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GUEST COMMENT The challenges and benefits of using payment gateway integrations

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GUEST COMMENT The challenges and benefits of using payment gateway integrations

Sam Bocetta is a former defence analyst
Sam Bocetta is a former defence analyst

Ecommerce businesses are more popular than they ever have been. Consumers are beginning to move away from traditional retail methods and purchase as much as they can online.

 

Even in the midst of a global pandemic, non-store channels saw a 29.6% increase in sales for June 2020 compared to the previous year. When you consider that June was when many physical stores began to reopen around the United States, it’s very clear people are more comfortable with online retailers even when other options are also available.

 

If you’re an online retailer, then you use a payment gateway to gather customer data and approve purchases.

 

Combined with local bank integration, ecommerce stores can see greater business sales. These features give customers peace of mind their sensitive data is being cared for, and as an online retailer, you want to make sure that data never falls into the wrong hands.

 

There are pros and cons to this system. All online retailers need to understand the ins and outs of payment gateway integrations so that they know where they can improve and earn consumers’ trust.

 

The challenges when using payment gateway integrations

 

It’s hard to make it as an ecommerce site in this day and age without payment gateway integration. Payment gateways are a necessity for online businesses today because of their convenience and versatility. They allow you to accept payments on your website, over the phone, and via text. It makes it so much simpler for your customers, and you’re at a significant disadvantage without it.

 

Unfortunately, there are some pitfalls that may deter some businesses from moving forward with this integration wholeheartedly. The scale of data collection the world is presently seeing is unlike anything else in history. Through cookies and other techniques, sites are able to easily collect critical information on users, including their credit card information.

 

Many consumers just accept their credit card data will be stolen sooner or later. But as an online retailer, you must make sure you do everything in your power to protect your customers’ data.

 

Accepting payments may also require you to engage in cross-border transactions. When you’re dealing with international trade and banks from other countries, you can expect your payment gateway integration to slow down a bit.

 

There’s also the matter of the higher cost associated with integration. Businesses can have several different gateways, which necessitates multiple integrations and contracts. This leads to more paperwork and greater oversight on your end.

 

You will have to maintain multiple channels and make sure you pay the monthly memberships, transaction costs, and processing fees. This is a lot to take care of, especially for small businesses. Several online digital experience platforms can help make this easier for you, as they often come with payment processing technology and CRM (customer relationship management) and knowledge management systems so you can remain more competitive.

 

You can also eliminate some headaches by looking at certain factors before integrating a payment gateway. For starters, you want to make sure the gateway is developer-friendly so that your team can easily learn how to utilize it. It also helps to remind yourself of the benefits of such a system.

 

The benefits with payment gateway integration

Business owners who are willing to put in the work can reap several advantages to this integration. First and foremost, you can expect hassle-free transactions with this system in place.

 

Customers want to know precisely what information they’re giving you and how to checkout when they want to buy something. In the event something is confusing or doesn’t look right, then many people will click away and abandon their carts. The global online cart abandonment rate on average is nearly 70%, which as you can imagine has a huge impact on stores’ inventories.

 

One reason customers abandon their carts is due to the fact their preferred payment method is not available. Some people like racking up points on their credit cards while others would prefer using PayPal. Even with straightforward bank payments, there is still the matter of all the banks out there. The right online payment method will make things as convenient as possible for the customer by offering a variety of secure payment options, the ability to connect to major banks, and no hidden fees.

 

Many factors impact your ecommerce conversion rate, such as staying engaged with consumer over social media. But your payment gateway integration is one of the most important and one you don’t want to overlook.

 

The opportunities that open up to you with integration

The industry is slowly but surely shifting away from small brick-and-mortar shops. Now, there are small online retailers that can have customers from around the globe. In fact, one of the largest ecommerce businesses in the world, Alibaba, is based out of China. Perhaps you’ve purchased something from this retailer without even realising it.

 

All businesses need to have one eye on the international market. That entails having payment gateways that are capable of changing based on region and currencies. Customers will know they belong at your store when you have made it easy for them to understand how much they will have to spend on a product in their given currency.

Another opportunity that opens up to your business when integrating with payment gateways is making your business naturally look legitimate. When you have multiple payment gateways especially, it makes your business appear more legitimate. Several of the most widely used eCommerce platforms such as Shopify or WooCommerce come with over seventy different payment gateways, which decreases the odds of cart abandonment.

 

Some ecommerce platforms also provide auto-conversion. This means the prices on your website automatically change depending on the IP address of the user. All of these benefits lead to one major opportunity every business needs: enhanced consumer trust. You want shoppers to feel safe going to your website, and a secure payment gateway does precisely that. Its job is to encrypt data, so customers feel more at ease entrusting you with their personal information.

 

Conclusion

No store is too small to have an online presence. Just look at the story of Grace’s Marketplace in New York that updated its processes to include an online store, which was a huge advantage in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

But consumers are savvy. They know their data is in jeopardy when they go online. They may trust big names like Target, but they may not inherently trust your small shop. Fortunately, when you have the same integration as the big dogs, you appear more legitimate and will see greater success.

 

Sam Bocetta is a former defence analyst, now a freelance journalist

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