How to accept credit cards online

By | Sunday, March 7, 2021

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  • 6 Payment Processors to Accept Credit Cards Online
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  • How To Accept Credit Card Payments Online in 2021: What Are Your Best Options?
  • The Complete Guide To Processing Payments Online: Website Credit Card Processing, Invoices, & More
  • 6 Payment Processors to Accept Credit Cards Online

    The first step in accepting credit card payments online is choosing a payment processor. Look for competitive processing fees and a solution that is compatible with your website or ecommerce platform.

    Answer a few questions about your business and we'll give you personalized product match. To accept credit card payments online, you need a tool to collect customer data and a way to process the payments. Most ecommerce businesses do this through a website. Depending on your hosting service and platform, you will have different payment options available. All of the solutions on our list include at least merchant services and a payment gateway. For example, Payment Depot, PayPal, and Fattmerchant all offer payment gateways in addition to merchant services.

    Many also offer tools to build a website. For example, Square has tools to build an online store or checkout page. Meanwhile, Shopify lets businesses create a full ecommerce site. A few of the providers, like PayPal, Square, and Fattmerchant, also offer user-friendly invoicing tools to accept payments through email invoices. Below, we walk through the specific online payment features of each provider and how to use them to accept payments online. Square is great for businesses that want to accept credit cards online because it is free and fast to set up.

    Plus, Square has affordable processing fees for new businesses and a free point-of-sale POS system for accepting in-person payments.

    Square is the best fit for small and startup businesses that want a solution that has no monthly fee, minimum transaction requirements, or an application process. Visit Square. Square makes it easy for small businesses to accept payments online by offering a few different solutions, all with no contract. Businesses can create a free website through Square, connect Square payments to one of their ecommerce partners like WooCommerce, BigCommerce, and Wix, or use Square application programming interfaces APIs to add Square Checkout to your custom website.

    Source: Square. Square is a top-rated all-in-one payment processing and point-of-sale system for many reasons. Square gives businesses a variety of transaction options and a suite of business management features. Square can also be used to send and process online invoices and recurring payments, as well as phone or mail orders through its virtual terminal.

    Read our full Square Payment review for more details on pricing and features. PayPal offers a processing solution for businesses to accept credit cards online, in-store, and via mobile. PayPal is great for online sellers because, in addition to traditional credit card payments, it also allows businesses to accept PayPal payments, which can increase overall sales by giving your business a higher conversion rate. PayPal is the best way to accept credit cards online for businesses that want to increase conversions by accepting PayPal payments with a one-click button at checkout.

    Visit PayPal. PayPal is unique because it can be combined with other payment processing solutions if you want to accept PayPal payments but want to use another credit card processing service. Source: PayPal. Online shopping has high cart abandonment rates, and eliminating the steps customers need to take during checkout can help decrease abandoned carts and increase sales. Like Square, PayPal can also be used to create and send online invoices and collect phone and mail order payments through a virtual terminal.

    Stripe is a payment processing system that allows businesses to accept credit card payments online and is designed to handle more complex payment situations like subscriptions, recurring fees, and storing card data.

    Stripe is a great, secure way to accept credit cards online for businesses that want to create a custom solution. Additionally, Stripe is an international company, operating in 39 countries and accepting over currencies, making it a good fit for any business looking to cater to international customers.

    Apart from small businesses, Stripe powers ecommerce giants like Amazon and online brands like Glossier. For pricing information and additional features, read our full Stripe review. Visit Stripe. Stripe has a suite of APIs that allow businesses to choose how they want to accept credit card payments online.

    Stripe is an open-source, developer-friendly checkout that can easily be added to any site. Source: Stripe. Stripe is a flexible tool for creating embedded online checkout solutions. It accepts many credit cards and payment methods, including all major credit cards, Apple Pay, Google Pay, automated clearing house ACH payments, Alipay, and some cryptocurrencies.

    In total, Stripe accepts over currencies including local payments options in over 25 languages. Payment Depot integrates with most of the popular online shopping carts, payment gateways, and web builders so that it is easy to accept credit cards online.

    Most online payment processors for small businesses charge a flat 2. In fact, for most processors, this is a higher rate than what they charge for in-person purchases or card-present payments. Payment Depot, however, charges the same rate for all transaction types: interchange plus 5—15 cents per transaction depending on your plan.

    This makes Payment Depot one of the cheapest credit card processors for small businesses. Visit Payment Depot. Businesses can use Payment Depot to accept credit card payments online through shopping carts, invoices, or registration forms.

    Payment Depot does not have its own web builder or shopping cart features, but it integrates with the most popular platforms. Source: Payment Depot.

    Payment Depot is an easy and affordable option for growing small businesses and even established ones that want to save money on credit card processing fees. In addition to online payments, Payment Depot can be used to accept credit cards in-person, via mobile and POS, and through a virtual terminal. For information on Payment Depot pricing, and to learn more about its features, read our full Payment Depot review.

    Or, Visit Payment Depot to apply for a merchant account. Fattmerchant is a traditional merchant services provider that charges a few cents per transaction over interchange but with a higher flat monthly fee. Adding an eCommerce feature to an existing website requires you to choose a platform, buy the domain, and pay for hosting. Typically, shopping carts will also help you centralize control of sales across multiple channels so that if you sell on social media, on eBay, or through another channel, you can handle order fulfillment through a single platform.

    That even includes buying postage at a discounted rate and printing the shipping labels. Some shopping carts will offer marketing tools or integrations with marketing platforms and integrations with point of sale POS systems. Check out our Shopping Cart Comparison Chart for more information and some recommendations.

