How to Receive Payments Online

by Contributor

If you decide to conduct e-commerce, one of the first things you will need to know is how to receive payments online.

There are several ways to receive payments online. You might consider using different methods based on each payment or customer type.

Read the guide below to help you decide how to receive payments online for your online business transactions.

Set up a PayPal Shopping cart - One very popular solution is receiving payments online through Paypal shopping carts. Simply sign up for a Paypal account and follow their easy instructions on setting up PayPal buy buttons. Choose this option if you want a simple shopping experience and an easy payment system that is well recognized.

Invoice customers through by email through Paypal - The next method you will want to use to receive payments online is invoicing customers through Paypal. With Paypal's invoicing option, you can request payment from your customers by email. The customer then pays for your products or services through Paypal. Choose this option if you want an easy method to conduct business offline and want to receive payments online.

Use a different third party payment processor - There are other companies (such as e-junkie or clickbank) that both provide the shopping interface for customers and process your payments online. Many of these have specific specializations, such as downloadable products or affiliate program management. Choose these if you are want more than just what PayPal offers but still want to keep it simple.

Use your own credit card merchant account - Having a merchant account allows you to process and accept credit cards without using a third party (such as PayPal). Even as a small company, having your own merchant account gives you certain flexibilities and control which third party solutions don't. If you don't already have a merchant account for your business, check them out and see for yourself. Using the simplest credit card processing with your own merchant account, you receive payments through a shopping cart system and then process the credit cards manually. This is not a recommended solution, but can work well for companies that only plan on receiving a small number of orders online. See next step for more complex solutions using your own merchant account.

Use your own credit card merchant account with payment gateway - The next method of how to receive payments online is to get your own merchant account and use an online payment gateway (such as authorize.net) to process the payments for you. The merchant account will allow you to accept credit cards, but the payment gateway will allow you to authorize those credit cards in real time right when the customer makes a purchase. Choose this method is you are serious about e-commerce and want a sophisticated interface for your customers where credit cards are processed on the spot. Note: Some payment gateways also offer merchant account services, so check these out.

Tip

  • check Consider getting a merchant account if you do not have one already for your business.