The current nationwide lockdown, in response to the Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak, has changed the way we all live our lives immeasurably for the foreseeable future.
With people only being allowed out for essential travel, to complete food shops, take part in exercise and commute to essential work, small and medium businesses are facing the brunt of the impact of the country’s empty streets.
However just because shops and charities are shuttering their physical stores and operations for the time being, it doesn’t mean that all sales and donations have to halt.
A great positive in times such as these is that modern technology has made it possible for retailers to sell and distribute their goods without the need for a physical store.
Accepting online payments means SMEs who have had to temporarily close their stores due to the Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak will still be able to sell their products and services via digital platforms to minimise their loss of revenue.
And, for charities who would usually accept donations from stalls and stands on the street or from selling donated items in charity shops, there’s also the technology available to accept donations through online systems at this time.
So, if you are a retailer or charity and are looking to make the move to accepting online payments, our guide to the different methods can help you make the right decision for your needs.
Different types of online payments
As more and more people shop online these days, businesses have responded to this and begun to offer their goods and services to be purchased online; either supported by a physical store or as the sole revenue generator.
Because of this rise in online purchasing, new methods and technologies for accepting online payments have emerged. Each method has different benefits and drawbacks and is suited to a variety of needs.
Online payment gateways
To be able to securely process credit and debit card payments online you’ll need an online payment gateway.
This is a secure method through which your customers can complete payments online. Payment gateway services encrypt the customer’s data and communicate with the customer’s card issuer to identify whether the account is legitimate or not.
If you were looking to set up a functioning online storefront where users can browse your product listings, add their chosen items to a digital basket and make a purchase within the website, then an online payment gateway is how you achieve that functionality.
An RSM 2000 online payment gateway secures your online payments with 3DSecure authentication; the industry-standard for customer payment authentication and the online equivalent to ‘Chip & PIN’. This works to provide both you and your customers with peace of mind when completing online payments.
Online payment gateways are effective, secure methods of completing card payments online. They offer a straightforward solution for you and your business and have a simple to integrate interface for your customers to use on your site when completing their purchase or donation.
This payment method is best suited to online operations with an existing digital presence. This is because the online payment gateway is set up through an integration with the existing website.
Virtual terminals are online payment systems designed for taking payments over the phone. If a customer wished to make a purchase from you, they would call you with their credit or debit card information ready to pay you.
The virtual terminal acts as a digital card terminal. On your end of the phone, as the retailer, you would use a secure online dashboard through which you can enter their card details. This secure dashboard can be installed on computers, tablets or mobile devices, making it a good solution for businesses with a limited technological setup.
This method is particularly well suited to businesses and charities who don’t want to, or don’t have the resources to, set up an entire online store.
With this type of online payment, if you have regular customers who know what they wish to purchase or another method of displaying your products digitally (such as social media channels), you can facilitate online payments without an online store.
This method is also very well suited to charities who want to be able to accept funds via the phone from donors who wish to contribute to their charitable organisation.
Online payment considerations
If you wish to permanently offer online purchasing options to your customers, setting up a store on your website with an integrated secure online payment gateway is the most professional and reliable method of accepting online payments.
An RSM 2000 online payment gateway offers straightforward website integration and can also accommodate web-based virtual terminal facilities for any telephone order transactions you may wish to process.
Our complete online payment gateway service also provides you with 24/7 web-based access to reports as standard with a wide range of filters and options to extract the information you need to know your customers’ habits.
For more information, or to start your journey to accepting online payments, talk to RSM 2000 today about our online payment gateway services.