    One of the easiest ways to accept credit cards on a website is by using a hosted payment page. This feature redirects customers to a secure checkout page hosted by your processor when they need to enter their payment information. Hosted payment pages are very easy to integrate into your website, usually only requiring a few lines of preformatted code that you can cut and paste into your site. Sensitive credit card data will never be stored on your server, dramatically reducing the chance of a data breach.

    Most people equate taking payments online with having a website. Generally speaking, invoicing software is cloud-based, so you can access it anywhere. You can customize invoices and send them via email or generate a shareable link to the invoice.

    But unlike old-fashioned invoicing, this method includes a link to pay directly in the invoice. Your customers follow the link, enter their payment details, and bam! You get paid much quicker. Nowadays, you can create your online shop through Facebook, Instagram, and buy-able pins on Pinterest!

    Shopify stands out as a very good solution for selling through social media. There are plenty of companies on the market that can get you set up to accept credit cards online. However, only a few of them offer the right combination of excellent products, fair pricing, and top-notch customer support that make them a good choice for small businesses.

    There is no one-size-fits-all solution, so be sure to check out our full reviews to get a complete picture of each company. Square has always supported eCommerce transactions to a degree, but the company has greatly expanded its product lineup in this area within the past year. Square Online allows you to build your online store, manage inventory, and accept payments online. Pricing at Square is also straightforward, with a flat 2.

    Flat-rate pricing keeps costs low and predictable for small or seasonal businesses. However, at higher processing volumes, this kind of pricing can cost you more money than a traditional merchant account with numerous monthly and annual account fees. There are also no monthly fees for the free plan, at least and no long-term contracts, lowering your costs and giving you the flexibility to switch to a different provider with little difficulty.

    Customer service options are also limited, although the company has improved in this area in recent years. For more pricing information and why we think Square is a great option for many businesses to start taking payments online, check out our Square Online Store review.

    Get Started with Square. Read our in-depth review. Jump back to comparison chart 2. Stripe Payments Stripe Payments. What sets Stripe apart from its competitors is its robust support for developer-friendly solutions that allow you to create the payment flow you want, with your branding front and center.

    Jump back to comparison chart 3. PayPal PayPal. One of the earliest pioneers in the eCommerce world, PayPal is still a great option for new merchants looking for a quick way to start selling their products and services online.

    The company offers a simple plan that features pay-as-you-go billing, no monthly fee, and transparent flat-rate pricing. Jump back to comparison chart 4. Wave Payments Wave. In recent years, Wave has become very popular with small business owners for its free, cloud-based accounting platform. Pricing is a flat 2. For more details, check out our full review of Wave.

    Jump back to comparison chart 5. PaySimple PaySimple. PaySimple bridges the gap between payment service providers such as Square and PayPal that cater to very small businesses and traditional full-service merchant account providers. The PaySimple online store builder can easily add invoicing and payment features to your website — without needing a developer to make it happen.

    More affordable interchange-plus pricing is, however, available to higher-volume businesses that ask for it. Be sure to check out our full review of PaySimple for more details! Jump back to comparison chart 6. PaymentCloud PaymentCloud. PaymentCloud is a great choice for both high-risk and low-risk eCommerce businesses. The company does not disclose its pricing on its website, but that is not uncommon among traditional merchant account providers, especially those that deal in high-risk industries.

    We do know that PaymentCloud offers both tiered and interchange-plus pricing. Tiered pricing can get pretty hazy and hard to predict, so we recommend pressing for that interchange-plus quote if you do give the company a call. PaymentCloud primarily uses the popular Authorize. Net payment gateway, which can integrate with a wide variety of web builders and platforms. Net has a healthy developer toolbox and an open API in the event you opt to customize.

    The company also offers a virtual terminal and ACH processing to expand your payment options. For more information about PaymentCloud, including more details about pricing, features, customer service, and more, check out our full PaymentCloud review. Get Started with PaymentCloud. Jump back to comparison chart 7. Read our Review. QuickBooks is far and away the most popular option for online accounting software among small business owners.

    So it makes sense to get your payment processing from the same company that provides your accounting services, right? Well, maybe. Just about every provider on the market offers QuickBooks integration at this point, although some do a better job on the technical details than others. QuickBooks Payments is compatible with both Shopify and BigCommerce online shopping carts, making it easy to set up your business website to accept online payments. The company offers various plans that feature transparent, predictable, flat-rate pricing, and monthly plans that will give you lower processing rates in exchange for a monthly account fee.

    Get Started with Intuit Merchant Services. This is no longer true. And this is important, because PayPal is incredibly popular with more than million active users.

    Solutions like PayPal Commerce Platform have removed much of the complexity out of taking payments online. The experience is straightforward: the customer credit card is entered, and the payment processed — simple as that. They tend to be very easy to use, so you may not need it. Consumers shop on their own time, in their preferred channels and compare across stores and prices.

    Get the study now. For those looking for a top-level view of the issue, and a speedier read, here are the most important questions to ask a potential payments processing provider before you choose to use their services. Some services charge different fees to process different types of card transactions —— e. But sometimes that low rate only applies to certain types of cards see question one. Even though you processed the transactions in January, come February, your processor charges you back, or bills you back, a higher rate.

    To compensate for the risk of fraud, processors charge different rates depending on how you process a payment. Because there is less fraud associated with cards that are physically swiped in a terminal after all, you check IDs, right? If someone calls you to buy something and gives you their number over the phone, the chance of foul play goes up a bit, as does the processing fee.

    Online purchases have the highest incidence of fraud, so payment processors cover their risk by charging a higher rate. So in addition to the standard transaction fee —— say 2.

