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6 key criteria to choose the right payment service provider


You’re almost ready to go live! You’ve filled your online store with products, you’ve chosen the design you like and you can’t wait to officially launch your online store. There’s one more important step though: you need to choose a payment service provider (PSP). In this post we’re discussing six criteria to test the different options and select the one that best suits your needs.

1. The payment methods

It’s a good idea to start off by listing which payment methods you need before actually deciding on a payment gateway for your online store. Do you sell your products to several countries? Then find out what payment methods are the main methods used by your audience. A few examples are iDEAL for the Netherlands, Bancontact for Belgium, SOFORT Banking for Germany and international credit cards and PayPal for customers worldwide. Choose a payment service provider that offers exactly the payment methods you need and make sure they offer a multilingual payment page if you have international customers.

2. User-friendliness

Your actual online store should be easy to use, but the payment processing system also needs to be user-friendly, as you will use it often to look for transactions or invoices, to enable or disable payment methods, or even to integrate an additional website. So check whether the PSP you’ve chosen has an easy-to-use admin panel. Most of them allow you to set up a test account in a few easy steps. Create one and see how it goes before making your final decision!

The payment service provider should be easy to use not only for you, but also for your customers. The easier the check-out procedure, the greater the chance of successful transactions and the higher your conversion rate.

3. Security

Nothing is more important than using a secure system when dealing with payment details. There are different ways to check how safe a payment service provider is. First of all, check whether the provider in question was granted a permit by the central bank or your local financial regulator, as this guarantees that all applicable rules and regulations are complied with, including security measures.

Another important security standard is the use of an SSL certificate, which ensures that confidential information is sent encrypted, which prevents transaction data from being intercepted. If the URL of the page starts with https://, you can rest assured that the transaction data is encrypted.

4. Fees

When you launch a new online store, you want to keep your costs down as much as possible, so always compare the fees of different payment service providers before making your final decision. That will save you a lot of money.

Some payment gateways charge not only a fee per transaction, but also a whole range of other fees, such as:

  • monthly fees
  • subscription fees
  • processing fees
  • a flat fee for each website
  • a fee upon payment

This can become unexpectedly expensive, so always calculate what your final cost per transaction will be.

5. Refunds

Online merchants (unfortunately) have to deal with returns as well. From a legal point of view, you are obliged to refund the purchase price within fourteen days following termination of the contract of sale. Of course it’s even better if you can refund the customer immediately once you’ve received the returned products. That enables you to be perceived as a professional online store with satisfied customers. Because after all, word of mouth is the best form of advertising!

Before you choose a PSP, check how they deal with this. Can you easily make a refund? How quickly will the consumer receive the payment on their account? All of this influences how customers assess your service.

6. Support

Good support is always important, and even more so when it involves your money. With this in mind, look for a payment service provider you can reach via chat, email and phone. Its support team must be available 24/7 to immediately deal with any issues you might be faced with.

Opt for a good provider, because it’s a key aspect for the success of your online store. After all, you want your customers to be able to pay for their order hassle-free. The criteria above will help you make a well-thought-out decision. Last but not least, follow your instincts too. If it feels right, just go for it!