Running a retail or E-commerce business is difficult. In addition to inventory management, customer service, and accounting, you need a stable and trustworthy online payment platform. At its heart, the retail business is all about providing goods and collecting payment, making the payment and billing solution you choose one of the biggest factors impacting the success of your business.
When choosing an online payment and billing solution, there are many different things to consider. The per-transaction rate is very important, as this will affect your bottom line. A good platform will also support a variety of payment methods. If specific credit cards aren’t accepted, some customers may choose to shop elsewhere. Good integration with shopping carts and invoicing platforms is a must, as this can help provide customers with a better shopping experience and help with your inventory management. You also need a platform that provides quality customer support to solve any issues that may arise from time to time. For retail stores with a physical location, you also need to consider the point of sale (POS) options that are available.
Every option on this list is a viable choice for an E-commerce or retail shop, each with its own strengths. Differing rate terms, supported payment methods, and available integrations all mean that you need to understand the details of each platform to determine which is most suitable for the needs of your specific business.
A good online payment platform can definitely help streamline your E-commerce or retail business. However, maximizing the potential of your business means optimizing every aspect of your process—not just the payments. For businesses with a high call volume, the virtual receptionists at Smith.ai can be a lifesaver. By taking on the workload of a high call volume, our virtual receptionists free up workers for retail-related tasks. Even an E-commerce site can benefit from this service, as Smith.ai is also able to handle responding to website forms and online messages, saving you time.
2Checkout is able to accept global payments from over 200 countries. This versatility makes them a great fit for E-commerce sites that have international customers. All major payment methods are excepted, as well as many international currencies.
2Checkout offers its own cart platform with a number of integrations supported including Shopify, Magento, and more.
2Checkout also offers plenty of additional functionality for those looking to improve their overall business platform. You have the ability to customize service plans or experiment with various pricing campaigns. They also have services designed to help you maximize your churn prevention, a key to retaining customers and increasing profits.
Helcim is a great platform for both retail stores and E-commerce sites. For retail stores, they offer in-person POS payment methods. For online retailers, they allow you to create your site directly on their platform, which helps keep your payments and site creation conveniently all in one place.
Like 2Checkout, Helcim also allows you to create your own E-commerce site right on their platform. You also have the option of using them solely for payment processing if you choose to use your existing storefront.
Helcim does a great job integrating with the tools you already use. You can add their “pay now” button to any existing invoice to make invoicing easy. They also offer customer management features and can even sync to your Quickbooks Online account to help with accounting.
Payoneer is focused more on the E-commerce side of things. Payoneer services millions of online sellers around the world and is one of the larger companies on this list.
All major payment methods are accepted, and Payoneer also supports many international currencies. They do not provide any POS options for physical retail stores, but their online payment processing system is very stable and easy to use.
The best feature of Payoneer is that they integrate well with Amazon stores. Many Amazon sellers that have an international bank account can find it hard to work with some providers, but Payoneer makes the process painless.
Payoneer works well for E-commerce sites located in the United States, but where they really shine is their support for those who work internationally. They make it easy to manage different currencies, allowing you to transfer between one form of currency to another and pay your suppliers using the currency of their choice.
ProMerchant offers an excellent platform for both physical retail stores and online sellers. They provide POS systems if required and have flexible APIs for E-commerce sites.
ProMerchant can be a great choice for high-volume sellers due to its flat-rate model. The interchange rate is typically lower than what many platforms charge, so paying a flat monthly fee to receive the interchange rate on all transactions can be a great way to save money. All major payment methods are accepted by ProMerchant, but they only work with merchants located in the United States.
There are a number of online cart integrations supported, and you also get the ability to simply add a “buy now” button to your existing website for easy setup. The virtual terminal provided makes it simple to perform “keyed” transactions for customers who wish to pay by phone or email.
There are a lot of additional features provided here, including Quickbooks integration, customer management, and automatic recurring billing.
Square is one of the best-known platforms out there—and for good reason. They work great for both online and brick-and-mortar retail businesses.
Their free plan gives users everything needed to take payments. Additionally, they also have a Plus plan that adds many useful features like automatic purchase orders, inventory management tools, and exchanges. Square works with all major purchase methods to make it easy to accept payments in any form.
