Ecommerce

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Three Payment Gateway Giants: Comparing Stripe, Authorize.net and PayPal

Accepting credits cards online is one the fastest ways to grow your business or to gain more supporters for your cause.

Payment processing and donation management on website design via Paypal, Stripe, and Authorize.net

What is the purpose of a payment gateway?

A payment gateway is the online version of a cashier or bank teller. You want it to be user-friendly while maintaining a high level of security during online transactions.

Payment gateways are used by both nonprofit organizations and e-commerce website designs.

Whether it enables your organization to receive a huge donation or acts as a payment processor for online sales, choosing the right payment gateway can make the difference between closing the deal or watching someone “walk away” because of a complicated and convoluted process.

Why is a quick and efficient transaction so important?

After spending time working on the visual appeal of your website, you are undoubtedly attracting new customers. The last thing you want to do is put a roadblock in their way during the payment process. Requiring too many clicks to complete a sale or donation often leads to frustration or outright abandonment on behalf of the user, with 27% of potential customers abandoning a checkout because of complication, according to Baymard Institue.

So, how do you ensure the process is seamless? With a solid payment gateway.

Let’s look at the three main payment gateways web developers trust:

Stripe is the payment gateway designed with website developers in mind, allowing for a wide range of integrations and setups to meet the demands of a modern website design.

If you plan on using the services of an experienced web designer, Stripe is one of the best options on the market today, with major companies like Kickstarter, Lyft, Shopify and OpenTable, all utilizing Stripe.

Both Stripe and Authorize.net (the next gateway on our list) are fully white label, meaning the customer or donor never has to leave your website, which is good for brand continuity and a seamless experience.

Stripe is highly recommended, as it is the most modern and flexible API for development, which in web speak, means it rocks for online payment transactions. The core features include:

  • On-site checkout
  • No initial set-up or monthly fees
  • Transaction fees are comparable to PayPal at 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction
  • Anti-fraud protection
  • Recurring payments supported
  • Available in over 20 countries with more than 100 currencies automatically converted
  • Automatically transfers money received every two days to your bank account
  • Syncs with QuickBooks

Authorize.net has been around since 1996, making them one of the earliest online payment gateways available.

They’ve developed a friendly interface that’s rather granular, giving site owners the ability to vary levels of access. In addition to transaction fees on-par with the other gateways, Authorize.net typically charges a setup fee and monthly fee, but it depends on the usage and level of integration needed, with multiple plans and options.

  • On-site check-out
  • Recurring payments supported
  • Available in only 5 countries (US, Canada, UK, Europe and Australia)
  • Set-up and monthly fees charged
  • Many local banks offer Authorize.net add-ons for accounts
  • Syncs with QuickBooks

PayPal can be a stand-alone option, but it is often used in conjunction with a main gateway or point-of-sale (POS) system, such as their credit card swiper.

For many, Paypal can be a time saver as so many users already have established PayPal accounts. However, PayPal is the most visually limited of the three.

PayPal Standard requires you to have their branding and redirects customers to the PayPal site to complete the transaction, meaning Paypal controls the bulk of the process. While this can be a good thing for security and liability, many businesses and nonprofits prefer visitors to stay on-site through checkout.

  • External checkout
  • No initial set-up or monthly fee
  • Transaction fees of 2.9% + $0.30 transaction fee
  • Available in over 200 countries
  • Approximately 3-4 day turnaround for funds to hit your account
  • Does offer a discounted nonprofit transaction rate

No matter the payment gateway, we can help you decide which is best for your customers and website. From there, we can fully integrate the payment gateways seamlessly into your website design for a simple, effortless checkout process that ensures repeat business or donations.

Interested in learning more? Contact us today to talk about how we can help you accept payments and non-profit donations online today!

Trends

Improving Ecommerce with Website Flexibility

responsive

In a world of constant technological change, responsive web design (RWD) has become a constant when designing websites for viewers to access regardless of the size of their screen sizes. Based on flexible, fluid grids, RWD delivers a quality user experience whether the site is accessed on a large pc screen or a small smartphone one.

Why has RWD Become Such a Popular Buzzword?

In the very recent past, businesses had to decide whether or not to expand their web properties to include sites for mobile access. This generally meant two sites; one for desktop or laptop screens, and one for smaller mobile phone screens. Enter tablets, smart devices, HDMI screens and before you know it you would have to have a multitude of sites to reach every screen size and resolution on the market.

RWD allows for the creation of one site that works equally well on any screen size or mobile device. Carefully designed to be adaptive and flexible with the varying sizes and resolutions, RWD is flexible, it adapts and it just works!

Is RWD Enough for My Business?

Considering RWD is adaptable and flexible for many uses instead of creating sites for each type of screen and resolution, many people wonder if a responsive design site is “enough”.  Contrary to the concept of simplification, a RWD site is NOT necessarily simplistic. It is meant to simplify and reduce costs for your web real estate only. The sophistication and design elements are up to you and your design team.

Companies of all sizes are using RWD with great success for their businesses. Perhaps the most glaring example is Microsoft, and their creation of Windows 8. Although Windows 8 is an operating system and not a web site, it gives you an idea of the flexibility behind RWD. The operating system is designed so it is easy to use and migrate from one screen type to another with very little difference in input techniques. Have you noticed the new styling of Microsoft’s website holdings recently? Their sites are also built upon RWD, and adapt well from one screen type to another.

Disney is another massive corporation that has embraced responsive web design and done so very successfully. Users can expect the same experience when they log on from their smartphones as they do when they log on from a desktop pc.

hs_website_rwd

Which one, RWD or Mobile?

To build upon an earlier point, having a responsive website is a cohesive experience for your customers. When the customer visits your site on a computer, tablet or phone, the experience will always be the same. This includes updates; with your responsive site, updates to merchandise, operating hours, or the employment section will simultaneously happen across all devices. No longer will you have to update your desktop site, update your mobile site and finally update your app. We offer one change, all devices.

Make RWD Work for You

With mobile devices expected to overtake desktop and laptop usage before the end of 2014, it is time to make a move to ensure you do not lose out on valuable users. Contact us today to discuss how we can make RWD work for you.

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