    How to accept credit cards online

    Apart from small businesses, Stripe powers ecommerce giants like Amazon and online brands like Glossier. For pricing information and additional features, read our full Stripe review. Visit Stripe. Stripe has a suite of APIs that allow businesses to choose how they want to accept credit card payments online.

    Stripe is an open-source, developer-friendly checkout that can easily be added to any site. Source: Stripe. Stripe is a flexible tool for creating embedded online checkout solutions. It accepts many credit cards and payment methods, including all major credit cards, Apple Pay, Google Pay, automated clearing house ACH payments, Alipay, and some cryptocurrencies. In total, Stripe accepts over currencies including local payments options in over 25 languages.

    Payment Depot integrates with most of the popular online shopping carts, payment gateways, and web builders so that it is easy to accept credit cards online. Most online payment processors for small businesses charge a flat 2. In fact, for most processors, this is a higher rate than what they charge for in-person purchases or card-present payments.

    Payment Depot, however, charges the same rate for all transaction types: interchange plus 5—15 cents per transaction depending on your plan. This makes Payment Depot one of the cheapest credit card processors for small businesses. Visit Payment Depot. Businesses can use Payment Depot to accept credit card payments online through shopping carts, invoices, or registration forms. Payment Depot does not have its own web builder or shopping cart features, but it integrates with the most popular platforms.

    Source: Payment Depot. Payment Depot is an easy and affordable option for growing small businesses and even established ones that want to save money on credit card processing fees.

    In addition to online payments, Payment Depot can be used to accept credit cards in-person, via mobile and POS, and through a virtual terminal. For information on Payment Depot pricing, and to learn more about its features, read our full Payment Depot review.

    Or, Visit Payment Depot to apply for a merchant account. Fattmerchant is a traditional merchant services provider that charges a few cents per transaction over interchange but with a higher flat monthly fee.

    A Fattmerchant membership also includes its Omni software, which has a shopping cart functionality, customer management, and online review management. This, plus invoicing software, a user-friendly virtual terminal, and financial reporting tools, makes Fattmerchant a great solution for online payment processing of high-volume businesses. Visit Fattmerchant. With Fattmerchant, businesses can accept credit cards online through a virtual terminal for invoicing and billing or an ecommerce shopping cart for retail purchases.

    Source: Fattmerchant. Fattmerchant is a great traditional merchant services option for growing businesses. It provides options for accepting countertop payments, mobile payments, invoicing, and ecommerce, all of which are PCI compliant and integrate with many popular POS programs.

    For information on Fattmerchant pricing and additional features, read our full Fattmerchant review. To get started, visit Fattmerchant to apply for an account. Shopify is a popular ecommerce platform that has built-in payment processing to accept credit cards online. Businesses can also set up gift cards and subscriptions.

    Shopify is a terrific way for ecommerce businesses to accept credit cards online because it combines payment processing with ecommerce tools like a drag-and-drop store builder, shipping solutions, and inventory management. It works well for new ecommerce or online retail businesses. Visit Shopify. Shopify is a popular ecommerce platform that makes it easy for small, medium, and large businesses to sell products and accept credit card payments all-in-one platform with no outside service providers required.

    Source: Shopify. In addition to accepting credit cards online, Shopify has all of the features that a business owner would need to create a smooth and efficient ecommerce operation. Depending on your business type, the best way to accept online payments can vary greatly. However, there are some common questions around fees and software when it comes to online payments. For micro businesses and occasional payments, services like Venmo for Business and Chase QuickPay have options to send and receive funds for free.

    However, most businesses will need a merchant account. For businesses over that threshold, Payment Depot is often the most affordable option. To learn more about affordable options for accepting payments online, read our guide on free online payments.

    For businesses, Square and PayPal have popular apps for accepting credit card payments. For individuals, Venmo and CashApp are common. If you sell online, Shopify has a credit card payment app that could be a good fit for online and in-person sales. Larger businesses can get more secure and less expensive credit card processing rates by applying for a traditional merchant account. However, signing up for a Square or PayPal account to accept credit cards online does not require a merchant account or lengthy application.

    There is a higher risk associated with online payments because the card is not physically present for the purchase. So, banks and credit card companies charge higher processing fees to cover the risks associated with processing online payments.

    There are many ways to accept credit cards online, and the best way to accept credit card payments online depends on your business. If you are a sole proprietor, a new business, or merely budget-conscious, a simple solution such as Square can offer a user-friendly website builder, online store, virtual terminal, and invoice payments.

    Visit Square to create a free account. Meaghan Brophy is Fit Small Business's authority on retail and ecommerce. Aw, this was a very good post. Once a visitor makes a purchase, he is automatically emailed a message with a link to instantly download the purchased file. Hello, Thanks for your input. Stripe is indeed a popular option for online stores. You must be logged in to comment. Click a "Log in" button below to connect instantly and comment.

    Sign up to receive more well-researched small business articles and topics in your inbox, personalized for you. Subscribe to our Newsletters Fit Small Business content and reviews are editorially independent. We may make money when you click on links to our partners. Learn More. November 13, Payment Depot. Answer a few questions about your business and we'll give you personalized product match Question 1.

    How would you like to accept payments? Question 1 of 3. Add a checkout to my existing site. Build a new ecommerce site. Create a new webpage. Through invoices. Virtual terminal.

    What is your estimated monthly sales volume? Question 2 of 3. Question 3 of 3. Not sure. Square Online Payment Pros. PayPal Pros. Larger businesses may find more stability and lower prices with an alternative. Stripe Pros. Payment Depot Pros. Fattmerchant Pros. Shopify Pros.

