Taking Payments Online

In order to take payments online you need an E-Commerce enabled website and the services of a payment provider that is compatible with your website.

Payment Providers come in two different types - either standalone payment providers or payment service providers who requuire you to have a Merchant Account.

E-Wallet Platforms

This type of platform, such as PayPal, offers a complete stand-alone payment processing service with no merchant account required. They will usually take a percentage of the order value and/or a payment processing fee. There may be additional fees for paying funds into your bank account.

Payment Service Provider 

A Payment Service Provider (PSP) is a combination of a Payment Gateway Processor and a Merchant Account. The gateway processor carries out a secure transaction and places the funds in a merchant account. Merchant accounts can be set up with many high street banks and taken to a PSP. Many PSPs, however, also offer the option to set up a merchant account directly. If you have an existing merchant account or expect to experience a large volume of transactions or high-value orders, then you may find this type of payment provider more suitable. In this instance, you will need a merchant account with online payment enabled. The PSP will then provide the online payment processing service and the funds will be deposited into your merchant account. These providers will usually charge a monthly fee for a fixed number of transactions and then a per-transaction fixed fee for any other transactions. You will also be charged for each transaction at its processing rate.

Whichever payment provider you choose to use it must also be compatible with your e-commerce website.