Last editedMar 20222 min read
Scaling a business is all about preparing the groundwork for growth. It means looking at ways to make your company more efficient, streamlined and attractive to customers. Accepting online payments will promote all three of these growth metrics, and can help you scale your business faster, better and smarter.
In this post, we’ll take you through how to accept payments online, how to accept credit card payments online and why accepting online payments is vital to scaling your business.
Why accept online payments?
In the digital world of today, people are accustomed to doing everything online, from contacting friends, to shopping, to paying bills. If you want your business to remain competitive, it’s essential that you become a participant in this online arena. This means offering customers the option to pay their invoices online.
Collecting payments online is invariably smoother, quicker and more convenient for both customer and service-provider.
How does accepting online payments allow you to scale your business faster?
Automating both the sending of invoices and the collection of online payments can save you time and resources, which you can put back into scaling your business. You will also receive payments faster as online payments are typically much quicker operation-wise than processing checks.
What do you need to accept payments online?
Setting up how to accept payments online requires a little planning. Firstly you need to set up a payment service provider, secondly you need to decide which payment methods you’ll accept and how to collect them. Finally, you will need to reach out to all your customers to let them know you now accept payments online. Below is a detailed guide to these steps.
Set up a payment service provider
A payment service provider is a third-party company that helps businesses to accept a variety of online payment methods, including credit card payments and online banking. Essentially, they make sure money is transferred from customer to merchant safely and securely.
Payment service providers also allow you an easy way to accept payments online. They provide a payment gateway, which is the interface which connects your customer, a credit card company or bank and your merchant account. Additionally, it ensures all data is secure and transactions are not fraudulent.
Usually, a merchant account is required to accept payments online. It is an account into which debit and credit card payments are transferred after being processed. The merchant account belongs to the business owner, however it is not accessible. Instead, funds are automatically transferred from a merchant account into a business account. You can set up a merchant account with your bank, however, payment service providers such as Stripe include them as part of their package.
Choose which payment methods you will accept
While it’s often important to accept credit card payments online as this is a preferred option for customers, it’s also crucial to provide a variety of payment options. According to a GoCardless consumer payment preferences study, offering the right payment mix is essential to winning and retaining customers.
With GoCardless, collecting payment online is easy. It simply requires customers to set it up via your website, email, or secure link. It’s also ideal for scaling your business, as you can opt for different custom plans.
Communicate with your customers
Once you’ve set up your best way to accept payments online, you need to let your customers know so that they can begin to use the platform. You can do this via email or an announcement on your website.
We can help
GoCardless helps you automate payment collection, cutting down on the amount of admin your team needs to deal with when chasing invoices. Find out how GoCardless can help you with ad hoc payments or recurring payments.