How to select a secure payment gateway

Accept all major credit cards and electronic checks for your online business, retail store and mobile sales force using a single payment gateway service

A real-time payment gateway service provides merchants with a secure method for accepting credit card and electronic check payments. A secure online point of sale service allows the merchant to capture the customer’s credit card or checking account information and then transmit that information over an encrypted SSL connection. Successful transactions will transfer the customer’s payment from the customer’s credit card or checking account to the merchant’s business bank account.

Top rated real-time payment gateway services can be used to process retail, mobile, and online customer sales. As a merchant, you want to select a virtual point of sale service that can support your business as it grows. Therefore, you want to select a payment gateway service that can support multiple sales environments (for example, retail, online, and mobile) without the need to open multiple gateway accounts.

Since there are a multitude of real-time payment gateways to choose from, I’ve provided a checklist to help you select the right service for your business. Ultimately, you must select a service that meets the unique requirements of your specific business.

Merchant checklist for choosing a payment service (for example, features must be included at no additional cost):

o Sales reports in real time
o Virtual terminal/batch uploads to process manual transactions
o Virtual POS to process card-present transactions
o Recurring billing capabilities to process membership and subscription services
o Integration method to integrate payment processing into your back office software
o Online knowledge base
o Online Help Desk
o “Live” technical support
o Load Balancing to process multiple merchant accounts using a single payment gateway account. This will become an important feature as your business grows.
o Commercial and open source shopping cart checkout modules
o Secure interface for online merchants
o Address Verification (AVS)
o Retail point of sale software support
o CRM payment modules (commercial and open source software support)
o PCI Compliant Service

Optionally, you should be able to select the following add-on services:

o Electronic Check Processing
o Advanced fraud protection tools
o PCI-compliant data storage and retention to store customer payment data
o Mobile payment software (eg iPhone)

Always keep in mind that when you choose a payment service, you are selecting a service to process payments from your customers, which is the lifeblood of your business.

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