Exploring the World of Payment Platforms

It seems the ecommerce world is in full force these days with online sales topping $3.45 trillion last year and accounting for almost 14 percent of the retail sector. Within the next 20 years, an estimated 95 percent of the planet’s retail sales are expected to take place online. That being said, some people still enjoy doing their shopping on-site rather than online. Because of this, brick-and-mortar sales aren’t going to completely fade away any time soon.

Payment Options in a Nutshell

In light of the growing and increasingly diverse shopping options available to consumers, businesses are on an ongoing mission to explore new payment platforms and seek out greater possibilities. While a wide range of options are on the market these days, businesses’ needs and consumers’ expectations fall into three primary categories at present.

  • Online Acceptance: Retailers who accept payments online require merchant accounts and specific payment gateways. A long list of alternatives is available, and it continues to grow. In most cases, sellers benefit most from the ones with low processing fees and the capacity to support numerous payment options, such as debit and credit cards and virtual wallets. They must be compatible with the merchant’s shopping carts for true effectiveness.
  • In-Store Terminals: Point-of-sale terminals, in one form or another, can be found in virtually every store these days. Some systems serve the basic function of processing payments while others offer numerous features, such as inventory management, accounting and analytics. To avoid a great deal of added integration expense, these systems should be compatible with the hardware already being used in the store.
  • Virtual Processing: Virtual terminals work in much the same way as their physical counterparts but don’t use physical card scanners or chip readers. Instead, the user manually inputs debit or credit card numbers. These are generally best suited to small stores or home-based businesses.

In many cases, retailers require a combination of these options to fully reach their sales potential, and they all need to be interconnected with one another. These all-inclusive payment solutions, such as the ones available from BlueSnap give merchants greater versatility and functionality among other benefits. Whatever the specific needs at hand may be, cost, user-friendliness and customization are crucial features.