    There are plenty of companies on the market that can get you set up to accept credit cards online. However, only a few of them offer the right combination of excellent products, fair pricing, and top-notch customer support that make them a good choice for small businesses. There is no one-size-fits-all solution, so be sure to check out our full reviews to get a complete picture of each company.

    Square has always supported eCommerce transactions to a degree, but the company has greatly expanded its product lineup in this area within the past year.

    Square Online allows you to build your online store, manage inventory, and accept payments online. Pricing at Square is also straightforward, with a flat 2. Flat-rate pricing keeps costs low and predictable for small or seasonal businesses. However, at higher processing volumes, this kind of pricing can cost you more money than a traditional merchant account with numerous monthly and annual account fees. There are also no monthly fees for the free plan, at least and no long-term contracts, lowering your costs and giving you the flexibility to switch to a different provider with little difficulty.

    Customer service options are also limited, although the company has improved in this area in recent years. For more pricing information and why we think Square is a great option for many businesses to start taking payments online, check out our Square Online Store review.

    Get Started with Square. Read our in-depth review. Jump back to comparison chart 2. Stripe Payments Stripe Payments. What sets Stripe apart from its competitors is its robust support for developer-friendly solutions that allow you to create the payment flow you want, with your branding front and center. Jump back to comparison chart 3. PayPal PayPal. One of the earliest pioneers in the eCommerce world, PayPal is still a great option for new merchants looking for a quick way to start selling their products and services online.

    The company offers a simple plan that features pay-as-you-go billing, no monthly fee, and transparent flat-rate pricing. Jump back to comparison chart 4. Wave Payments Wave. In recent years, Wave has become very popular with small business owners for its free, cloud-based accounting platform. Pricing is a flat 2. For more details, check out our full review of Wave.

    Jump back to comparison chart 5. PaySimple PaySimple. PaySimple bridges the gap between payment service providers such as Square and PayPal that cater to very small businesses and traditional full-service merchant account providers. The PaySimple online store builder can easily add invoicing and payment features to your website — without needing a developer to make it happen.

    More affordable interchange-plus pricing is, however, available to higher-volume businesses that ask for it. Be sure to check out our full review of PaySimple for more details! Jump back to comparison chart 6. PaymentCloud PaymentCloud. PaymentCloud is a great choice for both high-risk and low-risk eCommerce businesses.

    The company does not disclose its pricing on its website, but that is not uncommon among traditional merchant account providers, especially those that deal in high-risk industries. We do know that PaymentCloud offers both tiered and interchange-plus pricing.

    Tiered pricing can get pretty hazy and hard to predict, so we recommend pressing for that interchange-plus quote if you do give the company a call. PaymentCloud primarily uses the popular Authorize.

    Net payment gateway, which can integrate with a wide variety of web builders and platforms. Net has a healthy developer toolbox and an open API in the event you opt to customize. The company also offers a virtual terminal and ACH processing to expand your payment options. For more information about PaymentCloud, including more details about pricing, features, customer service, and more, check out our full PaymentCloud review.

    Get Started with PaymentCloud. Jump back to comparison chart 7. Read our Review. QuickBooks is far and away the most popular option for online accounting software among small business owners.

    So it makes sense to get your payment processing from the same company that provides your accounting services, right? Well, maybe. Just about every provider on the market offers QuickBooks integration at this point, although some do a better job on the technical details than others. QuickBooks Payments is compatible with both Shopify and BigCommerce online shopping carts, making it easy to set up your business website to accept online payments.

    The company offers various plans that feature transparent, predictable, flat-rate pricing, and monthly plans that will give you lower processing rates in exchange for a monthly account fee. Get Started with Intuit Merchant Services. Jump back to comparison chart 8. Shopify Shopify Payments. Shopify earns a top spot in its own right because the entire platform is built with the online seller in mind, and it does an excellent job.

    Shopify is an easy-to-use option with numerous integrations, attractive templates, and advanced design tools that make it a very good value for the price.

    Shopify offers several types of payment buttons, including PayPal. If you never want to have a site at all, you can sync your Shopify inventory with numerous platforms, including Facebook Stores, Instagram Shoppable Posts, Amazon, eBay, and many others.

    Shopify Payments is a payment service provider and uses Stripe Payments as its back-end processor. While payment service providers such as PayPal, Square, and Shopify Payments are very easy to sign up for and are sometimes the only option for new businesses , there is a bit less account stability. Get Started with Shopify Payments. If yes, do you like your website?

    Would you rather abandon it for a better site with more features? Very small and part-time businesses can get away with using online invoicing software or social media to make their sales. However, for any full-time operation, we strongly recommend that you have a website to promote your business and process credit card payments online.

    The ongoing COVID pandemic has only emphasized just how important it is for businesses to stake out their corner of cyberspace in the 21 st century. When it comes to numbers, you need to look at both upfront costs and monthly or yearly costs.

    How much can you spend at the outset, and how much do you expect to be able to afford on a monthly or annual basis? Keep in mind that the more technically-advanced your website, the more you can expect to pay to build and maintain it. Likewise, the more inventory you have, the more you can expect to pay.

    ACH payments are often preferred in B2B environments, but some consumers favor them, too. You should also consider alternative payment methods, such as Apple Pay, which can be much less expensive to process than other card-not-present options. Payment service providers e. Instead, they aggregate all of their users into a single shared merchant account.

    This practice simplifies the account setup process by eliminating the need for credit checks for low-risk businesses. Additionally, traditional merchant accounts are often only available to businesses that process higher volumes, which can cause a huge stumbling block for a smaller business that is just launching or an owner without established credit.

    As a general rule, payment service providers work best for small, low-volume, and seasonal businesses. Established businesses with a higher processing volume should invest in a full-service merchant account. If you want to sell online, security is critical.

