Every website exists to build brand awareness, educate potential customers or members, and to explain the organisation’s personality and product range. The best websites also have a second, more complex function. They convert this engagement into transactions that generate revenue.
Offering a secure, seamless and perfectly branded payment experience removes hurdles to commerce and builds trust amongst users. It can build reputation, reduce administration costs and drive further sales. But handling money as well as information brings a new set of challenges for any organisation’s online operation.
This function requires the addition of payment gateway technology to accept debit or credit cards and as is often the case, the range of requirements and variety of available solutions can seem daunting.
The challenges of payment gateways
There are a multitude of different payment software platforms available with a huge choice of technology providers and facilitators. Navigating this variety is a challenge in itself, but we’ve outlined five key areas to consider.
1. Ease of setup
Not every solution is integrated into your website or CRM, and this can have major implications for its setup and performance. A non-integrated system can require an organisation to maintain two sets of data which increases the risk of the potential for duplicate entries and data drift. Additionally, some payment gateways require a separate merchant bank account to process funds. Identifying, selecting and acquiring approval for this account can add significant time to any project. Some providers offer gateway and acquiring services under one roof, eliminating this time-consuming process and the need to manage multiple contracts and accounts.
This is the most important consideration for any organisation that processes payments because any breach can have a lasting negative impact on the trust it has worked so hard to achieve. Payment gateways should be PCI DSS Level 1 compliant, use data encryption, SSL, SET and Tokenization. These are often complex concepts but essential to get right.
As with any technology system, sometimes help is needed to answer questions, overcome installation hurdles and ensure the payment gateway functions correctly. Knowing that prompt and accurate support is available whenever and wherever required provides an invaluable safety net for any organisation.
4. Flexibility and growth
Digital technology develops at a rapid pace and if an organisation is successful, they will face growing demands on their payment gateway system as the quantity of transactions increases. Any solution should be flexible enough to accommodate new payment channels and robust enough to grow alongside the organisation. It’s also important to consider contractual flexibility. We must understand what minimum fees and contract lengths are in place and what impact they may have on the ability to change or expand commerce operations.
5. User experience
The purpose of a payment gateway is to minimise the friction between engagement and transaction. It should make it as simple as possible for a user to reach a decision and make a purchase with no obstacles along the way. This means that the entire checkout experience must be seamless. Digital shopping baskets need to be well-designed and reliable, entry fields clear and easy to use, and the branding and user experience should be consistent across the entire website. A great transaction system makes users confident about their purchase and builds further trust in the organisation.
Benefits of a modern embedded payment gateway
Millertech provides an embedded payment gateway and acquirer - a fellow ClearCourse partner, ClearAccept.
This approach enables Millertech clients to quickly offer a secure online payments platform that is fully setup and tested to work with its CRM system. For users, the seamless integration provides a smooth, consistent experience when paying for membership, booking events or donating. Internally, the integration delivers improved back-office functions with a set of joined-up reporting tools that can help reduce admin and improve the efficiency and experience of managing transactions from within the CRM.
Having contacts, payments and reconciliations built into the CRM alleviates much of the system complexity while modern cloud hosting gives class-leading levels of security and robustness. Additionally, there are no minimum fees or long-term contracts, end-to-end support is provided, and new accounts are quick and easy to set up.
For any organisation taking payments, its objective should be to achieve this same level of simplicity and functionality. Payments should become intuitive and secure for the user while simultaneously removing manual processing and complexity for the administration team.
To speak to us about whether our embedded solution could benefit your organisation, get in touch.