Square has POS systems for retailers to swipe cards; they also make it easy for E-commerce businesses to take payments with website creation tools and easy integration. For those looking to expand their online business, they also offer a variety of tools such as SEO optimization and Instagram integration.
Dwolla is a payment API used by millions around the world. Their technology is very scalable, making them suitable for a business that is still growing.
Dwolla is for merchants located in the United States and is set up to work best with E-commerce sites since they do not provide point of sale options. The strength of Dwolla is in their customization features. Their platform is designed to allow users to create an experience tailored to their needs. Nearly any type of payment method is supported, including all major credit cards, ACH payments, and even wire transfers.
Dwolla integrates well with many platforms, including Slack and Quickbooks, making it easy to keep tabs on your business finances.
PayCafe is another payment solution focused solely on E-commerce businesses. Their platform is easily scalable and works well for both small and large businesses.
PayCafe works with all major payment methods; they also boasts a quick and easy setup. You are able to set up one-time, subscription, and invoice payments, making their platform versatile enough for a variety of payment models. Soon, their platform will even support Bitcoin payments, for those looking towards the future.
One of the best features of PayCafe is its dispute management system. Disputed payments can often have a fee associated, but PayCafe’s dispute resolution system can sometimes help respond to these disputes and improve your dispute win rate.
Authorize.net works best for E-commerce platforms, but they do have mobile card reader options that can work for smaller retail locations. If a full POS system is required, they do have partners that can provide a point of sale solution that integrates easily with their platform.
Authorize.net has close ties with Visa, but they also accept all other major credit cards, along with Apple Pay and eChecks. They are also able to provide support for payment by phone and have features like automatic billing. Authorize.net does accept international payments, but the number of countries is limited.
The strength of Authorize.net is in their available integrations. They have partnerships with many other developers and online cart platforms, making it easy to build a payment processing solution that is uniquely tailored for your business.
Payment depot accepts all major payment methods and has a unique pricing scheme that can be beneficial to those who process many transactions each month. Many companies add a percentage charge to each transaction, which can add up to thousands of transactions. However, Payment Depot has a set monthly subscription rate and adds on a small flat rate for each processed transaction. If your business has enough volume, this can help save a lot of money in the long run.
Payment Depot has a few POS systems available, which means they are able to provide retail locations with both POS equipment and payment processing. This is convenient, as it ensures smooth integration of the two.
Stripe is one of the largest online payment providers out there, and they have some of the best functionality to go with their strong payment processing platform. They work equally well for retail or E-commerce businesses.
Stripe accepts all major forms of payment, and they work with almost any cart platform you can think of. They also provide terminals for retailers who need to process in-person payments. In addition to payment processing, they also have tools for invoicing and billing. Stripe accepts over 135 currencies, making them an excellent choice for online businesses that have international customers.
Stripe offers a wide variety of tools to assist your business, including customer management, detailed reporting, and the ability to create your own payment service.
You can see that each platform has its own strengths, making different platforms suitable for businesses with different needs. Do you need to process international payments? Do you need customer management features? Even the different ways of calculating transaction fees may inform your decision, depending on whether or not you have a high or low sales volume.
Almost all of these providers give you the ability to sign up and get a look at the platform before you actually start using their service to process transactions. It’s easy to sign up, check out their features, and see how user-friendly they are. Even giving them a one-month trial comes with minimal risk, as none of the platforms reviewed have an early termination fee. If you find that the platform is difficult to use or is lacking the feature you need, it is fairly easy to make a switch to another provider.
Everyone is familiar with the common saying “time is money.” The logic behind this true statement also tells us that “saving time saves money.” Each employee at your business (including yourself) has a limited amount of time to put into work every day, meaning that every step you can take to minimize the workload means less money spent on labor and more time spent on important work. One area that businesses can save a lot of time is telephone reception and website messaging. The virtual receptionists at Smith.ai can handle this side of the business for you, and 24/7 service means you are able to take calls even after normal work hours. E-commerce retailers can benefit from this service as well. Messages sent to you through your website, or even Facebook, can also be handled for you with instant chat scripts sent to you via email. To learn more about how Smith.ai can help your business, you can schedule a free Live Chat consultation, reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or give us a call at (650) 727-6484.
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