Not all merchant accounts are created equal, and from fees – to support – to hardware, and beyond, there are countless factors that determine which is the best for you and your business. One of the most important factors is fund availability – how prompt your payment processor is in depositing the funds from sales into your bank account. Funding speed can vary significantly from provider to provider, and when choosing a processor, businesses looking to ensure their financial health should always look for next-day funding.
Cash flow is everything, and one of the biggest keys to success in business is keeping accounts receivable to a minimum. The faster your invoices get paid, the healthier your company’s finances will be, and the better you’ll sleep at night. That means using any tool that can help you collect payment faster is a no-brainer. Email invoices are one such tool, and luckily, some payment gateways build free email invoicing tools right into their platforms. Taking advantage of them is a great way to reduce the amount of work that goes into invoicing and account management, and to speed up the arrival of your payments.
E-commerce continues to be one of the fastest growing industries in the world, with billions of dollars in sales volume and consistent double-digit growth over the past four years. Fueling that growth is a shift in consumer behavior, but also the technology that makes e-commerce possible.
From a tech standpoint, Magento is one of the top e-commerce platforms in the world, driving approximately 250,000 e-commerce stores and an impressive $100 billion in gross sales volume.
Of course, no platform operates in isolation, and Magento is no exception. To get the most out of it, many businesses turn to systems integrations and plugins to expand the functionality of their website as well as optimize a business’s use of customer data. Let’s take a closer look at our top integrations for the Magento platform. Continue reading “Our Top 3 Magento Integrations To Help Your Business Grow”
Over the past decade, the world of e-commerce has completely transformed consumer purchasing behaviors. Practically everything you once had to procure in-person can now be purchased from the convenience of your couch through a series of clicks, taps, and confirmation emails.
In fact, 1.79 billion people worldwide made a purchase online in 2018, with that number expected to grow to 2.14 billion by 2021. The moral of the story: your customers are shopping online with money that’s burning a hole in their pocket.
While every business is different, there’s one thing we all have in common – the need to process customer payments. Unfortunately, the process comes at a higher price. Literally. Ask yourself – how much does your business spend on payment processing fees? What about things like chargeback and next-day funding? Chances are, you use one of the world’s most popular payment processing systems, like Stripe, Square, or PayPal. Let’s take a look at why payment processing solutions like these could be letting you down – and you don’t even realize it.
When you’re looking for a payment processing site so you can make personal online transactions, you might just use the first thing you come across. But when it comes to your business, you want to back up your choice with some research. Different payment processing tools, like PayPal, Stripe, and BAMS, offer a wide array of benefits and supplemental features. The most important thing for your business, however, is PCI compliance.
How does PCI compliance apply to your business?
PCI DSS, or the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard is a list of standards for securing payment processing details. If your company even touches payment information, whether you’re storing the information or just accepting, processing, or transmitting it, then you’re responsible for maintaining a secure environment for that data. That’s why more and more companies are using third-party providers to handle payment processing. If payments are routed through another site entirely, your liabilities are limited.
How do you know which processing service provides the best PCI compliance?
The best way to know which service is for you is to start studying your own business. How do you usually get paid? Online stores will have a lot of individual transactions. Subscription service providers, whether they provide online services or something physical like landscaping, may have automatic payments. If your company provides freelance services, you may need to invoice clients for monthly services or varying amounts.
Once you know how your company sends requests for payment and receives payment, start looking for exceptions. Stripe, for example, doesn’t have an inbuilt invoicing tool so you will need to check your additional third-party services for PCI compliance. PayPal does offer more PCI compliance, but only at certain levels of subscription.
Most e-commerce payment processing platforms are all but required to have PCI compliance, but your company may be liable for any gaps. So look for those gaps before finalizing your choice. Browse our blog for more ways to choose the best platform for your business.
Marketing strategies rely on having information. You need to know as much about your prospective customers as possible so you can reach out to them effectively. A lot of that information comes from your website traffic. What your visitors do, how they interact with the site, and what items they buy form a large part of your understanding. But the information you can gather through Google Analytics and lead generation isn’t the end of your information-gathering abilities. Payment processing reports can tell you a lot about your customers and your store. Here are some tips:
What three things can you learn from your payment processing reports?
1. What’s the average sales total?
It’s not just enough to know how much money your store is making every day or each month. It’s also important to know how much each customer is spending each time they come into your store. This gives you a lot of information about buyer behavior. Unless your store is specifically designed for small frequent purchases, like a convenience store, then larger purchases are better. Reports can let you know if your marketing and store arrangement efforts are working.
2. Which credit card types are your customers using?
Credit card type also tells you a lot about different customer personas or hypothetical characters built around the standard behaviors and interests of your target markets. But card types also matter based on the agreements you have for different types of merchant services. If you have a lot of transactions through one card type, you can negotiate for a lower percentage. If you have few transactions through credit cards, you can decide if a surcharge for small payments is right for your company.
