E-commerce has been around for quite a while since the early days of the Internet.  It has come a long way since and now there are many options for businesses in all stages of their development. As the online commerce has evolved, more affordable solutions are now available for startup businesses that don’t create a roadblock for these smaller entities in being able to take payments online where their initial sales volume tends to be small.  However, no matter the size of the business or the volume of the sales

When looking for your online payment processing solution, you should first (this goes without saying really) understand your business model and business processes.  Once you have this understanding down, then you can pick a solution that will work well to support your model and processes.  So what are the top 3 things you should consider when picking a payment processing solution?

1) Customer Service

This is first and foremost because your money is the lifeline to your business and anything that gets in the way of you collecting your money cannot be tolerated.  If you are in the middle of a promotion, or are on the road and need assistance, you can’t afford to use a service that will get back to you within 24 hrs.  You need a resolution now because every hr delay is costing you money.

Your payment processing service provider should have 24 hr customer support and have someone you can at the very least live chat with.  It is preferable to have phone service if you are someplace where you don’t have access to your computer.  Again, this will depend upon your business model.  If you are always at your computer, or in the ‘office’, live chat may be sufficient.  If you are always on the road and sell a lot of your products via speaking engagements, then you may require phone support.


2) Comprehensive Fraud Control

Again, this is about keeping your money where it belongs… With you!  With the level of identity theft you can’t always be sure a transaction is authentic or not.  You want a system that has a good set of prevention measures in control so you are able to keep your cash with you.  One important feature to be sure to ask for from your merchant processor is to set up “red flag” purchases, or purchases that are outside of your normal purchasing charge pattern.  These can be set up based on transaction amount, or geographical area to keep fraudulent purchases to a minimum.


3) Flexibility in transaction volume

If your business has a lot of products or runs promotions on a regular basis, you don’t want to to tun the risk of having your payment processing account shut down, or your money held back due to a sudden increase in sales.  I have actually known a few organizations this has happened to when they sold tickets to their own event.  The money in their account was frozen and they couldn’t get access to it.  It took them about 2 months to get their money released.  If they were depending upon  that money to keep their business afloat, then they would have been in some serious financial trouble!

When choosing an online payment processing solution, make sure you find one that fits with your business model and processes and reduces the time it takes for you to get to the money you have worked so hard to get.