Most payment methods involve online transactions nowadays, and cash is only used in no more than one-third of all financial transactions worldwide. The convenience of online payments is obvious: you can transfer money wherever you are and at any time, provided you have a Wi-Fi connection or a mobile app, a merchant account and a reliable payment gateway.
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In addition, credit cards are not the only means of electronic money transfers anymore, as there have appeared plenty of alternative payment systems. And there are many professional payment service providers on the internet, like Crassula.io, that will complement payment processing with lots of invaluable solutions for an efficient and cost-effective online enterprise.
Payment Service Providers
Simply put, PSP refers to an online company that performs electronic money transfers between the payer and the payee. A good PSP will offer several additional services too, which we will discuss below. But its main function is to serve as a sort of online POS terminal.
Suppose you want to pay in a physical venue and decide to use a credit card for this purpose. The procedure involves more than just a cash transfer. By swiping your card, you initiate a long sequence of electronic transactions, such as registering the payment, authorizing or declining it, and actually transferring the money between two accounts.
Effectively, this is what a payment gateway provider does, except that everything happens online in this case.
Types of Payment Methods
In this section, we will briefly describe the most common payment methods available nowadays. Keep in mind, though, that the most effective commercial practice involves combining two or more of these systems to suit your specific needs.
This is the most standard and, probably, still the most common method, which allows you to send and receive money without actually visiting the bank or meeting with your payers/payees. In this case, your bank serves as your payment gateway provider.
This is a credit card funded for a single use. The most common examples of prepaid cards are gift certificates and shop vouchers.
As a combination of the previous two types, a smart card can be funded and used repeatedly. It differs from a credit card in that the latter provides access to your account in the bank, whereas this card is the actual bank. It is a sort of bank account in your pocket.
Alternatively, you may choose to have an account with an online bank. After all, if all transactions are virtual, you may as well opt for a virtual bank as well. This method is rapidly gaining popularity, as it allows for considerably faster and more convenient financial transactions and, as a rule, involves no transaction fees.
This is the most secure method in which the bank transfers your money electronically very much like a postal order. You do not visit the bank, nor do you need a card for this purpose. The only problem is that this is the least efficient method too, taking up to two weeks in most cases.
Selecting an Optimal PSP
Most professional and reliable payment gateway providers will offer you the following features.
High Security Level
They will ensure that your financial transactions are perfectly protected with the latest SSL encryption technology, CVV2 verification and other fraud screening tools. Their compliance with the PCI-DSS system will be an additional bonus.
Diverse Payment Methods
They will offer you a good selection of payment methods to allow you to choose the ones that best suit your business needs. In addition, they will provide adequate foreign exchange services for international commerce.
Their services must be cost-effective, and their transaction fees should not exceed 2-3 %. You should also inquire about their bill processing time, minimum transaction amounts and hidden fees.
Their apps will be fully customizable, intuitive, user-friendly for private and corporate enterprises, and available for both Android and iOS.
Application Programming Interface
In addition to a user interface, they will provide a decent API for an efficient software integration.
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In the case of possible confusion or technical difficulties, you can rely on their continuous and responsive support available across several communication channels, which would, ideally, include live chat too.
The latest developments in digital technology have made global enterprise more convenient than ever, encouraging companies to relocate from the physical venues to the internet. The global market of the day seems to be ruled by virtual banks and currencies and electronic providers of financial and management services.
The structure and dynamics of modern commerce have been reshaped by the most ingenious digital mechanisms, making online enterprise cheaper, faster and safer too. All that is left for you to do is find a reliable and professional payment gateway provider, and we hope our short article will help you to that effect.