    That means ensuring your site is PCI compliant. The more involved you are in the payments process and the more sensitive information your website handles, the more burden you are taking upon yourself. In many cases, you may not need to do anything because the sensitive data is all tokenized or hosted elsewhere! QuickBooks , for example, is the industry leader in small business accounting and a great product.

    However, the optional QuickBooks Payments processing service is somewhat limited in its features. You certainly do not have to have a website to take payments online anymore, but making a website has also never been easier. Responses are not provided or commissioned by the vendor or bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the vendor or bank advertiser.

    Thankyou for typing this wonderful article. I also own a square and have a weebly website for fun. I didnt realize square and weebly have a connection now. Well, I have both….. There is a lot of information about this available online, but my understanding is that you can find the Weebly app via your Square dashboard to get started.

    Best of luck! Your email address will not be published. Your Review. Comment moderation is enabled. Your comment may take some time to appear. Please read the " User Review and Comment Policy " before posting. Get Started With Featured Pick! Get Started. Try QuickBooks Today.

    Fattmerchant is one of our top picks for Credit Card Processing! We love Fattmerchant as a credit card processor for its predictable pricing, excellent service, and integrated billing features.

    Earn 1.

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    Not suitable for high-risk businesses. Low transaction fees. November 13, In the second quarter ofecommerce sales made up Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    How To Accept Credit Card Payments Online in 2021: What Are Your Best Options?

    How to accept credit cards online

    Depending on online your solution was online up, cards customers may have cards redirected off your site to pay for credit order. Stripe has how suite of APIs that allow businesses to choose how they want to accept credit card payments online. Credit company offers a simple plan that features pay-as-you-go billing, no monthly fee, how transparent flat-rate accept. Leave a Reply Cancel reply Your email address will not be published. Growing and established businesses looking for the cheapest option.

    The Complete Guide To Processing Payments Online: Website Credit Card Processing, Invoices, & More

    Fattmerchant is a traditional merchant services provider that charges a few cents per transaction over interchange but with a higher flat monthly fee. A Fattmerchant membership also includes its Omni software, which has a shopping cart functionality, customer management, and online review management. This, plus invoicing software, a user-friendly virtual terminal, and financial reporting tools, makes Fattmerchant a great solution for online payment processing of high-volume businesses.

    Visit Fattmerchant. With Fattmerchant, businesses can accept credit cards online through a virtual terminal for invoicing and billing or an ecommerce shopping cart for retail purchases. Source: Fattmerchant. Fattmerchant is a great traditional merchant services option for growing businesses.

    It provides options for accepting countertop payments, mobile payments, invoicing, and ecommerce, all of which are PCI compliant and integrate with many popular POS programs. For information on Fattmerchant pricing and additional features, read our full Fattmerchant review. To get started, visit Fattmerchant to apply for an account. Shopify is a popular ecommerce platform that has built-in payment processing to accept credit cards online. Businesses can also set up gift cards and subscriptions.

    Shopify is a terrific way for ecommerce businesses to accept credit cards online because it combines payment processing with ecommerce tools like a drag-and-drop store builder, shipping solutions, and inventory management. It works well for new ecommerce or online retail businesses. Visit Shopify. Shopify is a popular ecommerce platform that makes it easy for small, medium, and large businesses to sell products and accept credit card payments all-in-one platform with no outside service providers required.

    Source: Shopify. In addition to accepting credit cards online, Shopify has all of the features that a business owner would need to create a smooth and efficient ecommerce operation. Depending on your business type, the best way to accept online payments can vary greatly.

    However, there are some common questions around fees and software when it comes to online payments. For micro businesses and occasional payments, services like Venmo for Business and Chase QuickPay have options to send and receive funds for free. However, most businesses will need a merchant account. For businesses over that threshold, Payment Depot is often the most affordable option.

    To learn more about affordable options for accepting payments online, read our guide on free online payments. For businesses, Square and PayPal have popular apps for accepting credit card payments. For individuals, Venmo and CashApp are common.

    If you sell online, Shopify has a credit card payment app that could be a good fit for online and in-person sales. Larger businesses can get more secure and less expensive credit card processing rates by applying for a traditional merchant account.

    However, signing up for a Square or PayPal account to accept credit cards online does not require a merchant account or lengthy application. There is a higher risk associated with online payments because the card is not physically present for the purchase.

    So, banks and credit card companies charge higher processing fees to cover the risks associated with processing online payments.

    There are many ways to accept credit cards online, and the best way to accept credit card payments online depends on your business. If you are a sole proprietor, a new business, or merely budget-conscious, a simple solution such as Square can offer a user-friendly website builder, online store, virtual terminal, and invoice payments.

    Visit Square to create a free account. Meaghan Brophy is Fit Small Business's authority on retail and ecommerce. Aw, this was a very good post. Once a visitor makes a purchase, he is automatically emailed a message with a link to instantly download the purchased file. Hello, Thanks for your input. Stripe is indeed a popular option for online stores. You must be logged in to comment.

    Click a "Log in" button below to connect instantly and comment. Sign up to receive more well-researched small business articles and topics in your inbox, personalized for you. Subscribe to our Newsletters Fit Small Business content and reviews are editorially independent. We may make money when you click on links to our partners. Learn More.

    November 13, Payment Depot. Answer a few questions about your business and we'll give you personalized product match Question 1. How would you like to accept payments? Question 1 of 3. Add a checkout to my existing site. Build a new ecommerce site. Create a new webpage. Through invoices. Virtual terminal. What is your estimated monthly sales volume? Question 2 of 3. Question 3 of 3. Not sure. Square Online Payment Pros.

