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The success of your business relies on more than just inspiration, determination, and perspiration – it also depends on getting paid.  

Accepting ecommerce payment solutions is crucial for businesses selling products or services over the internet. To facilitate this, businesses need a reliable payment service provider (PSP) that offers a range of solutions for accepting payments in real-time. Here are some tips and advice to help you get started in accepting payments online effectively and efficiently: 

  1. Selecting a payment service provider (PSP): Essential features to look out for
  2. Opt for a PSP with robust fraud solutions
  3. Opening an Internet Merchant Account (IMA) for online payments  
  4. Integrating your payment solution
  5. Testing integration and functionality of your online payment system 
  6. Activating your Live Account and accepting card payments online

1. Selecting a payment service provider (PSP): Essential features to look out for

When selecting a Payment Service Provider (PSP) for your business, it's essential to consider certain features that can enhance your payment process and overall experience. 

Diverse Payment Options

Look for an online payment processing solution that offers online solutions for accepting payments via credit and debit cards through an internet web browser. Additionally, consider PSPs that allow you to accept customer payments by mail or phone. Offering multiple payment channels ensures convenience for your customers and maximises your revenue potential. 

Smooth Fund Settlement

Ensure that the PSP can arrange the settlement of customer funds directly into your Internet Merchant Account (IMA). Streamlining this process eliminates unnecessary delays and enables you to access your funds promptly. 

Integrated Reporting and Administration

Choose a PSP that provides integrated reporting and administration functions. This feature will help streamline your operational and accounting processes. With comprehensive reporting tools, you can gain valuable insights into your transaction data, track sales performance, and manage your finances efficiently. 

Reliable Technical Support

Opt for a PSP that offers reliable technical support to address any issues promptly. Look for providers with a dedicated support team that can assist you with any technical difficulties you may encounter. Detailed account management services can also enhance your overall experience, allowing you to focus on growing your business. 

2. Opt for a PSP with robust fraud solutions 

When selecting a Payment Service Provider (PSP), it's important to consider their fraud solutions to provide a secure payment experience for your customers. 

Comprehensive Fraud Protection

A reliable PSP goes beyond payment processing and offers robust fraud solutions. Look for features that protect your business from costly chargebacks and maintain your customers' confidence in your offering. 

Chargeback Prevention

Consider a PSP that provides effective measures to prevent chargebacks. Look for features such as fraud detection algorithms, address verification systems, and card security code checks. These tools can help reduce the risk of fraudulent transactions and protect your business from financial losses. 

Fraud Monitoring and Reporting

Choose a PSP that offers real-time fraud monitoring and reporting capabilities. This allows you to stay informed about any suspicious activities and take immediate action to mitigate potential risks. Timely alerts and detailed reports enable you to identify and address fraudulent transactions promptly. 

Compliance with Security Standards

Ensure that the PSP complies with industry security standards, such as Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). This certification ensures that the PSP follows strict security protocols to safeguard sensitive customer information and prevent data breaches. 

3. Opening an Internet Merchant Account (IMA) for online payments

When it comes to accepting online payments, opening an Internet Merchant Account (IMA) is essential. However, the process may vary depending on your business type and requirements.  

By exploring alternative options like PSPs that offer integrated payment services and IMAs, businesses can find a solution that suits their specific needs, regardless of their trading history or industry niche. This allows for a more convenient and tailored approach to accepting online payments. 

Traditional Bank Requirements

Traditional banks typically require a proven trading record of at least two years to open an IMA. While this may be a straightforward process for established businesses, niche or newer businesses may face challenges in obtaining an IMA from banks due to their specific nature. 

Convenient One-Stop-Shop Solution

To simplify the process, some Payment Service Providers (PSPs) offer the facility to process payments on your behalf, providing both the payment service and the IMA. This one-stop-shop approach makes it more convenient for businesses to start accepting online payments without the need to navigate complex bank requirements. 

4. Integrating your payment solution

When choosing a Payment Service Provider (PSP), it's important to consider the integration options they offer to suit your business needs. A reputable PSP will provide you with a means of integrating the payment solution with your website or, in the case of mail and telephone payments, with your operations and processes. 

The best PSPs will offer you a full range of integration options. For example, it can be a simple payment page that’s hosted and secure, but fully incorporated into your website. Or web services via an API (application programming interface) enabling your developers to build rich and detailed payment functionality into your website, such as delayed transactions, repeat billing, and refunds. 

By selecting a PSP with a variety of integration options, such as a secure payment page or API, and prioritising flexibility and ease of implementation, you can enhance your website's payment functionality and provide a seamless payment experience to your customers. It's essential to choose a PSP that has good payment integration, offering choice and ease of implementation. While the technical aspects may sound complex, an experienced web developer should understand the integration requirements. This allows you to decide what integration method works best for your business, ensuring a smooth and efficient integration process. 

5. Testing integration and functionality of your online payment system

After integrating your website with the payment processing service, it's crucial to conduct thorough testing to ensure everything is functioning correctly. 

Test Transactions with Test Credit Card Details

Once the integration is complete, you can perform test transactions using test credit card details. It's recommended to simulate both valid and invalid payment requests to identify any issues or glitches that may arise. This testing phase should be conducted both before your Internet Merchant Account (IMA) is active and while it's live to catch any potential hiccups. 

Identify and Resolve Issues

Performing multiple test transactions allows you to spot any hiccups or glitches in the payment system. By simulating different scenarios and transaction types, you can identify issues such as incorrect payment calculations, error messages, or unsuccessful transactions. Addressing these issues promptly ensures a smooth payment experience for your customers. 

By conducting thorough testing with test credit card details, both before and during the live phase of your IMA, you can iron out any glitches and ensure that your website and payment system are functioning properly. This process helps to instil confidence in your customers and ensures a seamless payment experience. 

6. Activating your Live Account and accepting card payments online

Once you have completed the testing phase and are satisfied with the integration and functionality of your payment services, it's time to activate your live account and start accepting card payments online. 

Contact your PSP to Go Live

Contact your Payment Service Provider (PSP) and inform them that you are ready to go live. They will initiate the process of activating your account for live transactions. 

PSP Activation Process

Upon receiving your request, the PSP will activate your account, ensuring that you are now able to accept card payments online. This step is crucial as it transitions your payment system from testing mode to live mode. 

Ready to Accept Card Payments

Once your PSP activates your account, you are ready to start accepting card payments online. This means that your website is now fully equipped to securely process transactions from your customers. 

By following these steps and selecting a reliable PSP that offers comprehensive solutions and supports your business's growth, you can ensure a smooth and secure process for accepting payments online. Remember, the final step is to contact your PSP and request the activation of your live account, and then you're all set to start accepting card payments online. 

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