As a new eCommerce business, one of the most important decisions you’ll need to make is that of the merchant services you need. The jargon and technical buzzwords – cyber security, SSL secure payment, IMA, MID, DCC, and PCI DSS, to name a few – can be more than a little confusing.
Payment processing – the heart of merchant services
At the heart of your business will be the ability to accept online payment. Online businesses have the potential to expand rapidly into new markets, and you should consider the requirements of global customers needing to transact in their local currency.
Your shopping cart, or secure online payment page, will need to be able to handle these transactions, and you should also give thought to business expansion. Will you want to offer subscription services, or take recurring payments? It may be that you will need to store cardholder or member data: if this is the case, you’ll need to comply with PCI DSS standards.
While many businesses begin life with a simple shopping cart and a payment gateway, a full merchant services provider will allow full continuity as your business expands.
Security – at the heart of online business
Rules and regulations are designed to allow online secure payments, and the security of data – both yours and the customers’ – will be of paramount importance. Your systems and processes must comply with current legislation, and you’ll need a fit-for-purpose fraud prevention system.
Accounting – the backbone of eCommerce business
Purchases will need to be tracked, analysed and reconciled. By doing this, you will be able to optimise business practices, and plan to benefit from opportunities for future growth, while simultaneously meeting accounting standards and reporting requirements. Any online payments you receive should be integrated with your back office systems to make this smooth and faultless.
Planning for the future with a merchant services provider
Selecting the right merchant service provider at the outset will enable you to benefit from their services as you grow your business. They will be able to guide you through all your options, tailoring a solution to suit your circumstances and budget both now and in line with your business plans.