    PayPal Pros. Larger businesses may find more stability and lower prices with an alternative. Stripe Pros. Payment Depot Pros. Fattmerchant Pros. Shopify Pros. Sign up to receive more well-researched retail articles and topics in your inbox, personalized for you. This email address is invalid. Email Join The List. User reviews and comments are contributions from independent users not affiliated with FitSmallBusiness. As such, they do not endorse or guarantee any posted comments or reviews.

    There are lot of online transaction techniques but I thinK Paypal is the best. Log in to Reply. Hi Moolah, Thanks for commenting and thanks for stopping by! Mandy, Moderator. Thanks for reading! Glad the info was helpful. Cheers, Krista. Load More Comments Loading Submit Your Comment Cancel reply You must be logged in to comment. LOG IN. Visit Square No, thanks. Join Fit Small Business ×. Human Resources. Real Estate Agents. Real Estate Investing.

    Starting a Business. Your Email Address. Fortunately, there are solutions for both of these scenarios. You can implement payment buttons for existing sites or use a plugin or extension that supports eCommerce payments. Another way to add payments to an existing site is to look for a payment processor that supports payment buttons. Shopify offers a range of packages, but if you are just in the market for a payment button, you can get by with the cheapest offer, Shopify Lite.

    That brings us to the best option if you want to build a new site or have no website to start with: shopping cart software. Adding an eCommerce feature to an existing website requires you to choose a platform, buy the domain, and pay for hosting.

    Typically, shopping carts will also help you centralize control of sales across multiple channels so that if you sell on social media, on eBay, or through another channel, you can handle order fulfillment through a single platform. That even includes buying postage at a discounted rate and printing the shipping labels. Some shopping carts will offer marketing tools or integrations with marketing platforms and integrations with point of sale POS systems.

    Check out our Shopping Cart Comparison Chart for more information and some recommendations. One of the easiest ways to accept credit cards on a website is by using a hosted payment page. This feature redirects customers to a secure checkout page hosted by your processor when they need to enter their payment information. Hosted payment pages are very easy to integrate into your website, usually only requiring a few lines of preformatted code that you can cut and paste into your site.

    Sensitive credit card data will never be stored on your server, dramatically reducing the chance of a data breach. Most people equate taking payments online with having a website.

    Generally speaking, invoicing software is cloud-based, so you can access it anywhere. You can customize invoices and send them via email or generate a shareable link to the invoice. But unlike old-fashioned invoicing, this method includes a link to pay directly in the invoice. Your customers follow the link, enter their payment details, and bam!

    You get paid much quicker. Nowadays, you can create your online shop through Facebook, Instagram, and buy-able pins on Pinterest! Shopify stands out as a very good solution for selling through social media.

    There are plenty of companies on the market that can get you set up to accept credit cards online. However, only a few of them offer the right combination of excellent products, fair pricing, and top-notch customer support that make them a good choice for small businesses.

    There is no one-size-fits-all solution, so be sure to check out our full reviews to get a complete picture of each company. Square has always supported eCommerce transactions to a degree, but the company has greatly expanded its product lineup in this area within the past year. Square Online allows you to build your online store, manage inventory, and accept payments online. Pricing at Square is also straightforward, with a flat 2.

    Flat-rate pricing keeps costs low and predictable for small or seasonal businesses. However, at higher processing volumes, this kind of pricing can cost you more money than a traditional merchant account with numerous monthly and annual account fees. There are also no monthly fees for the free plan, at least and no long-term contracts, lowering your costs and giving you the flexibility to switch to a different provider with little difficulty.

    Customer service options are also limited, although the company has improved in this area in recent years. For more pricing information and why we think Square is a great option for many businesses to start taking payments online, check out our Square Online Store review.

    Get Started with Square. Read our in-depth review. Jump back to comparison chart 2. Stripe Payments Stripe Payments. What sets Stripe apart from its competitors is its robust support for developer-friendly solutions that allow you to create the payment flow you want, with your branding front and center. Jump back to comparison chart 3. PayPal PayPal. One of the earliest pioneers in the eCommerce world, PayPal is still a great option for new merchants looking for a quick way to start selling their products and services online.

    The company offers a simple plan that features pay-as-you-go billing, no monthly fee, and transparent flat-rate pricing. Jump back to comparison chart 4.

    Wave Payments Wave. In recent years, Wave has become very popular with small business owners for its free, cloud-based accounting platform. Pricing is a flat 2. For more details, check out our full review of Wave. Jump back to comparison chart 5. PaySimple PaySimple. PaySimple bridges the gap between payment service providers such as Square and PayPal that cater to very small businesses and traditional full-service merchant account providers.

    The PaySimple online store builder can easily add invoicing and payment features to your website — without needing a developer to make it happen. More affordable interchange-plus pricing is, however, available to higher-volume businesses that ask for it.

    Be sure to check out our full review of PaySimple for more details! Jump back to comparison chart 6. PaymentCloud PaymentCloud. PaymentCloud is a great choice for both high-risk and low-risk eCommerce businesses.

    The company does not disclose its pricing on its website, but that is not uncommon among traditional merchant account providers, especially those that deal in high-risk industries. We do know that PaymentCloud offers both tiered and interchange-plus pricing. Tiered pricing can get pretty hazy and hard to predict, so we recommend pressing for that interchange-plus quote if you do give the company a call.

    PaymentCloud primarily uses the popular Authorize. Net payment gateway, which can integrate with a wide variety of web builders and platforms. Net has a healthy developer toolbox and an open API in the event you opt to customize. The company also offers a virtual terminal and ACH processing to expand your payment options. For more information about PaymentCloud, including more details about pricing, features, customer service, and more, check out our full PaymentCloud review.

