Every business with an online component should look for a way to take Internet sales quickly and easily, as this can be critical in driving website growth and in improving word of mouth. However, taking credit cards online can be more complex and difficult than taking payments through a physical terminal. Some online credit card processing services can unintentionally drive customers away from a merchant’s website, either by presenting an unprofessional look or by forcing customers through a lengthy and unnecessary authorization process. Many businesses opt to use processing companies that offer specialized web portals when taking credit cards online. Web portals are essentially specialized, highly-secure web pages that improve the customer’s experience while ensuring consistent, accurate and hassle-free transactions.
When customers visit a business website and decide to make a purchase, they’re led to the web portal which is secured through data encryption. Encryption prevents hackers and other malicious Internet users from accessing the customer’s credit card information or other personal data. The exact type of encryption used can vary from one credit card processing service to the next, but encryption is secure enough that there’s absolutely no chance that data could be read without the proper authentication keys; those are held by the credit card processing company. The customer can enter his or her information and submit the info directly to the processing company. The customer’s identity is verified along with the credit card info and the transaction can be quickly approved or denied. The end result is a fast, simple process that’s handled almost completely through an online credit card processing company.
Portals also look great from the online customer’s point of view, as they can be customized to look like the merchant’s website. This prevents a sense of disconnect, which can drive some customers away. It also provides for a more professional look and better branding. Portals are typically very fast and intuitive and can handle a great amount of information from customers, including contact information that can be used by the merchant later on to deliver products and services or for marketing purposes.
Taking credit cards online can be a fast way to improve a business’ profits and to serve an entirely new type of customer. However, every business should remember that online customers can be extremely choosy, and businesses that don’t use a properly set-up web portal will undoubtedly lose some sales. A processing portal that’s designed to ensure customer security and to mimic the look and feel of a merchant’s website can quickly allow for more transactions and better word-of-mouth for any online business.