How to Accept Credit Card Payments Online for Free in Minutes
Whether you’re an eCommerce business that has just opened online or an established brick-and-mortar business with an online presence, accepting credit card payments online can help you boost your sales and provide convenience to your customers. As convenient as it can be, many businesses shy away from the idea of processing credit card payments online because they don’t have the right equipment, they don’t have the money to invest in new equipment or they simply aren’t sure how it works.
Choose an e-commerce platform
Shopify has one of the best free trial periods around. It’s 14 days, during which you can take advantage of their basic tools, like email marketing and social media integration. When your trial period is up, Shopify plans start at $29 per month with some higher tiers costing as much as $199 per month. If you need more options, there are a number of other platforms that provide features like cashback rewards or quicker payments than PayPal or Amazon Web Services. Although free trials don’t last indefinitely, most of these services offer robust 14-day trials so you have plenty of time to get used to the platform and test it out with your customers before making the full commitment.
There are plenty of ways to do this, from researching reviews on sites like G2 Crowd and TrustRadius to checking out the various documentation resources offered by these companies. With an eCommerce service, customer support may be one way for the company to differentiate itself from competitors, so make sure you explore this when evaluating whether a company is right for your business. One final note: if you’re thinking about taking credit card payments online, remember that there’s nothing stopping unscrupulous people from using stolen credit cards online. Check with your bank or acquirer before accepting credit card transactions online.
Get an SSL certificate
One of the most important parts of accepting credit card payments is getting an SSL certificate. An SSL cert is what protects your customers’ information and transmits it securely. It’s a small cost that you can recover by eliminating chargebacks and gives you peace of mind. But don’t just buy one! Talk to your payment processor about the different types of certificates, how much they cost, and who do the work because there are a lot of factors involved when accepting online payments. You might even need two or more certificates if you’re using two or more different processors or services (e-commerce site vs shopping cart).
Create a Stripe account
Sign up with Stripe, the payment processor which allows you to receive credit card payments online. Follow the steps on their site and fill out your application. You will need a tax ID number and a checking account at an FDIC-insured institution. Complete the security setup by entering your bank details, address, date of birth, and Social Security Number. Once approved, complete your profile by uploading a photo of you holding a sign with your business name on it or other ID cards or documents. Then make a note of the given URL that is visible to you when visiting Stripe’s website as it will be required when configuring eCommerce platforms such as Shopify or Magento later. Finally, head over to those two aforementioned sites and configure them accordingly.
Install payment buttons
The easiest way to accept credit cards is through PayPal, which offers a number of options from a pay button and shopping cart integration. The pay button gives you a customized, small button that you can place on your site which will generate the payment page. There are also tools you can use within the checkout process or e-commerce software that will facilitate credit card transactions for you. Before using these methods though, it is important to learn how each one works and consider if it would be a good fit for your business. Read More There are several reasons why you might not want to use PayPal as an option: 1) Your customer may not have a PayPal account; 2) You need an account other than PayPal to integrate with your current systems; 3) You do not want to give away any portion of the sales or transaction fees. A great alternative would be Square, which has a variety of pricing options that start at $9 per month (including taxes and fees).
Ship your products!
You’re almost done with your online store! Great! But you’ve got a problem. You don’t accept credit card payments yet. Don’t panic, you can sign up for PayPal or Square within minutes of creating your website. Here’s how it works. To set up an account with either service, go to their site and follow the prompts. With PayPal, you’ll be prompted to enter your email address and choose a password. Then they’ll ask for your bank account information so they can verify the account is yours (they do this by charging the first $1 on that bank account). With Square, they just need to see your business name and address so they can confirm you’re authorized to use their system. Finally, you’ll need to decide whether or not you want them both on your site as well as what type of cards each one will take– Visa/Mastercard/Amex are all options for both sites.
Once you get your account squared away, it’s time to start taking payments. When someone enters their payment information on your site, they’ll get routed through whichever service you selected– if they chose PayPal and then entered the wrong password when trying to log in, they’d get rerouted over to Square without even realizing anything happened. As soon as somebody pays for something using a card linked to the right service, money automatically shows up in your company account within seconds. That’s all there is to it!