    Get Started with PaymentCloud. Jump back to comparison chart 7. Read our Review. QuickBooks is far and away the most popular option for online accounting software among small business owners. So it makes sense to get your payment processing from the same company that provides your accounting services, right?

    Well, maybe. Just about every provider on the market offers QuickBooks integration at this point, although some do a better job on the technical details than others. QuickBooks Payments is compatible with both Shopify and BigCommerce online shopping carts, making it easy to set up your business website to accept online payments. The company offers various plans that feature transparent, predictable, flat-rate pricing, and monthly plans that will give you lower processing rates in exchange for a monthly account fee.

    Get Started with Intuit Merchant Services. Jump back to comparison chart 8. Shopify Shopify Payments. Shopify earns a top spot in its own right because the entire platform is built with the online seller in mind, and it does an excellent job. Shopify is an easy-to-use option with numerous integrations, attractive templates, and advanced design tools that make it a very good value for the price.

    Shopify offers several types of payment buttons, including PayPal. If you never want to have a site at all, you can sync your Shopify inventory with numerous platforms, including Facebook Stores, Instagram Shoppable Posts, Amazon, eBay, and many others. Shopify Payments is a payment service provider and uses Stripe Payments as its back-end processor.

    While payment service providers such as PayPal, Square, and Shopify Payments are very easy to sign up for and are sometimes the only option for new businesses , there is a bit less account stability. Get Started with Shopify Payments. If yes, do you like your website? Would you rather abandon it for a better site with more features?

    Very small and part-time businesses can get away with using online invoicing software or social media to make their sales. However, for any full-time operation, we strongly recommend that you have a website to promote your business and process credit card payments online.

    The ongoing COVID pandemic has only emphasized just how important it is for businesses to stake out their corner of cyberspace in the 21 st century. When it comes to numbers, you need to look at both upfront costs and monthly or yearly costs. How much can you spend at the outset, and how much do you expect to be able to afford on a monthly or annual basis? Keep in mind that the more technically-advanced your website, the more you can expect to pay to build and maintain it.

    Likewise, the more inventory you have, the more you can expect to pay. ACH payments are often preferred in B2B environments, but some consumers favor them, too. You should also consider alternative payment methods, such as Apple Pay, which can be much less expensive to process than other card-not-present options. Payment service providers e. Instead, they aggregate all of their users into a single shared merchant account. This practice simplifies the account setup process by eliminating the need for credit checks for low-risk businesses.

    Additionally, traditional merchant accounts are often only available to businesses that process higher volumes, which can cause a huge stumbling block for a smaller business that is just launching or an owner without established credit. As a general rule, payment service providers work best for small, low-volume, and seasonal businesses.

    Established businesses with a higher processing volume should invest in a full-service merchant account. If you want to sell online, security is critical. That means ensuring your site is PCI compliant. The more involved you are in the payments process and the more sensitive information your website handles, the more burden you are taking upon yourself.

    In many cases, you may not need to do anything because the sensitive data is all tokenized or hosted elsewhere!

    What is your estimated monthly sales volume? Question 2 of 3. Question 3 of 3. Not sure. Square Online Payment Pros. PayPal Pros. Larger businesses may find more stability and lower prices with an alternative. Stripe Pros. Payment Depot Pros. Fattmerchant Pros. Shopify Pros. Sign up to receive more well-researched retail articles and topics in your inbox, personalized for you. This email address is invalid. Email Join The List.

    User reviews and comments are contributions from independent users not affiliated with FitSmallBusiness. As such, they do not endorse or guarantee any posted comments or reviews.

    There are lot of online transaction techniques but I thinK Paypal is the best. Log in to Reply. Hi Moolah, Thanks for commenting and thanks for stopping by! Mandy, Moderator. Thanks for reading! Glad the info was helpful. Cheers, Krista. Load More Comments Loading Submit Your Comment Cancel reply You must be logged in to comment.

    LOG IN. Visit Square No, thanks. Join Fit Small Business ×. Human Resources. Real Estate Agents. Real Estate Investing. Starting a Business. Your Email Address. New or new-to-online businesses needing an easy and affordable solution. Those wanting a user-friendly checkout that can be added to any site.

    Online startups and anyone wanting a custom online checkout. Growing and established businesses looking for the cheapest option. High-volume businesses wanting recurring billing, virtual terminal, and invoicing tools. New ecommerce or online retail businesses. Not as easy to add to non-Square websites. Transparent, flat-rate pricing. Limited customer support. Free online store, checkout, and invoicing. Easy for customers to use. Not suitable for high-risk businesses.

    Flexible checkout options. Can be added to any site. Requires a separate website. Speedy, mobile-optimized checkout built for conversions. Harder to set up than Square or PayPal. Flexible, all-in-one membership. Low transaction fees. Not suitable for new or high-risk businesses. User-friendly software. Expensive monthly fee. Shopping cart and online customer management tools. Not a good fit for new or high-risk businesses. Best ecommerce platform for small businesses.

    Many solutions are generalized for a broad array of merchants, but they also offer add-ons and integrations to tailor the end result. Also, keep in mind that selling digital products is not allowed on Facebook or Instagram. If you plan to sell anything downloadable, you can scratch social selling off your list right away.

    Read More. Visit Site. Read more below to learn why we chose these options. If you have a business website, third-party apps, plugins, online shopping carts, or a payment page hosted by your processor can all be easily integrated to allow credit card payments. A website is a pretty integral part of selling online for most businesses. As mentioned above, the first question to consider is: Do I already have a website?

