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The Best Payment Systems for Your Start-Up

10 June 2017 by National Bank
payment systems

Selling and quickly receiving money from sales: this is what matters most to start-ups. Yet, the variety of payment methods, together with an influx of distribution channels, whether on- or off-line, can present challenges for entrepreneurs. Here are 4 points to consider for proper planning of payment processing.

1. Focus on Security: The Basis for Consumer Confidence

The 2016 CEFRIO NETendances report revealed that, while customer confidence toward on-line transactions is on the rise, 30% of Quebeckers still consider on-line credit card purchases as unsafe.

In stores as online, merchants want to protect themselves against the risk of fraud. The Nilson Report estimates that worldwide credit card payment fraud rose to 28 billion USD in 2017, and predicts that it will continue to rise in the coming years. Comparatively, fraud was higher in Canada than the United States.

To guard against fraud, a payment solution provider must comply with PCI Security Standards Council regulations. But fraudsters are so creative, it is best to choose a provider able to continuously update its protection systems.

2. Integrate Payments to Your Business Processes

Accepting a payment and then registering it isn’t a one-off occurrence: it’s a step in your customers’ journey.

It’s also a crucial source of data for your operations. Management of orders and inventory, shipping, billing, accounting, or customer relations—these can all benefit from an integration with your payment solutions.

Therefore, this does not only involve integrating on-line payment onto one’s site. A good payment processing system saves you from having to manually enter information that is already available. It integrates with the other systems that will accompany the growth of the business.

3. Support All Sales Channels, Both On- and Off-line

E-commerce is continuously growing. After computers, mobiles are becoming the preferred tool for transactions. Access to a payment gateway (a secure application acting as a bridge between a merchant and a consumer) is essential to provide a good on-line buying experience.

But start-ups have very diverse experiences and so on-line transactions are seldom the only suitable solution.

According to the Canadian Bankers Association, a credit card is the preferred method of payment for Canadians. So, brick and mortar businesses don’t have the choice to provide efficient payment solutions at their points of sale.

National Bank’s Easy Pay solution offers Canadian SMEs the possibility to accept in-person payments by using their compatible smart phones without using added devices like a bank card reader.

After signing up for Easy Pay, merchants can simply download the application to start accepting payments from customers via eligible contactless credit cards or an electronic wallet such as Samsung Pay, Google Pay or Apple Pay. The receipt can then be sent to the customer by email.

National Bank is the first Canadian financial institution to offer this innovative, quick and secure solution to small and medium businesses. Other merchants prefer to use a more traditional payment terminal so they can also take payments from customers over the phone.

Purchases are often the result of multiple interactions between the merchant and their customer, over a variety of platforms and environments both online and offline. The buyer sometimes begins his or her transaction in one place and finishes it somewhere else.

More and more, marketing is adopting an “omnichannel” approach. Payment systems must follow this trend so companies can quickly accept payment when and where their customer wants.

4. Limit Transaction Costs

It is in the interest of any business self-starter to properly plan their transaction scenario: how many transactions, for what amounts, in which environments? These parameters will impact on transaction costs, which are sometimes missing from initial budgetary forecasts.

Consolidating transaction processing to different channels with a single service provider allows users to have an overview of their costs and to sometimes benefit from certain economies of scale. It’s also a sure way to facilitate implementation of the transaction systems and their alignment with the business’ other systems.

For example, it will be much easier for an office supplies retailer to centralize its inventory and know when a product is out of stock, regardless if it was sold on-line or in-store.

Accepting payments is not simply a basic operation for your business. Proper payment transaction management is an essential part of the global service offering to customers.

A good payment system—one that is well-integrated with other marketing and management systems—can become a competitive edge which facilitates purchase transactions, drives growth and improves profitability.

There are multiple solutions for businesses – big or small – to accept all type of payment through a wide variety of distribution channels.

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