System or AVS that confirms the validity of transaction by comparing the address given by customer to that of the credit card issuer.  Others further include CVV2 system, which makes use of the three-digit number at the back of the credit card.

Supports wide range of shopping cart software

A competitive payment gateway other than NMI gateway, Authorize.Net, and VeriSign, is able to support a wide range of shopping cart software.  Ask your provider what shopping cart software it is compatible with.  Never go for a payment gateway that has restricted compatibility with a few and expensive shopping carts.

Accepts different payment forms

Aside from credit cards, a good payment gateway must also be able to process other payment forms on your website, such as electronic checks (E-Checks), debit cards, and other electronic payment systems.  This will help your website attract more customers with increased payment options they can make use of.

Features customizable payment forms

Although almost all payment gateway services present this feature, your payment gateway must be flexible.  It must allow changes in the fields, colors, fonts, and even logos in your payment forms.

Allows customer base and transaction viewing and monitoring

Some payment gateways allow you as a merchant, to view and monitor customer information as well as transactions.  This can be very helpful when determining customer loyalty and for serving the marketing and promotional needs of your business.

Offers additional features

An exceptional payment gateway must also be able to provide you with other value-added products and services, such as recurring billing, integrated shopping cart, and multiple-user support, among others.  To make their company more attractive, some providers even offer these added services for free.  So when you canvass payment gateway providers, do not forget to ask about added services and features.

Caters to your queries and needs promptly

The quality of service provided will not be complete without customer service support.  In any step of the way, you will be needing the help of your provider for some queries and concerns.  A good payment gateway must be paired with 24/7 customer support that responds to and addresses your needs promptly.

Before you even start canvassing for a prospective payment gateway, it is very important that you know the important features your payment gateway must carry and provide your online business with.  Acceptance of credit cards and other electronic payments is not enough.  What you further need is a competitive payment gateway that will help your online business operate more efficiently and profitably.

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