With countless platforms all offering a dizzying array of features, finding the right online payment system to power your business growth can be a daunting task.
In light of the increasingly sophisticated nature of cyber attacks, being able to protect customer data is essential. And in an evermore crowded global marketplace, staying competitive means offering consumers maximum convenience and flexibility.
But what else? In this article we lay out the 15 key online payment system features you can’t do without, from reporting to recurring payments and more.
While we haven’t necessarily put these in order, if one feature had a strong case for being at the top, it would be secure transactions.
Your system must employ advanced security measures, including data encryption, 3D Secure authentication, and fraud detection.
Together, these measures protect sensitive customer data from fraudsters, who could use stolen information to commit crimes, including money laundering and identity theft, at great financial and reputational cost to your business.
In some cases, you’re legally required to implement certain security measures to comply with industry and regional regulations, so choosing a platform that has them built-in is a massive plus.
Online payment systems are, by design, complex systems. But that doesn’t mean implementing them has to be.
Choose a system that allows for easy onboarding and integration, and ongoing customizability, so that you can continue to tailor your payments solution to your needs as you grow.
Ideally, your online payment system should offer useful APIs, as well as a range of integration methods, allowing for a quick and easy setup, while giving you the flexibility to fine tune the system to your preferences.
Optimizing operations should be an ongoing concern for every business, but without good data to inform your efforts, you’re essentially a sculptor working in the dark.
That’s why a robust reporting function is a must. Reports allow you to generate detailed insights about every aspect of your operations, from transaction data to chargebacks and customer behavior. You can also filter by timescale, allowing for different levels of granularity depending on your needs. This data can flag issues, provide key insights, and can inform evidence-based actions that have meaningful consequences.
Then you can measure the effect of your efforts and continue to refine your strategy with further improvements.
Online systems have opened up a world of possibilities for payments, and if you want to stay competitive, offering alternative payment methods (APMs) is a must.
APMs are any payment options that don’t belong to major card networks, and can include digital wallets, bank transfers, domestic card schemes, and emerging methods like buy now, pay later (BNPL). What all these have in common is that they offer consumers more flexibility and convenience, and allow them to pay in a way that suits their preferences, rather than just meeting the needs of the business.
But your business will benefit too, especially if you have global ambitions. For example, domestic bank transfer methods - like iDEAL in the Netherlands and POLi in Australia - are amongst the most popular payment methods in those countries. Including them at checkout will boost growth by increasing conversions and driving customer loyalty.
Find an online payment system that supports as many payment methods as possible. It might not make sense for your business to offer them all, but you want to have as many options as possible at your disposal.
In addition to offering popular local payment methods, you need an online payment system that supports your global growth through multi-currency support. There are around 180 currencies in the world, and the more you can process in, the better.
That’s because customers transacting in their local currencies can avoid foreign transaction fees, making them more likely to complete a payment and to make repeat purchases.
Ideally, your payment system should also have domestic processing capabilities and offer multiple settlement currencies, allowing you to cut the costs of cross-border processing and improve your acceptance rates.
Any business that processes card payments must comply with Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS). This framework requires you to meet 12 requirements in order to protect cardholder data from fraudsters, including maintaining network security controls, using cryptography during transmission, implementing access restrictions, and testing your systems regularly.
By working with a payment system that’s compliant with PCI DSS Level 1, the highest standard, you can take the stress out of your compliance requirements and focus on growing your business.
The success of a transaction can hinge on the effectiveness of your checkout page, and there are many factors that can cause a customer to abandon a purchase right up to the point of payment.
To optimize your checkout page for conversions, you need a payment system that gives you maximum flexibility. On that allows you to customize your checkout to your needs and your customers’ preferences, whether that’s a hosted payment page (which means the processor remains responsible for compliance) or by making it easy to choose from a multitude of preferred payment options.
In payments, growth means more customers and more transactions, but also an increased fraud risk and potentially a greater legislative burden.
Choose a platform that can scale to meet all these circumstances, through powerful processing and advanced fraud fighting capabilities, all while keeping your costs manageable.
Ensuring your payments solution is optimized for improving acceptance rates is also a must. As your transaction volume increases, so too does the possibility of false declines. An AI-powered system can minimize declines through intelligent routing, adaptive retries, and continual learning from network payment data.
If your business relies on subscriptions or payment plans, you need a system that supports recurring payments. This makes it easy to manage accounts, take regular payments from customers without having to reauthorize every transaction, and easily upgrade or cancel memberships when required, all while saving you time and money and reducing customer churn.
Refunds are inevitable, but they don’t have to have a lasting impact on customer relationships. Your system should make it easy to issue both full and partial refunds to customers, with, if necessary, automatic authorization if required by the card scheme.
Commerce is increasingly mobile, so failing to offer an mobile-optimized experience could lose you sales. A decent payment solution should allow you to customize your mobile payment flow, offer a range of mobile payment solutions, and implement authentication procedures that are optimized for handheld devices.
Payment settlement is simply the process of the customer’s card issuing bank transferring funds to your acquiring bank. Many factors play into settlement timelines, but an online payment system can make all the difference when it comes to minimizing delays. Your best option is an end-to-end solution that acts as both acquirer and processor, authorizing payments in near real-time whatever the payment method used.
Alongside security, fraud detection is a vital function in the fight against cybercrime. Intelligent fraud prevention doesn’t just stop suspicious transactions: by using machine learning to detect emerging fraud trends, it keeps one step ahead of bad actors while increasing your acceptance rate for legitimate transactions. It should also give you the option to customize your risk setup and define your own rules, so you can tailor your solution to the level of threat your business actually faces.
We’ve looked at how your online payment system can help you build loyalty with your customers, but you also need to think about how it secures your loyalty as its customer?
Alongside offering great products and services, you should opt for a solution that provides round the clock customer service and the kind of hands-on expertise that can help you navigate regional differences and achieve grand ambitions. Simply knowing you have that kind of top-level support gives you the confidence to pursue long-term growth.
With the abundance of repetitive, data-based, and tedious but necessary tasks that constitute much of payment processing, automation is the magic touch that can transform every aspect of your operations.
From automated invoice processing, which instantly captures and processes payment information from invoices, to automated reconciliation, which takes the hassle out of matching internal and external transaction data, automated payment processing is a must have for any self-respecting payments solution. It will save you time and resources, and free up you and your team to focus on more creative and fulfilling tasks.
There’s no need to spend time scouring online reviews and investigating the solutions used by your peers: you’ve already found the right online payment solution for your business - Checkout.com.
Whatever your needs, with developer-friendly APIs and a modular infrastructure, our integrated solution offers a comprehensive suite of features and payment methods, alongside maximum customizability.
Checkout.com scales with you, whether you want to launch in Asia or North America, our local acquiring hubs and multi-currency support will power your growth.
Speak to our sales team to find out more about Checkout.com’s online payment processing solution.