How to accept online credit card payments for your business

With new online payment options popping up constantly it can be hard to keep up with the best way for your business to take payments from your customers.

The standard method in the past has been to apply to your bank for a credit card merchant account, wait several months for them to set it up, then hook up a payment gateway so your shopping cart can talk to the bank.

This can still be your best option if you process payments over the counter with your EFTPOS machine. NZ based options include Paystation, which has lower fees and is simpler, or Payment Express which is more extendible and can be used with all manner of POS hardware (think terminals, kiosks, vending machines etc).

If your business is 100% online then Stripe can be a great option. You can be up and running in a few hours, there is no fixed monthly fee and the transaction fees are reasonable. Stripe also works well with most shopping carts/eCommerce systems.

For a full run-down of these options, check out our full guides:

As with all aspects of eCommerce, evaluate your options carefully before you start. It’s much cheaper to find the right system for your unique business than it is to change systems later. Here are some examples of things that catch people out:

  • Stripe allows you to process manual payments for telephone orders using their online terminal but you’re not allowed to use it as your primary payment method.
  • BigCommerce (one of our favourite ecommerce systems) works with Stripe, but not with Stripe in NZ – you don’t want to learn that after you’ve built your website!
  • Stripe works beautifully with Shopify (another of our favourite shopping carts), but Shopify charge an extra transaction fee if you use Stripe.

If you’re considering your options for accepting online (or offline) payments, call us and we can help you avoid the expensive mistakes.