E-commerce has become a staple of industries across virtually all areas of life. Whether we are ordering food, shopping for diapers, or booking a flight, a huge percentage of daily business transactions take place online. As business owners, that creates a situation where you must decide how you are going to accept payments for online transactions. One such solution is to opt for a hosted payment page. Today, we will be exploring hosted payment pages, compare third-party hosting against other e-commerce options, and discuss how your business can make the best possible choice to fit your needs.
Defining a Hosted Payment Page
A hosted payment page can best be defined by its two components:
“Hosted” refers to the fact that this is hosted by a third-party payment processor completely separate from your businesses website. It should be noted that there is, of course, a connection between the business website and the hosted site (more on this below).
“Page” refers to the page/site itself. Hosted payment pages are separate pages from the business, but many are able to be customized to fit with the branding of your business site.
The majority of hosted payment pages function as a transparent redirection away from the business website upon checkout. Customers are then prompted to enter the required information including but not limited to card number, expiration date, name, email, address, etc. Hosted payment pages are quite common in many e-commerce industries.
Understanding Hosted Payment Pages, APIs, Payment Gateways, and More
Let’s say you are a business owner trying to decide how to accept online payments. As we have already discussed, using a hosted payment page back by a reputable third party payment processor is one option. What are the others? Here are a few possible avenues that e-commerce businesses can take to accept payments online:
Hosted payment page: obviously, hosted payment pages are one way to go. The advantages of hosted payment pages include reduced liability for a business and a greater sense of security for the customer. This is a great choice for many small businesses.
On-page hosting: where hosted payment pages will take customers to a third party site, it is possible to keep customers on your business site while still utilizing the third party payment processing solution. This carries the same benefits of hosted payment pages without disrupting customers. The downside is that on-page hosting can be more demanding from a set-up and maintenance standpoint.
Internally hosted payment gateways: a payment gateway can be considered any “technology used by merchants to accept debit or credit card purchases from customers.” Some companies choose to build their own proprietary gateways and work with merchant services on the back end. This option is generally reserved for large companies with massive amounts of resources and know-how.
More: while these are a few of the basic models of accepting e-commerce payments, be sure to work with a qualified merchant services provider to understand the full suite of options available to your business.
Choosing the Best Online Payment Option for Your Business
With all of this in mind, how can businesses make the best decision when it comes to accepting online payments? Unfortunately, there is no one answer to this question. Each business comes with its own unique set of needs and concerns for e-commerce. Yet there are a few high-level considerations that do hold true in most situations.
The number one consideration for handling online payments should be choosing your payment processor/merchant account provider. Whether or not you opt for a hosted payment page, API, internal payment gateway, etc., the biggest difference for your business will stem from your working relationship with the payment processing company. For more information on how to choose a payment processor, read more here.
A few other high-level considerations include budget, scope, and security. Most small businesses are short on all three when left to their own devices. Hosted payment pages and hosted payment gateways allow merchants to accept online payments back by the security and technology of a third party. There are a wide range of hosted payment page options which should fit most business’ budgets.
True Merchant Helps Small Businesses Accept Online Payments
Whether you are a brick and mortar retail operation or an exclusive e-commerce shop, True Merchant has your payment processing security needs covered! We are proud to offer a full suite of merchant services for businesses of all sizes including CardSecure for transaction security, ERP solutions, and payment processing of virtually all kinds.
With True Merchant, your small business will get the cutting edge technological backing it needs with the touch of a dedicated customer service team. Unlike larger companies, we take the time to work with our clients and deliver the services they need most.
To learn more about how we can help your small business grow, please call or email a member of our qualified merchant services team today!