Online payment processes are all about attracting new customers, keeping the existing ones and making the purchase process as seamless as possible. However, between the traditional web payments and mobile, it seems as if there is a new payment method on the market every week and online retailers can quickly be overwhelmed trying to prioritise integration schedules and decide which payment products suit them best.
Payment service providers (PSP) should be equipped to help online merchants choose the best payment methods for their business needs, as the market gets ever more diverse. Products that are introduced with great hype but never gain significant market share have bitten many merchants. Someone launches a funky new way to pay and everybody is enthusiastic for a few months, but then it fades away. Merchants need to invest time, skills and capital to enable a new payment solution and, if it never gets off the ground, that investment is lost.
However, merchants also cannot afford not to change. New ways to pay and be paid are a fundamental part of the online realm; one cannot just ignore new payment methods. There are a series of questions to ask, as part of an assessment process.
For example: Is it safe? Is it reliable? What percentage of the market will actually use it? How many of ones existing customers will use it? How is that payment method backed up by support, marketing and funding for future development?"
These are important questions, but constantly researching and assessing new payment options takes time that merchants do not really have. One's PSP is in the best position to take the lead in doing the research and providing the advice businesses need to stay competitive.
In the past, there was a simple choice between credit cards and direct EFT, but now customers can also choose to pay using debit cards, vouchers, virtual wallets and an array of mobile payment methods.
Brendon Williamson is CSO at DPO PayGate, which processes payments for over 25,000 online merchants in Southern Africa. DPO PayGate (previously PayGate, VCS and PayThru) is a subsidiary of The Pan-African payments Group, Direct Pay Online (DPO).
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