Living in a country where getting a credit card is as easy as buying out a local news daily from the nearby grocery store one would easily be able to capture a market of plastic money holders. The power of plastic money extends beyond boundaries of nations and is indeed the most closest step to globalization. To this I am reminded of a quote "Think Global, Act Local" policy.
Most of us know that the any internet business that sells virtually any products is an international one and has no boundaries unless it is a one that has high volume tangible products.
The internet has made millionaires of people more then anything else in the past century and it is still a little true these days as well. Diligent work, honesty and consistency is the key to any business and any virtual business is no exception.
What one really needs to cross the boundaries for a virtual business is a payment gateway or merchant services which one may refer to. Although there is a difference but it does not matter to what we are discussing about.
There are several payment Gateways and one might find it really tiring to search through Google for getting the best one in hand. One should keep in mind that here we are referring to a payment gateway as a service provider is a third party which services you could integrate into your website so that your customers are able to pay you for your products and services automatically and digitally. The payment can be through credit cards, coupons or any other accepted orders by your third party payment gateway. Here I would like to list a few of the payment gateways I am most familiar with, apart from the many services out there.
1. PayPal – PayPal is a number one choice of mine for various reasons, its simplicity and its ease of use must be the most preferred ones, and you do not need to register as a business owner to avail this service. However, one must remember that PayPal does not have its drawbacks as well. The fees of processing the payments could go as high as 5.5% per transaction and they do have a transaction limit places on each registration which can be increased by credit card verification, address verification and then bank account verification. PayPal also provides with API services for those who want to go deeper into developer services and it does integrate well with most shopping carts including the free ones such as Agora. Apart from this it does have its own shopping cart system if anyone would want to use it.
Apart from that it does have withdrawal options to the bank account as well as the credit card.
There are a few countries though where PayPal is not yet available and it is stated on there website, although payments can be accepted from most of the countries. Recently there has also been some restriction from the RBI in India on PayPal although its not quite clear yet.
2. 2Checkout – 2CO is the most preferred payment Gateways by the guys with all its packed features it does not have a few drawbacks. One needs to be a registered business and has to pay a 49 $ setup few per account. There are strict rules of what can be sold and what not. Do checkout their website for details.
Withdrawing an amount from 2co is a bit tedious and has to be done through a check or bank deposit though its done every week it must meet the release level and pass verifications.
The user is offered to enter his or her detail select the options available after the transaction is over. 2co can also be integrated with all kinds of shopping carts and software. I have personally used this to purchase stuff over the internet several times and it works like a charm. Their support system is also very good.
3. Moneybookers – This is a European payment gateway service which can be used by those who are dealing in Euros. You can create product listing using their own shipping cart system and use its buttons on your site. The transactions fees are very high again and there is a cap on the transactions that can be done every month. The limit can be raised through their verification process.
Your customers need to be registered to pay though moneybookers and it does accept bank transfers as well as credit card payments.
4. AlertPay – This is a Canadian service provider and has basically the same system as PayPal though not as much popular. I have just been acquainted with their services and the shopping cart integration part has been simple and the transaction fees do not differ much with that of PayPal. Few people opt for AlertPay as an alternative to PayPal as well.
A personal account with AlertPay has limitations which can be raised to an amount through some verification process while the Pro account is packed with features like: Mass Pay, Integration tools and website payment methods. To verify the pro account one might need to submit a few documents as well.
AlertPay does not have any country restrictions and have their own shopping cart system as well as API integration and so on. It would be personally my best choice as an alternative to PayPal by any means.
Apart from all this one should really look for a vendor that is secure and your customers feel confident and secure in giving out their financial details to.
Last but not least look for a gateway provider with what your money is yours and is secure and easy to get.