3. How many transactions are happening at different terminals?
Different terminals at your store get different amounts of traffic. This data can let you know if one point of sale is too out of the way or is left unmanned. It can also let you know when the primary terminal is too busy and your store needs a new arrangement.
For more ways to use payment processing reports, go to BAMS.
Brick and Mortar stores are taking a hit all because of e-commerce. Just look at Toys “R” Us and Babies “R” Us. These two were giants in their respective fields for over 60 years. Kmart which began in 1899 has liquidated and closed as well.
The question is, if they had instituted a healthy e-commerce processing program, could they have sustained a longer run and still be in business? The answer is probably yes. They could have streamlined their overhead, lowered prices and been competitive in their respective fields. People say it is Amazon’s fault these stores collapsed. Amazon just provided, (in some cases), better prices and the ease of purchasing items from home.
E-commerce is a viable entity and it’s here to stay. Every business that sells anything should have an e-commerce platform.
Why People Love to Shop Online
- Shop from home or office
- Avoid crowds or going to the mall
- Convenience, done with just a few button clicks
- Better Variety
- Better Prices
People are ridiculously busy, they mean to get to the store to purchase mom’s birthday gift, but finding the time is not easy. The kids must be toted to practice and games. Perhaps it’s business meetings, family and friends get-togethers, or working late and being too exhausted to stop by the store. Let’s try this, the store is closed, or it’s late and that parking lot can be sketchy at night. Having an e-commerce platform set up by BAMS can keep loyal customers coming back without having to set foot in the store. E-commerce can attract new customers who would never have visited your location. They may live 50, 500 or 5000 miles away.
Here is a likely scenario; a child wants a pair of cowboy boots. The parent has no idea about such things, they live in New England where cowboys are not the norm. Said parent googles cowboy boots for sale, checks out a couple sites, decides what to spend, and orders them from Texas. The child is happy, the parent is happy, the person who does not know they have reason to be unhappy is the Western Wear business owner in town without an e-commerce site.
Contact BAMS to discuss setting up your e-commerce processing platform to help your business grow.
If you sell products from a physical store, you might be missing out on an entire other sales channel: the internet. Today’s customers expect even physical stores to be able to offer certain e-commerce features from their sites, and if these aren’t available, the stores seem behind on the times. Here are a few essentials your store’s site should have:
Site to Store
With this feature, customers order online, but pick their items up at your store’s service counter or other designated areas. Your staff does the job of picking it all off the shelves and boxing or bagging it, but you don’t worry about shipping it anywhere. This makes things quick and easy for the customer and increases your chance of making sales, while you are saved from dealing with logistics.
If you routinely get hot new items, give your customers the chance to lock in their copies by ordering in advance of arrival. Offering the ability to make pre-orders will please your customers, but more importantly, it’ll let you get a better idea of how many units to buy for release day and how hot the item will be overall.
Of course, getting set up to offer these services requires your site to have a few essentials. One of these is a merchant processing account. To get set up with an affordable option that includes a free Authorize.net gateway, just contact us!
Here at BAMS, we are happy to answer any of your questions and help you get started!
A very common question we encounter, especially from new online business owners, is when should they switch from accepting payment through PayPal to accepting payment directly on their site through a BAMS merchant account? We’ve got five signs that it’s time for you to make the switch.
PayPal is no Longer Cost Effective
Although it depends on the rate that you’re looking at for your new BAMS merchant account and your current PayPal rate, there will be a plateau that you hit with your sales revenue that makes a BAMS merchant account much more affordable than using PayPal.
Increased Abandoned Carts
If you’re seeing an increased rate of abandoned carts, PayPal could be partially to blame. With some versions of PayPal, when customers are checking out from your site, they’re redirected to PayPal’s site to log in and create an account. Essentially, this creates an obstacle for people that just want to buy in a hurry, and that could be leading your customers to abandon their carts and search for an easier purchase elsewhere.
Need for a Quick Access to Funds
If you need to access funds more quickly, a BAMS merchant account might better suit your purposes. Keep in mind that PayPal will hold onto your funds in your PayPal account for five to seven days before moving them to your personal or business bank account. That means if you frequently have new inventory to buy or need to pay for big investments in a pinch, you might want to take a look at switching from PayPal so you’ll have more direct access to your money.
If You’re Selling to Businesses
You may not have thought of this one before, but if you’re selling more to business owners than the average consumer, it’s probably time to accept payment directly on your site. In BB transactions, it’s quite rare for a corporation to actually purchase something through PayPal. Often, they want to use a more professional method, like accepting payment directly on your site.
If You Want to Grow Your Brand
If you’re looking to grow your brand, you might want to think about accepting payments directly on your site. Why? To be frank, a lot of people will see a site that only accepts PayPal and perceive it as being fairly amateur. On the other hand, if you’re accepting payment on your site directly, it gives your business an air of confidence and credibility, and that’s an especially powerful thing for a growing brand.
Keep these five signs in mind when you’re considering whether or not you should make the PayPal to BAMS merchant-account migration. If you have any questions, please contact us.