    Then ask yourself: Do I like that website, or would I rather start over completely? Fortunately, there are solutions for both of these scenarios. You can implement payment buttons for existing sites or use a plugin or extension that supports eCommerce payments. Another way to add payments to an existing site is to look for a payment processor that supports payment buttons.

    Shopify offers a range of packages, but if you are just in the market for a payment button, you can get by with the cheapest offer, Shopify Lite. That brings us to the best option if you want to build a new site or have no website to start with: shopping cart software. Adding an eCommerce feature to an existing website requires you to choose a platform, buy the domain, and pay for hosting.

    Typically, shopping carts will also help you centralize control of sales across multiple channels so that if you sell on social media, on eBay, or through another channel, you can handle order fulfillment through a single platform.

    That even includes buying postage at a discounted rate and printing the shipping labels. Some shopping carts will offer marketing tools or integrations with marketing platforms and integrations with point of sale POS systems.

    Check out our Shopping Cart Comparison Chart for more information and some recommendations. One of the easiest ways to accept credit cards on a website is by using a hosted payment page. This feature redirects customers to a secure checkout page hosted by your processor when they need to enter their payment information. Hosted payment pages are very easy to integrate into your website, usually only requiring a few lines of preformatted code that you can cut and paste into your site.

    Sensitive credit card data will never be stored on your server, dramatically reducing the chance of a data breach.

    Most people equate taking payments online with having a website. Generally speaking, invoicing software is cloud-based, so you can access it anywhere. You can customize invoices and send them via email or generate a shareable link to the invoice. But unlike old-fashioned invoicing, this method includes a link to pay directly in the invoice.

    Your customers follow the link, enter their payment details, and bam! You get paid much quicker. Nowadays, you can create your online shop through Facebook, Instagram, and buy-able pins on Pinterest!

    Shopify stands out as a very good solution for selling through social media. There are plenty of companies on the market that can get you set up to accept credit cards online. However, only a few of them offer the right combination of excellent products, fair pricing, and top-notch customer support that make them a good choice for small businesses.

    There is no one-size-fits-all solution, so be sure to check out our full reviews to get a complete picture of each company. Square has always supported eCommerce transactions to a degree, but the company has greatly expanded its product lineup in this area within the past year. Square Online allows you to build your online store, manage inventory, and accept payments online. Pricing at Square is also straightforward, with a flat 2. Flat-rate pricing keeps costs low and predictable for small or seasonal businesses.

    However, at higher processing volumes, this kind of pricing can cost you more money than a traditional merchant account with numerous monthly and annual account fees. There are also no monthly fees for the free plan, at least and no long-term contracts, lowering your costs and giving you the flexibility to switch to a different provider with little difficulty.

    Customer service options are also limited, although the company has improved in this area in recent years. For more pricing information and why we think Square is a great option for many businesses to start taking payments online, check out our Square Online Store review. Get Started with Square. Read our in-depth review. Jump back to comparison chart 2. Stripe Payments Stripe Payments. What sets Stripe apart from its competitors is its robust support for developer-friendly solutions that allow you to create the payment flow you want, with your branding front and center.

    Jump back to comparison chart 3. PayPal PayPal. One of the earliest pioneers in the eCommerce world, PayPal is still a great option for new merchants looking for a quick way to start selling their products and services online.

    The company offers a simple plan that features pay-as-you-go billing, no monthly fee, and transparent flat-rate pricing. Jump back to comparison chart 4.

    Wave Payments Wave. In recent years, Wave has become very popular with small business owners for its free, cloud-based accounting platform. Pricing is a flat 2. For more details, check out our full review of Wave. Jump back to comparison chart 5. PaySimple PaySimple. PaySimple bridges the gap between payment service providers such as Square and PayPal that cater to very small businesses and traditional full-service merchant account providers.

    The PaySimple online store builder can easily add invoicing and payment features to your website — without needing a developer to make it happen. More affordable interchange-plus pricing is, however, available to higher-volume businesses that ask for it.

    Be sure to check out our full review of PaySimple for more details! Jump back to comparison chart 6. PaymentCloud PaymentCloud. PaymentCloud is a great choice for both high-risk and low-risk eCommerce businesses. The company does not disclose its pricing on its website, but that is not uncommon among traditional merchant account providers, especially those that deal in high-risk industries. We do know that PaymentCloud offers both tiered and interchange-plus pricing.

    Tiered pricing can get pretty hazy and hard to predict, so we recommend pressing for that interchange-plus quote if you do give the company a call. You need to consider a myriad of factors, and how they affect your business.

    Take the time to do some comparison shopping before choosing a solution to accept debit and credit card payments. This guide will walk you through the process, giving you all the information you need to find the right match for your business, including:.

    The traditional method for accepting payments online has been a combination of a merchant account and a payment gateway. A merchant account is a special kind of business bank account that lets you accept credit card payments. Think of it as the digital version of a used in brick-and-mortar stores. Payment gateways can also offer greater control over security rules and customization; they may be a better fit for large businesses needing a more tailored solution.

    Usually this involves configuring your store with API keys, shared secrets and tokens. The benefits to using a payment gateway are that you usually have more handholding and personalized customer service along the way because the providers are large companies with big support organizations.

    These services, including PayPal Commerce Platform, combine an account and gateway into one solution, which can make setup quicker and easier. They allow you to take all major credit and debit cards and usually have an easier-to-manage pricing structure. Services like PayPal make setup quicker and easier. They also allow you to take all major credit cards , alternative payment methods like PayPal and PayPal Credit , and usually have favorable transaction rates.

    Depending on how your solution was set up, your customers may have been redirected off your site to pay for an order. This is no longer true.

    And this is important, because PayPal is incredibly popular with more than million active users.

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