How to choose a secure payment gateway

Accept all major credit cards and electronic checks for your online business, retail store and mobile sales force with a single payment gateway service

A real-time payment gateway service provides merchants with a secure method of accepting credit card and electronic check payments. A secure online point of sale service allows the merchant to collect credit card or checking account information from customers and then transmit that information over an encrypted SSL connection. Successful transactions move the customer payment from the customer’s credit card or checking account to the merchant’s commercial bank account.

The top rated real-time payment gateway services can be used to process retail, mobile and online customer sales. As a merchant, you want to choose a virtual point of sale service that can help your business grow. Therefore, you want to choose a payment gateway service that can support multiple selling environments (e.g. retail, online, and mobile) without requiring you to open multiple gateway accounts.

Because there are a variety of real-time payment gateways to choose from, I’ve provided a checklist to help you choose the right service for your business. Ultimately, you must choose a service that meets the unique needs of your specific business.

Merchant checklist for choosing a payment service (e.g. features must be included at no extra cost):

o Real-time sales reporting
o Virtual terminal/batch uploads to process manual transactions
o Virtual POS to process card present transactions
o Recurring billing functions for processing membership and subscription services
o Integration method to integrate payment processing with your back office software
o Online Knowledge Base
o Online Helpdesk
o Live technical support
o Load balancing to process multiple merchant accounts through a single payment gateway account. This becomes an important feature as your business grows.
o Commercial and open source shopping cart payment modules
o Secure online merchant interface
o Address verification (AVS)
o Retail POS software support
o CRM payment modules (open source and commercial software support)
o PCI Compliant Service

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Optionally, you should be able to select the following additional services:

o Electronic Check Processing
o Advanced fraud protection tools
o PCI compliant data storage and retention to store customer payment data
o Mobile payment software (e.g. iPhone)

Always remember, when choosing a payment service, you are choosing a service to process your customer payments, which is the lifeline of your business.