Last editedMar 20233 min read
Online payments are here to stay – that’s not up for debate. But one thing about which there’s no clear consensus is the best way to take payments online. There are a broad range of options to consider, which is why we’ve put together a simple guide to the different methods that allow you to take payments on a website. From credit/debit cards to ACH transfer and payment gateways, find out everything you need to know about how to take online payments.
Credit and debit cards
For many, credit and debit cards are still the default way to accept online payments. There are a couple of different ways to accept card payments online. You can either set up a merchant account and payment gateway yourself, or you can outsource the task to a payment service provider (PSP). There are a broad range of PSPs, also referred to as payment processors, to consider, including Stripe, PayPal, Adyen, and more. Using a PSP can help to ensure that you’re able to offer customers secure payments, while it also takes the burden of compliance out of your hands.
If you’re looking for a different way to accept online payments, ACH debit could be a great choice. A ‘pull’ payment method, ACH debit authorizes your business to take payment directly from your customers’ account when payment is due. This eliminates the risk of late payments almost entirely, while the automated nature of this payment method helps to reduce the amount of financial admin your team has to go through.
Enabling you to automatically collect payments on the day that they’re scheduled, GoCardless is an ACH debit option that can help to make international payment collection very simple for business-owners, handling all the technical processes and offering a wide range of software integrations and an intuitive dashboard. Receive international payments from 30+ countries at the real exchange rate and take advantage of reliable, on-time payments with GoCardless.
Mobile payments are another excellent option if you’re considering less traditional methods. Mobile wallets like Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay can be super-convenient for customers, as they won’t need to manually input their credit card information since it’s already entered automatically. You’ll need to build the functionality to accept mobile payments into your website, although if you’re using an ecommerce platform, the option to accept mobile payments is likely already supported, meaning that no extra coding is required.
If you want to know how to accept payments online, it’s a good idea to look into some of the less well known methods as well as the heavy hitters. One – slightly less heralded – option is a paylink. Paylinks are an increasingly popular way to accept online payments. Essentially, merchants will send customers a link, taking them to their payment portal. Then, customers enter their details, and the payment is processed. Not only is this convenient for both merchant and customer, but it allows merchants to reach customers more directly.
Buy now pay later
An alternative way to take online payments that’s growing in popularity, buy now pay later (BNPL) is a financing arrangement that enables customers to make a purchase and pay for it at a later date. There are a broad range of BNPL providers, including Klarna, PayPal, Affirm, and more. By offering a BNPL option at checkout, you may be able to attract customers who’re less willing to make a large, single payment, but prefer to spread the cost of a purchase over a longer period of time. However, it’s important to note that BNPL providers will take a cut of the transaction in exchange for their involvement, so that’s something to weigh up if you choose to offer this online payment method.
What’s the best way to take payment online?
Ultimately, the best way to take payment online is a question best answered by your customers. Given that improving customer experience should be one of your key goals, it makes sense to offer a range of payment options so that customers can select the one that they’re most comfortable with. By offering a full suite of online payment options, you can cover all the bases and ensure that you’re not turning away willing customers at the checkout phase of their buyer journey.
We can help
GoCardless is a global payments solution that helps you automate payment collection, cutting down on the amount of financial admin your team needs to deal with. Find out how GoCardless can help you with one-off or recurring payments.