One of the most overlooked or misunderstood aspects around starting your own business is payments. The payment industry can be convoluted and confusing. You are stretched thin enough as it is, and becoming an overnight expert in payments isn’t on the schedule.
Payments shouldn’t be confusing. We are here to help!
Here is what you need to know about payments:
Where are you going to accept payments?
There are many ways to accept payments, such as online, in-person, in-app, or through phone and mail orders. You could also have a subscription business, like a gym or monthly mail out, where you would need recurring billing.
Maybe you need all 5! Who knows, either way, the way you want to accept payments will start you down the yellow brick road.
What are you customers going to be paying with?
Once you know how you are going to accept payments, you need to know what type of payment you should accept. Options range from traditional credit cards (but which ones?) to debit and even e-wallet (like Apple Pay). If you’re unsure, your buyer’s persona can help set you on the right path.
Source: Bank of Canada Review – Spring 2015
When you select your payment solution, make sure that they can enable you to accept the payment types that matter most to your customers.
What standards will you held to?
By processing non-cash payments, you are held to a certain set of standards to ensure your customer’s payment information is kept safe. There are four different levels of PCI-Compliance each holding you to different standards.
Source: PCI Compliance Guide
When you select your payment provider or bank, they will be able to help you navigate the PCI terrain. And it’s always a good idea to select a payment provider that adheres to the highest level (Level 1) of PCI compliance.
Whether you are strictly brick-and-mortar, or if you have an online e-commerce site, you will need to decide who you are going to use to accept payments from your customers.
There are many point of sale (POS) options out there, with varying per transaction fees, contracts, and payment types accepted. For e-commerce businesses, remember that having a website and a shopping cart is only part of the equation. You also have to select the payment provider to enable the receipt of payments.
Again, every provider has a slightly different offering, from payment types offered, to settlement time, interchange rates, and contracts. As you are just getting started, we recommend choosing a provider with excellent customer service, so they can help walk you through the setup and answer questions as they arise (which they will!)
Starting your own business is an exciting adventure. For more resources on understanding the payments industry check out our Payments 101, the ABC of Payments, and our Payments Explained blog series!
We can be Your Partner In Payments! Let us help you today!