Think of the Customer with Payment Processors

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Of all the things that should be simple, why is it accepting customer payments has become so frustrating? If you run a brick and mortar storefront, cash only makes things super easy for you but a horrid announce for your customers. If you run an online only business then e-commerce pretty much requires a credit card processing tool, but processing platforms or “gateways” abound with varying different transaction and services fees. Finally, if you run a hybrid online-and-physical-storefront business you have added headache of adding card, cheaper, and NFC readers into your payment processing juggling act.

Before you go any further, no there is not an easy one-size-fits all solution. Why not? Well look no further than Des Moines based payment start-up Dwolla who after six years of processing consumer payments for businesses killed its public app, deciding instead to focus its efforts on business payment solutions. Dwolla was not only a proud Iowa startup, it was a nationally publicize tech darling. Why did it retcon it’s image? Most likely because as hard as it is for your business to find a tool that fits your needs, consumers are much more fickle when it comes to adopting payment solutions.

As fun as it is adopt the newest and flashiest technology in nearly every field, in the financial world consumers are wary of giving away the reins to their fiscal identity to a product they don’t trust. It was well into the 2000s before the majority of consumers were comfortable punching their credit card numbers into online payment processors. Consumer confidence in payment processors is so low, if a customer encounters a payment tool they don’t know, or aren’t comfortable with, one-in-two will walk away from the purchase.

So if aren’t willing to lose half your sales the best advice for payment processing is offering buyers the kitchen sink. Amazon Pay, Google Checkout, PayPal, Square, Stripe -all of these online processors offer payment tools localized to your website with no monthly fees and low-transaction pricing. Of course each service has different transaction fee costs with some using graduated fee levels based on transaction amount, but if you’re ultimate goal is making the sale than offering a branded processor your customer is comfortable with should be your ultimate goal.

For in-person sales PayPal or Square have built longstanding customer buy-in with their point-of-sale tools, and both companies give away their hardware. No online payment processor is more well established than Amazon, with Google coming in a close second. So rather than agonizing over the 2.9% fee per transaction with Amazon or the $5 per month advanced payment  option on PayPal think of what your customer will do once then head to checkout. Your customer’s payment should be about ease of use for them, not saving a few .3% for you.

Patrick Boberg is a central Iowa creative media specialist. For more tech insights, follow him on Twitter @PatBoBomb


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