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What you need to know about accepting payments online

What you need to know about accepting payments online

Know which digital payment methods will best suit your business' needs and let your customers pay online.

Offering your customers the choice to pay online can help you increase sales, get paid and save you time. The challenge is knowing what digital payment methods are available and working out which one best meets your needs.

If you’re looking to get paid online, here are some things to consider.

What are your options?

Here are some of the most popular solutions for accepting online payments:

Payment gateway

  • This is an online equivalent of an EFTPOS machine that accepts credit and debit card payments from your customers. Card details are submitted through the gateway for approval and the money goes into your account at settlement (when your merchant provider transfers funds from all the approved card transactions into your account)
  • To set it up, you need an online payment form or an integrated shopping cart on your website
  • If you don’t have a website, you can accept payments over the phone and process them through the gateway. CommBank’s BPOINT portal, for example, allows customers to pay on a BPOINT payment webpage that you can customise with your own branding
  • The gateway host (e.g. a bank) manages the card data securely, so you don’t have to.

Internet merchant facility

  • An online bank account that can accept payments by credit and debit cards. It temporarily holds the money paid by your customers online, then moves it into a linked business account
  • You need to choose a payment gateway before you can set up an online merchant account.

All-in-one platform

  • This can offer both a gateway and internet merchant account.

Consider a shopping cart

This is a virtual shopping basket to which customers can add items and it will then calculate the total cost. Ideally, you should be able to integrate the shopping cart with your payment gateway. CommBank’s BPOINT and CommWeb can integrate with a range of shopping cart providers.

Protect yourself against fraud

While accepting payments online can mean more sales, it can also increase the risk of fraud. Check out these strategies for protecting your business against credit card fraud.

Understand the fees and charges

Before buying any online payment solution, make sure you weigh up the costs against the potential benefits. Common fees and costs include:

  • Set-up fee
  • Monthly cost
  • Transaction fee for each debit, Mastercard, Visa and Amex card transaction
  • Exit fee.

You can also ask your provider if there are any other fees and charges you should know about. Third parties may, for example, charge you extra fees for using an external gateway provider.

What about refunds?

With any digital payments system, it’s worth understanding how refunds work. Some questions to think about include:

  • Can I issue partial and full refunds to customers?
  • What is the refund process? Is it straightforward?
  • How much of the initial transaction fee will I receive back if I issue a refund?

Look for live customer support

Being able to get help quickly can help you reduce potential lost sales. So ask what live customer support is available for your online merchant platform. CommBank customers enjoy around-the-clock live merchant support.

This article is intended to provide general information of an educational nature only. It has been prepared without considering your objectives, financial situation or needs, you should, before acting on the information, consider its appropriateness to your circumstances. Please view our Merchant Agreement for BPOINT or CommWeb, Financial Services Guide and Operator and User Guides at our Merchant Support Centre before making any decision about these products.