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The share of customers buying goods online is growing every year around the world. The number of online stores is also increasing. Owners of online businesses need specialized services or an online business account in UK to accept payments from abroad (that is, go international) and generate checks. Keep reading to learn what these services are and how to choose the best one.
What is a Payment System?
When a customer makes an online purchase, she sends money for the product using an electronic payment system, or EPS – software that records payment. The payment system connects the parties to the trade transaction, debits funds from the client’s bank account, and transfers them to the seller’s bank. Participants in the transaction can be legal entities and individuals, credit organizations, and representatives of government agencies.
Entrepreneurs must offer convenience for transactions and the security of finances – theirs and the client’s. Therefore, they need a good payment system that is beneficial for both parties to the transaction.
Legislation regulates the activities of payment systems. Thus, payment acceptance services combine the functions of a technical operator and a supervisory authority, solving important problems:
- Ensure uninterrupted operation – the buyer can pay for the goods at any time;
- Guarantee safety;
- Protect against failures in financial transactions.
Some payment systems provide additional functions that increase customer loyalty – they offer a customized design with the corporate colors of the store company, and provide rare payment methods, for example, with cryptocurrency.
What Payment Systems are There and What Businesses Need Them?
Payment systems are needed by everyone who sells anything via the Internet – goods and services of various kinds.
There are two main types of payment systems:
Internet Banks-Acquiring Services
These are services that accept payments from bank cards. They are suitable for entrepreneurs with an established reputation, whose vast majority of clients are willing to pay by card online. These services are usually cheaper, and the fees for using them do not exceed 4–5%. Most often, they offer a current account and online accounting in combination with them.
The disadvantage of this type of service is that not all buyers are willing to pay by card. Some people find it more convenient to transfer funds from electronic wallets, through terminals, from a mobile phone account, or other methods. Customers may be wary of leaving card details on the website of an unfamiliar store.
These services offer many methods of accepting payments, including bank cards, electronic wallets, payment through a terminal, contactless payment using a smartphone, and others.
The disadvantage of payment aggregators is that prices, when used, are higher than in the case of banks-acquiring services, and commissions reach 10%.
How the Payment System Works
The payment system uses complex algorithms, but transactions are completed within a few seconds. This is where payment systems benefit from standard bank transfers, which can take up to three days.
Customer money and payment information go through the following stages:
- The buyer places the product in the cart on the website, enters card or wallet details, and pays for the purchase.
- Money is converted into electronic currency for further processing, and a commission is charged from the client – if the payment model implies this.
- Transaction information goes to the payment gateway.
- The system checks the security of the transaction.
- The data is transferred to the acquiring company.
- The acquirer transmits the data to the payment system.
- The payment system checks security at a higher level.
- The information goes to the issuing company, where it also undergoes a security check.
- The issuer transfers the amount to the acquirer.
- The acquirer holds the money in the trading account.
- The buyer receives a receipt by email or SMS.
- The seller receives money in his account (merchant account) and can withdraw it if necessary. Commission is withheld if the payment model involves taking a commission from the seller.
Reliable payment acceptance tools for online stores use the most effective security systems. When making a payment, clients trust the company, enter their details through the payment service, and must be sure that their data is protected from fraudsters.
A good payment system should be comfortable for the entrepreneur and the client, allow the business to legally accept payments, and make it easier to work with routine paperwork tasks.
One of the important points when choosing is the benefit from the purchase in terms of calculating commissions and subscription fees: the payment service should help you earn money. Tools and options for services suitable for a specific business will help increase profits, retain current customers, and attract new ones.